United States District Court, D. Maryland
CHRISTOPHER JARBOE, et al., on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES DPSCS, et al., Defendants.
L. HOLLANDER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Memorandum is prompted by a submission from Bruce Koenig
docketed on September 19, 2017, titled
“Petitioner's Motion For A Hearing As To The Matter
Of Petitioner's Standing To Seek Enforcement Of
Compliance With Certain Provisions Of The Jarboe Settlement
Agreement . . . .” ECF 113 (“Motion”).
Koenig, a Maryland prisoner, asks the Court, inter
alia, to reopen Jarboe v. Maryland Dep't of Pub.
Safety and Corr. Servs., et al., ELH-12-572, so that he
may “proceed independently and not [as] a party bound
by the provisions of the Jarboe Settlement Agreement . . .
.” ECF 113 at 4.
hearing is necessary to resolve the Motion. Local Rule 105.6.
For the reasons that follow, I shall deny the Motion.
ELH-12-572, was a putative class action brought by five deaf
or hard-of-hearing State prison inmates. ECF 1. They alleged
violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 12131, et seq. (Count I); the
Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 794, et
seq. (Count II); and deprivation of rights guaranteed by
the First Amendment, filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
(Count III). See ECF 1, ¶¶ 29-38.
five named plaintiffs (“Named Plaintiffs”) were
Christopher Jarboe, Carroll Connelly, Vander Davis, Gary
Denmark, and Garfield Redd. They sued six state entities and
six individual defendants who were the principal officers for
those entities. The defendants consisted of two groups,
denominated as the “Correctional
Defendants” and the “DLLR
particular, the Named Plaintiffs sought to enjoin defendants
from ârefusing to provide the proper interpretive services,
[telecommunications devices for the deaf ('TDDs')],
videophones and other hearing devices” that plaintiffs
maintained were “required for deaf and hard of hearing
inmates” in order “to fully participate in the
programs offered by the federally funded [state] prison
system” and “to fully participate in and benefit
from the programs offered by [the defendant] public
entities.” ECF 1 at 37-38. They also sought to
represent “all deaf or hard of hearing inmates who
currently are or will in the future be in the custody or
supervision of” the Maryland Department of Public
Safety and Correctional Services (“DPSCS” or the
“Department”). ECF 1, ¶ 14.
April 15, 2013, I referred the case to Magistrate Judge
Stephanie Gallagher for a settlement conference. ECF 55.
Settlement Conferences were held on September 16, 2013;
December 2, 2013; May 28, 2014; and June 10, 2014.
See Docket. On February 18, 2015, the parties
informed the Court that they had “reached a settlement
in principle among counsel” and “required an
opportunity to obtain the necessary client signatures”
from the Named Plaintiffs. ECF 89, ¶ 1. A copy of the
Settlement Agreement was not filed with this Court.
See Docket. Nor was a class ever certified.
February 20, 2015, I dismissed the case pursuant to Local
Rule 111, without prejudice to the right of any party to move
for good cause within 90 days to reopen the action. ECF 94.
No such motion was ever filed. See Docket.
the Clerk of the Court received a letter from Mr. Koenig
dated October 26, 2015, docketed on November 4, 2015. ECF 96.
Mr. Koenig stated that he had “finally . . . been
assigned to the 'Deaf Tier' at MCI-J”
(id. at 1), had recently read the “Jarboe
Settlement Agreement”, and believed he was
“similarly situated” to the Named Plaintiffs in
Jarboe. Id. at 2. He also asked the Court
to order former plaintiffs' counsel to provide him with
“copies of their entire file from this case .
. . . [, ] a copy of the entire Docket for the case, and the
names and current addresses of all of the Attorneys who
participated in the representation of the Class.”
Id. at 3 (emphasis in original).
filed a “Motion For Inclusion Of Similarly Situated
Party Plaintiff” (“Motion for Inclusion”),
which was received by the Clerk on May 4, 2016, and docketed
on May 9, 2016. ECF 97-1. On May 9, 2016, the Court returned
the pleading because the Jarboe case was closed. ECF
Court subsequently received a motion from Koenig and Frankie
McCoy on August 16, 2016, titled “Movants' Motion
To Reopen Pursuant to FRCP 19(1)(A), (B)(i) and (ii); Lack Of
Notice; And Fraud By Counsel For The Parties”
(“Motion to Reopen”). ECF 98-1. It was returned
because the case was closed and the movants were not parties
to the case. ECF 98. Mr. Koenig subsequently filed a notice
of appeal, docketed at ECF 99.
unpublished per curiam opinion dated July 24, 2017, the Court
of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit dismissed the appeal for
lack of jurisdiction, concluding that the appeal was not
timely. ECF 108. The Court of Appeals noted: “Parties
are accorded 30 days after the entry of the district
court's final judgment or order to note an appeal, Fed.
R. App. P. 4(a)(1)(A), unless the district court extends the
appeal period under Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(5), or reopens the
appeal period under Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(6).”
Id. at 5. Because my decision was entered on the
docket on August 16, 2016, and the Notice of Appeal was not
filed until January 24, 2017, the Court determined that
Koenig “failed to file a timely notice of appeal or to
obtain an extension or reopening of the appeal period.”
Id. The mandate issued on August 15, 2017. ECF 109.
August 8, 2017, the Clerk received a letter from Koenig
requesting a hearing. It was docketed on August 15, 2017. ECF
110. Mr. Koenig appears to allege “fraud perpetrated by
the DPSCS and the MDCC.” Id. at 1. A letter of
July 30, 2017, from Koenig to the “Inmate ADA
Coordinator” of DPCS was attached. Id. at 2.
Mr. Koenig stated that documents relating to his
“inability to hear” had not been placed in his
“inmate base file.” Id.
Clerk docketed Koenig's “Motion For Documents At
Government Expense” (“Motion for
Documents”) on August 18, 2017. ECF 111. In the Motion
for Documents, Koenig sought documents related to the
Jarboe case, explaining that he intended to prepare
his “response in oppotion [sic] to the defendants'
motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, motion for summary
judgment.” Id. I assume he was referring to
defendants' Motion to Dismiss (ECF 29), filed in
Jarboe on May 8, 2012. That motion was denied on
March 13, 2013. ECF 49. And, as noted, the entire case was
dismissed on February 20, 2015. ECF 94. On August 18, 2017, I