United States District Court, D. Maryland
W. Grimm United States District Judge
a Maryland state inmate, filed suit on August 3, 2017,
alleging various civil rights violations. ECF No.
.. On August 30, September 21, and September
27, 2017, the Court received letters from Plaintiff
complaining of various problems he is experiencing while
incarcerated. ECF Nos. 4, 10, 11. The Court issued an order
instructing Defendants to show cause why injunctive relief
should not be granted based on the contents of Plaintiffs
letters. ECF Nos. 6, 14. Defendants have responded to the
show cause order and Plaintiff has filed a reply. ECF Nos.
16, 20. Plaintiff has also requested appointment of counsel.
ECF No. 26. For the reasons that follow, the Court will deny
injunctive relief and deny Plaintiffs request for counsel.
April 2017, Plaintiff was released on parole, conditioned on
his entry into an inpatient drug treatment program. Compl.
3-4. Plaintiff states that he entered an in-patient treatment
center on April 27 and was told on May 3 that he had
"completed the detox phase of their drug treatment
program and should enter an out-patient program."
Id. at 4. According to Plaintiff, the same day that
he completed the detox phase, "parole agent Traci M.
David submitted a false report" reflecting that
Plaintiff had not satisfied the drug treatment program
condition of his parole, which resulted in Plaintiff being
placed in the Parole Violator Program (PVP) at Patuxent
Institution. Id. Plaintiff filed this action against
David, the Maryland Parole Commission, and others associated
with the Parole Commission, seeking an order for his release
from the PVP. Id. at 8-9. Plaintiff also seeks
"$250, 000.00 in compensatory and punitive damages for
violating the ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act], "
alleging that, because he is disabled, the Defendants
"show[ed] discrimination toward a qualified disabled
person" by placing him in the PVP. Id. at 7-9.
filing the action, Plaintiff submitted letters to this Court
chronicling the problems he was experiencing in the PVP. In
his first letter, Plaintiff stated that Correctional Officer
H. Bello threatened him by stating that "he would slap
me in my mouth and force me to suck his penis." Aug. 30,
2017 Ltr. 1. Plaintiff implied that the threat was made in
retaliation for filing this action. In his second letter,
Plaintiff stated that he was
told by correctional staff members as [he] returned to [his]
unit "that if [he] continued to speak and ran [his]
mouth [he] would be placed on segregation and [he] would be
caused to [sic] be removed from the PVP Program and would be
violated by the Maryland Parole Commission and forced to
serve the remaining six years of [his] twenty five year
sentence without parole.
Sept. 21, 2017 Ltr. 1 (second internal quotation mark missing
in original). Further, he stated that correctional staff
refused to supply him with administrative remedy complaint
forms and that when he "appealed to several white shirt
supervisors, " he was "told 'this is Patuxent
so deal with it' and if you continue to complain you can
and will be placed at a location of this institution where we
will not have to worry about your complaints, nor will you
have access to any writing materials." Id. at
2. Finally, in Plaintiffs third letter, he stated that a
correctional officer took Plaintiffs inmate identification
card home with him, thereby subjecting Plaintiff to the risk
that he would be charged with and found guilty of violating
an institutional rule requiring the possession and display of
one's inmate identification card. Sept. 27, 2017 Ltr.
Plaintiff included a copy of his administrative grievance
about the identification card incident. ECF No. 11-1.
this Court's Orders to show cause why the Plaintiff
should not be granted injunctive relief, the Defendants
responded, asserting that the allegations contained in
Plaintiffs three letters are false. Defs.' Resp. 2. As to
Plaintiffs claim that Bello threatened him, Defendants stated
that "Plaintiff recanted his allegations that CO Bello
threatened him with physical violence and sexual assault as
[a] result of filing this suit." Id. at 6.
According to the affidavits of the litigation coordinator and
warden, when they investigated Plaintiffs allegation against
Bello, Plaintiff advised that he merely wanted Bello to leave
him alone and informed a captain that "Bello did not say
anything about slapping him or forcing him to suck his
penis." Coccagna-Graham Decl. 1-2, ECF No. 16-1; see
also Armstead Decl., ECF No. 16-2. Further, the
litigation coordinator and wardenss search for any
administrative complaints filed by Plaintiff regarding Bello
yielded no results. Coccagna-Graham Decl. 2; Armstead Decl.
2. Officer Bello submitted a written statement asserting that
he did not recall threatening Plaintiff at any time and that
he never had physical contact with Plaintiff. Coccagna-Graham
Decl. 4 (exhibit).
Plaintiffs second letter, Defendants noted that Plaintiffs
claim of threats of disciplinary segregation for
"running his mouth" fail to identify specific
officers or provide other evidence, and that Plaintiff has
not, in fact, been subject to any discipline. Defs.'
Resp. 7. Further, Defendants pointed out that Plaintiffs
claim that he was not provided with administrative remedy
forms is undercut by the fact that, shortly after sending the
relevant letter, which was postmarked September 19, 2017,
see ECF NO.10-1 (envelope), Plaintiff submitted an
administrative complaint about his identification badge, ECF
No. 11-1 (submitted September 22, 2017). Defs.'Resp. 7-8.
regard to the identification badge claim, Defendants included
affidavits and notes from an investigation into his
administrative grievance. Coccagna-Graham Decl. 2-3, 5, 8-9
(exhibits); Armstead Decl. 2. As determined in the course of
the administrative investigation,
Staff did have his ID due to inmate requesting to have his
account activated. However inmate received his ID back the
same date. When interviewed, inmate stated he was able to
still move throughout the institution (hospital for meds,
chow, ride the elevator due to medical restrictions) without
ID however he was wrote [sic] a pass with the note of
"no id" on his pass. Staff returned his ID back to
him, inmate stated when he woke up his ID was back in his
. . . There was no negative effect due to
inmate not having his ID in his possession. Inmate was still
able to move off the tier for his medication, and chow. Staff
had his ID due to inmate requesting to have his inmate
account activated, and his ID was returned to him.
Coccagna-Graham Decl. 9 (exhibit).
Plaintiff filed a reply to Defendants' response to the
show cause ...