United States District Court, D. Maryland
SAMUEL DIETRICH, Inmate Identification No. 423-732, Plaintiff,
JCI INSTITUTION, CORPORAL CHRISTOPHER KIVYATU, LT. CARLYL, CAPTAIN STEVEN ROWLAND, SERGEANT ROBERT JORDAN and SERGEANT WAYNE MOONEY, Defendants.
THEODORE P. CHUANG, United States District Judge
Dietrich, an inmate now confined at Maryland Correctional
Institution at Hagerstown, has filed a civil action against
Jessup Correctional Institution ("JCI") and JCI
correctional personnel Corporal Christopher Kivyatu,
Lieutenant Carlyl, Captain Steven Rowland, Sergeant Robert
Jordan, and Sergeant Wayne Mooney (collectively, the
"Individual Defendants"). Dietrich states that on
April 26, 2016, he was subjected to unsafe conditions of
confinement, in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the
United States Constitution, when a light fixture on the
ceiling of his cell fell on him, causing injuries to his back
defendants have been served with the exception of Lt. Carlyl,
who retired on April 1, 2017. The served defendants
("Defendants") have filed a Motion to Dismiss or,
in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment and have
attached declarations from four Defendants, the Litigation
Coordinator of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and
Correctional Services, and the Executive Director of the
Inmate Grievance Office. The Clerk informed Dietrich that,
pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th
Cir. 1975), Dietrich had 17 days to file a memorandum in
opposition to the Motion, and that if he failed to respond,
summary judgment could be entered against him without further
notice. Dietrich did not respond. Although the Court has
learned that Dietrich was transferred out of JCI, Dietrich
has not provided the Court with his new address, in violation
of Local Rule 102.1(b)(iii). Although this violation is
sufficient to warrant dismissal of the Complaint, the Court
will nevertheless address the merits of Dietrich's
review of the submitted materials, the Court finds that no
hearing is necessary. See D. Md. Local R. 105.6. For
the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant the Motion.
April 26, 2016, Dietrich was housed in the Disciplinary
Segregation Unit, B-Building, C-Wing of JCI. At approximately
10:00 a.m., a ceiling light in Dietrich's cell broke and
fell on Dietrich, hitting his neck and back and leaving him
immobilized on the floor waiting for medical treatment. At
10:50 a.m., Defendant Wayne Mooney, one of the JCI
correctional officers assigned to Dietrich's housing
unit, observed Dietrich lying on the floor of his cell.
Dietrich told Mooney that he could not move. Mooney then
notified the JCI medical staff.
next day, on April 27, 2016, Dietrich filed an Administrative
Remedy Procedure grievance ("ARP"), alleging that
he injured by the light, that he "was left on the floor
for over 30 min[utes] waiting on medical treatment, "
and that JCI officials failed to notify his family. Compl.
Ex. 1 at 7, ECF No. 1-1. On May 31, 2016, the Institutional
ARP Coordinator dismissed the ARP for procedural reasons, on
the grounds that additional information was needed to process
the grievance. On June 13, 2016, Dietrich appealed this
decision to the Maryland Commissioner of Correction, but the
Commissioner "was unable to determine [Dietrichs]
intent" and rejected the appeal on June 30, 2016.
Id. at 11. Dietrich never appealed this decision to
the Inmate Grievance Office ("IGO").
filed separate ARPs on April 28, 2016, June 3, 2016, and June
17, 2016, alleging similar claims stemming from this
incident, two of which were rejected on procedural grounds.
On June 13, 2016, Dietrich wrote a letter to the Commissioner
of Correction, stating that he was including "every ARP
that I put in regarding this matter and every one they
fail[e]d to answer any of them." Compl. Ex. 1 at 1, ECF
No. 1-1. It is unclear what ARPs were attached to this
letter, or even if it was actually delivered to the
Commissioner of Correction. The IGO has no record that any of
the ARPs were appealed to the IGO.
January 17, 2017, Dietrich filed this Complaint pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Complaint alleges that JCI
subjected Dietrich to unsafe conditions, that Defendants
ignored his complaints about those conditions, and that he
was injured as a result of Defendants' negligence.
Dietrich further alleges that he was offered video games in
exchange for not pursuing his grievances. Dietrich seeks an
unspecified amount in compensation for his injuries.
their Motion, Defendants seek dismissal of the Complaint or
summary judgment in their favor on several grounds, including
that: (1) JCI is not an subject to suit under § 1983;
(2) the Individual Defendants are entitled to Eleventh
Amendment immunity for claims in their official capacity; (3)
Dietrich failed to exhaust available administrative remedies;
and (4) Dietrich fails to state a plausible Eighth Amendment
Defendants have submitted evidence for the Court's
review, and because Dietrich has not requested an opportunity
for discovery, the Motion is construed as a motion for
summary judgment. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(d). Under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), the Court grants
summary judgment if the moving party demonstrates there is no
genuine issue as to any material fact, and that the moving
party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322 (1986). In assessing the Motion, the Court
views the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving
party, with all justifiable inferences drawn in its favor.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255
(1986). The Court may rely only on facts supported in the
record, not simply assertions in the pleadings. Bouchat
v. Baltimore Ravens Football Club, Inc., 346 F.3d 514,
522 (4th Cir. 2003).
nonmoving party has the burden to show a genuine dispute on a
material fact. Matsushtta Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith
Radio Corp.,475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986). A fact is
"material" if it "might affect the outcome of
the suit under the governing law." Anderson,
477 U.S. at 248. A dispute of material fact is only
"genuine" if sufficient evidence favoring the
nonmoving party exists for the trier of fact to return a
verdict for that party. Id. at 248-49. If "the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party, " then a dispute of
material fact precludes summary judgment. Id. at
248; see Libertarian Party of Va. v. Judd, 718 F.3d
308, 333 (4th Cir. 2013). However, summary judgment is
appropriate if the evidence "is so one-sided that one
party must prevail as a matter of law."