United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. RUSSELL, III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant Dr. Luis Rivera's
Motion to Dismiss or, Alternatively, for Summary Judgment
(ECF No. 22). The Court, having reviewed the Motion and
supporting documents, finds no hearing necessary.
See Local Rule 105.6 (D.Md. 2016). For the reasons
outlined below, the Court will grant the Motion.
Complaint filed May 10, 2017, Plaintiff Scott Elliott Turner
stated that he was arrested subsequent to total knee
replacement surgery, and held at the Anne Arundel County
Detention Center (“AACDC”). (Compl., ECF No. 1).
Turner claimed medical personnel at AACDC would not see him
to assess his swollen knee, which required follow-up surgery
and rehabilitation. (Id. at 2). Turner, whose
Complaint was construed as a civil rights action under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, sought “unspecified damages”
for the denial of treatment. (Id. at 3). Given that
Turner could suffer lasting injury if his knee problem was
ignored, the Court construed Turner's request as one
seeking a preliminary injunction, and issued a Show Cause
Order for AACDC. (May 10, 2017 Order, ECF No. 5).
for AACDC responded and provided a copy of Turner's
medical records. The records revealed that Turner, who was
arrested and booked at AACDC on March 8, 2017, reported that
he had a left total knee replacement on June 13, 2016. Turner
claims he was scheduled for revision in April 2017, but was
arrested before the procedure could be performed. (Inmate
Medical File at 62, 100, ECF 7-3). On March 9, 2017, the day
after booking, Turner requested medical assessment due to
pain in his knee and elbow. (Id. at 40). That same
day, Turner was seen by a registered nurse, who told him to
elevate his knee and prescribed crutches. (Id. at
42-43). On March 14, 2017, Turner asked to see a doctor, not
a nurse practitioner, again complaining of pain in his knee
and elbow. (Id. at 30). The record did not suggest
that Turner's request was met.
on the initial review of the medical records, the Court found
that Turner had been assessed and assisted by medical
personnel, but his knee problem, which may require surgical
attention, remained unresolved. (June 15, 2017 Order, ECF No.
10). The Court further found that Turner has contributed in
part to his discomfort, because he refused crutches in order
to continue working. (Id.). The Court denied
Turner's request for a preliminary injunction and ordered
Dr. Rivera to respond to the Complaint. (Id.).
Turner appealed the Court's order denying preliminary
injunctive relief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth
Circuit. (ECF No. 14). The Fourth Circuit dismissed
Turner's appeal in an unpublished per curiam opinion.
See Turner v. Anne Arundel Cty. Det. Ctr, et al.,
No. 17-6793 (4th Cir. Oct. 20, 2017).
August 22, 2017, the remaining Defendant, Dr. Rivera, filed a
Motion to Dismiss or, Alternatively, for Summary Judgment.
(ECF No. 22). On August 31, 2017, Turner filed an Opposition.
(ECF No. 24). Dr. Rivera filed his Reply on September 14,
2017. (ECF No. 25).
Standard of Review
Rivera's Motion is styled as a motion to dismiss under
Rule 12(b)(6) or, in the alternative, for summary judgment
under Rule 56. A motion styled in this manner implicates the
Court's discretion under Rule 12(d). See Kensington
Vol. Fire Dep't., Inc. v. Montgomery Cty., 788
F.Supp.2d 431, 436-37 (D.Md. 2011), aff'd, 684
F.3d 462 (4th Cir. 2012). This Rule provides that when
“matters outside the pleadings are presented to and not
excluded by the court, the [Rule 12(b)(6)] motion must be
treated as one for summary judgment under Rule 56.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d). The Court “has ‘complete
discretion to determine whether or not to accept the
submission of any material beyond the pleadings that is
offered in conjunction with a Rule 12(b)(6) motion and rely
on it, thereby converting the motion, or to reject it or
simply not consider it.'” Wells-Bey v.
Kopp, No. ELH-12-2319, 2013 WL 1700927, at *5 (D.Md.
Apr. 16, 2013) (quoting 5C Wright & Miller, Federal
Practice & Procedure § 1366, at 159 (3d ed.
2004, 2012 Supp.)).
Turner was on notice that the Court might resolve
Defendants' Motions under Rule 56 because Dr. Rivera
styled his Motion in the alternative for summary judgment and
presented extensive extra-pleading material for the
Court's consideration. See Moret v. Harvey, 381
F.Supp.2d 458, 464 (D.Md. 2005). In addition, Turner filed an
Opposition and several other filings that included
extra-pleading materials in support of his claim.
(See ECF Nos. 24-28). Accordingly, because the Court
will consider documents outside of Turner's Complaint in
resolving Dr. Rivera's Motion, the Court will treat the
Motion as one for summary judgment.
reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the Court views the
facts in a light most favorable to the nonmovant, drawing all
justifiable inferences in that party's favor. Ricci
v. DeStefano, 557 U.S. 557, 586 (2009); Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986) (citing
Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144,
158-59 (1970)). Summary judgment is proper when the movant
demonstrates, through “particular parts of materials in
the record, including depositions, documents, electronically
stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations
. . . admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials,
” that “there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a), (c)(1)(A).
Significantly, a party must be able to present the materials
it cites in “a form that would be admissible in
evidence, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(2), and supporting
affidavits and declarations “must be made on personal
knowledge” and “set out facts that would be
admissible in evidence, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(4).
motion for summary judgment is properly made and supported,
the burden shifts to the nonmovant to identify evidence
showing there is genuine dispute of material fact. See
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475
U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986). The nonmovant cannot create a
genuine dispute of material fact “through mere
speculation or the building of one inference upon
another.” Othentec Ltd. v. Phelan, 526 F.3d
135, 141 (4th Cir. 2008) (quoting Beale v. Hardy,
769 F.2d 213, 214 (4th Cir. 1985)).
“material fact” is one that might affect the
outcome of a party's case. Anderson, 477 U.S. at
248; see also JKC Holding Co. v. Wash. Sports Ventures,
Inc., 264 F.3d 459, 465 (4th Cir. 2001) (citing
Hooven-Lewis v. Caldera, 249 F.3d 259, 265 (4th Cir.
2001)). Whether a fact is considered to be
“material” is determined by the substantive law,
and “[o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the
outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly
preclude the entry of summary judgment.”
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248; accord
Hooven-Lewis, 249 F.3d at 265. A “genuine”
dispute concerning a “material” fact arises when
the evidence is sufficient to allow a reasonable jury to
return a verdict in the nonmoving party's favor.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. If the nonmovant has
failed to make a sufficient showing on an essential element
of her case where she has the burden of proof, “there
can be ‘no ...