United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
RICHARD HOWARD BEALL, JR. #13801 Plaintiff,
MACAULEY UJOATUONU Defendant.
J. HAZEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Richard Howard Beall. Jr. is committed to the Maryland
Department of Health ("the Department"). He claims
that Defendant Macauley Ujoaluonu. a nurse employed at the
Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center ("Perkins"),
violated his constitutional rights by using excessive force
against him and administering medication against his will.
ECF Nos. 1. 4. 5,  Now pending before the Court is
Defendant's unopposed Motion to Dismiss or. in the
Alternative. Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No.
Counsel for the Department has also filed a court-ordered
report on Beall's mental health status to assist in
determining whether appointment of a guardian ad litem is
necessary. ECF No. 9. No hearing is necessary. See
Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons that follow.
Defendant's Motion, construed as a Motion for Summary
Judgment, is granted, in part.
initiated this case on October 13. 2016 by filing a Complaint
that he later supplemented at the Court's direction and
then filed another supplement, alleging that in May of 2016,
Defendant restrained him with excessive force in violation of
his rights under the Eighth Amendment. ECF Nos. 1: 4. Beall
claims that although he tried to be compliant, he was
subjected to pain and torture. He claims he was placed in
cervical restraints, his head was pushed back, and he was
injected with medication. ECF No. 4 at 3. Beall claims
Defendant "put a pen in my neck threat[en]ing me."
Id. at 4. Beall avers videotape recordings of the
incident were lost. ECF No. 1. at 3. Beall's request for
relief includes damages, an investigation, release from
Perkins, and entry into a witness protection program.
record, as set forth in Defendant's Motion, and without
response from Plaintiff. provides a detailed description of
the events underlying Plaintiffs Complaint. On May 31. 2016
at 8:20 p.m.. Beall approached a nurse's station. He
refused his medication (Olanzepine). as well as an
intramuscular injection of the medication as an alternative.
ECF No. 10-6 at 1 (Progress Note of Maeauley Ujoatuonu dated
May 31. 2016). Beall indicated that he would not accept the
intramuscular medication and "refused redirection"
when asked to leave the nurse's station so that other
patients could receive their medication, hi. Beall
then reached through the open window of the nurse's
station and punched Defendant in the face. Id. Beall
remained combative while staff placed him into a restraint
chair, using his head to hit Defendant's lower abdomen
while he was being restrained. Id. When the nurse
manager came to assess him. Beall was uncooperative and said
fuck you bitch." Id.
p.m.. Dr. Sameer Patel assessed Beall and found the staffs
response appropriate because Beall had created an imminent
danger as a result of punching a nurse and remaining
combative when the staff restrained him. See ECF No.
10-7. Patel reported that at 9:00 p.m. Beall threatened that
he would "get the RN." Id. Patel approved
Beall's placement in a chair restraint for four hours.
Beall was assessed by staff every fifteen minutes. F. (T No.
10-8. During these assessments, he was found to be a serious
and imminent threat to himself. At 10:15 p.m.. Beall was
released from the restraint chair and returned to his room.
Id. After being released from restraint that
evening. Beall did not indicate he was injured or complain to
the treatment team. ECF No. 10-9. On the following day. June
1, 2016. Beall refused his morning medication (Valproic Acid
and Fluphenazine hydorcloride) and was administered his
medication by injection. Id.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Motion is styled as a Motion to Dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(h)(6) or, in the Alternative, for Summary judgment under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. If the Court considers materials outside the
pleadings, as it does here, the Court must treat a motion to
dismiss as one for summary judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d). When
the Court treats a motion to dismiss as a motion for summary
judgment, "[a]ll parties must be given a reasonable
opportunity to present all the material that is pertinent to
the motion." Id. Based on the title of
Defendant's Motion alone. Beall "was on notice that
this motion might be treated as one for summary
judgment." See Laughlin v. Metropolitan Wash.
Airports. Auth., 149 F.3d 253, 260 (4th Cir. 1998).
Beall was served with a copy of Defendant's Motion and
accompanying attachments and provided with a
Rosehoro notice, which advised him of the pendency
of the motion for summary judgment and that he was entitled
to respond with affidavits, declarations, or other materials
contesting the evidence filed by Defendant. See ECF
Nos. 10 at 2:11: see also Gay v. Wall, 761 F.2d 175,
178 (4th Cir. 1985) ("When a party is aware that
material outside the pleadings is before the court. the party
is on notice that a Rule 12(b)(6) motion may be treated as a
motion for summary judgment."). Beall has not elected to
provide a response or request discovery, and the Court is
satisfied that it is appropriate to address Defendant's
Motion as one for summary judgment.
summary judgment is appropriate if "materials in the
record, including depositions, documents, electronically
stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations
.. . admissions, interrogatory answers, or other
materials" show 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(c). 56(a);
see also Celolex Corp. v. Cutretl, 477 U.S. 317. 322
(1986). The party moving for summary judgment bears the
burden of demonstrating that no genuine dispute exists as to
material facts. Pulliam Inv. Co. v. Cameo Props.,
810 F.2d 1282. 1286 (4th Cir. 1987). If the moving party
demonstrates that there is no evidence to support the
non-moving party's case, the burden shifts to the
non-moving party to identify specific facts showing that
there is a genuine issue for trial. See Celolex, 477
U.S. at 322-23.
material fact is one that "might affect the outcome of
the suit under the governing law." Springs v.
Diamond Auto Glass; 242 F.3d 179. 183 (4th Cir. 2001)
(quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242. 248 (1986)). 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.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. However, the nonmoving
party "cannot create a genuine issue of material fact
through mere speculation or the building of one inference
upon another." Beetle v. Hardy, 769 F.2d 213.
214 (4th Cir. 1985). The Court may only rely on facts
supported in the record, not simply assertions in the
pleadings, in order to fulfill its "affirmative
obligation . .. to prevent 'factually unsupported claims
or defenses' from proceeding to trial." Felly v.
Grave-Humphreys Co., 818 F.2d 1126. 1128 (4th Cir. 1987)
(quoting (Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324-25). When ruling
on a motion for summary judgment, "[t]he evidence of the
non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences
are to be drawn in his favor.' Anderson, 477
U.S. at 255.
Guardian Ad Litem
accordance with the Court's February 2. 2017 Order. ECF
No. 7. counsel for the Department filed a report on
Beall's mental health status to assist the Court in
deciding whether appointment of a guardian ad litem is
necessary. ECF No. 9. Rule 17(c)(2) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure requires courts to appoint a guardian ad
litem or take other appropriate action to protect an
incompetent person. Fed.R.Civ.P. 17(c)(2) states:
A minor or an incompetent person who does not have a duly
appointed representative may sue by a next friend or by a
guardian ad litem. The court must appoint a guardian ad
litem-or issue another appropriate order-to protect a minor