United States District Court, D. Maryland
K. Bredar, Chief Judge
before the court is a motion to dismiss or, in the
alternative, motion for summary judgment filed by defendant
Anderson (ECF No. 19) and Robert Gary Moore's
opposition. ECF No. 21. Upon review of the pleadings, the
court finds a hearing in this matter unnecessary.
See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons
stated below, defendant's dispositive motion IS GRANTED.
April 13, 2017, the court received for filing the
above-captioned 42 U.S.C. § 1983 verified complaint
filed by Robert Gary Moore, a prisoner housed at the North
Branch Correctional Institution (“NBCI”). Moore
seeks compensatory damages and the firing of four NBCI
officers. He complains that from July 26, 2016, to August 21,
2016 (26 days), he was held in segregation without his legal
or writing materials, which rendered it impossible for him to
work on his Baltimore City Circuit Court post-conviction
petition or to contact his family and friends. ECF No. 1.
Moore claims that his due process and access-to-courts rights
were violated. Id.
supplemental complaint, Moore states that he asked to be
placed in a single cell on segregation due to gang violence.
He complains that the request was denied and he was placed in
a holding cell “with no further incident.” He
alleges there was no physical altercation and thus no
rational basis for denying him his property under the Equal
Protection Clause, as other segregation inmates were allowed
the same property. ECF No. 10.
states that on July 26, 2016, Moore received a rule
infraction for refusing to return to his cell. ECF No. 19-1,
p. 16. He was informed that he would receive an adjustment
for refusing housing and would be removed to a different NBCI
housing unit. Anderson claims that as Moore “persisted,
” he was placed in a strip cage, and his property was
removed from his cell. He was charged with violating Rule 401
for refusing housing, waived his right to appear before a
hearing officer, and was found guilty in absentia.
Id., p. 20.
affirms there is no evidence that Moore was denied
“pens, writing paper, stamps, envelopes, transcripts,
legal motion and material, ” as noted in his
administrative remedy procedure grievance. He notes that
Moore was housed in segregation earlier from April 12, 2016,
to June 10, 2016. Upon his release from segregation, his
personal property inventory sheet reflected that he had 1.5
cubic feet of books and papers (including legal materials),
and five pens/pencils. Id., p. 14.
26, 2016, when Moore was re-assigned to segregation, the
prepared notice of confiscation provided that only two items
were being confiscated: a pair of sweatpants and gym shorts.
Id., p. 12. On that same day, Moore signed the list
of authorized items for segregation inmates. Id., p.
11. The list reflected that he had 1.5 cubic feet of books
and papers (including legal materials), but made no reference
to pens or pencils. Id. Upon Moore's release
from segregation on August 24, 2016, he signed a list for
authorized items for segregation inmates indicating that he
had 1.5 cubic feet of books and papers (including legal
materials) and two pens/pencils. Id., p. 10.
declaration, Defendant Anderson affirms that he has no
recollection of Moore complaining about his lack of access to
legal or writing materials. He further maintains that
segregation inmates may only have flex pens and pencils and
may submit a commissary request every Sunday. He denies
intentionally taking any action to deny Moore access to his
legal and writing materials. ECF No. 19-2, Anderson Decl. He
argues that the complaint should be dismissed because Moore
(1) makes no particularized allegations against him, (2) has
failed to establish the elements of an access-to-courts
claim, and (3) has not demonstrated a violation of his equal
opposition, Moore accuses defendant of forging a copy of his
property inventory sheet because of print variations on the
Xeroxed document. He maintains that he did not see a
reference to “1.5” cubic feet written on the
document. ECF No. 21. He seemingly alleges that his lack of
access to his legal documents caused him injury as during the
26-day period he was precluded from “studying case law
for those cases” and working on his law cases as other
prisoners were allowed to do. Id.
Standard of Review for Summary Judgment
defendant has filed and relied on declarations and exhibits
attached to his dispositive motion, his motion shall be
construed as one for summary judgment, which is governed by
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a). The rule provides:
The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows
that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and
the movant is ...