United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. RUSSELL, III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court on the Department of Public Safety
and Correctional Services' (“DPSCS”) Response
to the Court's November 30, 2017 Show Cause
Order. (ECF No. 6). For the reasons set forth
more fully below, the Court will deny Plaintiff Mekonnen
Mekuria's request for injunctive relief and dismiss the
is an inmate currently housed in the Special Needs Unit
(“SNU”) at North Branch Correctional Institution
(“NBCI”) in Cumberland, Maryland. (Compl. at 1,
ECF No. 1; Liller Decl. ¶ 4, ECF No. 6-1). On October 27,
2017, Mekuria filed a Complaint against Justin Adams,
correctional officer at NBCI. (ECF No. 1). In Mekuria's
Complaint, he alleges that his life is in danger, that he is
being sexually assaulted on a daily basis, and that Adams
stole his property. (Compl. at 2-3). Mekuria requests that he
be transferred to a different prison and seeks monetary
damages. (Id. at 3).
November 30, 2017, the Court directed counsel for DPSCS to
address the allegations in Mekuria's Complaint and to
show cause why injunctive relief should not be granted in
favor of Mekuria. (Nov. 30, 2017 Order, ECF No. 3). On
December 22, 2017, DPSCS filed its Response. (ECF No. 6).
plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish
four elements: (1) “he is likely to succeed on the
merits”; (2) “he is likely to suffer irreparable
harm in the absence of preliminary relief”; (3)
“the balance of equities tips in his favor”; and
(4) “an injunction is in the public interest.”
Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7,
20 (2008). “All four requirements must be
satisfied.” Real Truth About Obama, Inc. v. Fed.
Election Comm'n, 575 F.3d 342, 346 (4th Cir. 2009)
(citing Winter, 555 U.S. at 20), vacated,
559 U.S. 1089 (2010), and adhered to in part sub nom. The
Real Truth About Obama, Inc. v. FEC, 607 F.3d 355 (4th
Cir. 2010). A preliminary injunction may only be awarded upon
a “clear showing that, among other things, [the
plaintiff] is likely to succeed on the merits at
trial.” Id. at 345 (internal quotation marks
Mekuria fails to establish any of the elements required to
impose a preliminary injunction. DPSCS's Response,
accompanied by verified business records and a declaration
under oath from the Mental Health Program Manager at NCBI,
Bruce Liller, indicate that the allegations raised in the
Complaint are the product of Mekuria's mental illness.
(Liller Decl. ¶¶ 1, 4-11). Liller explains that
Mekuria is housed in the SNU because he has a delusional
disorder that “lends itself to outlandish claims”
and involves “repetitive, obsessive tendencies.”
(Id. ¶ 4). Liller further explains that
Mekuria's disorder manifests itself in two primary
themes. (Id. ¶ 7). First, Mekuria believes that
correctional staff (especially female) “want to have
sex with him.” (Id.). Second, Mekuria believes
that “he is subjected to electronic shock, often to his
penis and often with a sexual component.”
(Id.). Liller avers to a reasonable degree of
certainty in the field of psychology that Mekuria's
allegations that he is tortured using electricity, sexually
assaulted on a daily basis by electronic devices, and similar
allegations are all a product of Mekuria's delusional
disorder. (Id. ¶ 11).
Response and supporting documentation indicate that
allegations similar to those raised in Mekuria's
Complaint have been the topic of administrative
investigations. When Mekuria filed written claims of sexual
assault through the administrative remedy procedure or
contacted the Prison Rape Elimination Act
(“PREA”) hotline to lodge similar allegations,
the Internal Investigation Division (“IID”)
investigated them and concluded that they were unfounded and
possibly a product of Mekuria's delusional disorder.
(Defs.' Resp. Ex. 2, ECF No. 6-2; id. Ex. 5 at
2-28, 42- 55, ECF No. 6-5; Rozas Decl. ¶ 4, ECF No.
is assigned to the SNU for purposes of providing him access
to psychology staff and to insure that he is “less
likely to present a safety risk to himself and to
others.” (Liller Decl. ¶¶ 7-8). Liller
explains that the correctional officers assigned to work at
the SNU are provided with special training to deal with
inmates who suffer from mental illness like Mekuria.
(Id.). Liller further explains that inmates housed
in the SNU meet monthly with psychology staff to discuss
their concerns and treatment options; such meetings are not
provided to general population inmates. (Id. ¶
only named Defendant, Adams, states under oath that he did
what he could to promote Mekuria's safety and welfare and
that he never stole any of Mekuria's property. (Adams
Decl. ¶¶ 6, 8, ECF No. 6-3). Adams also explains
that he no longer works in the SNU, (Id. ¶ 1),
and, consequently, no longer has any contact with Mekuria,
obviating any need for injunctive relief to prevent
Mekuria's contact with Adams.
does not offer any evidence to rebut the assertions in
DPSCS's Response and its accompanying documentation.
Indeed, Mekuria's December 27, 2017 correspondence (ECF
No. 7) and Amended Complaint (ECF No. 9) repeat many of the
same allegations and attempt to bring new ones against
persons not party to this suit. Put simply, they are not
responsive to DPSCS's assertions and evidence.
Mekuria has not put forth any evidence to satisfy the
necessary elements for imposing a preliminary injunction. The
Court, therefore, concludes that a preliminary injunction is
not warranted in this case. ...