United States District Court, D. Maryland
K. Bredar, Chief Judge
before the court is an unopposed motion to dismiss or, in the
alternative, motion for summary judgment filed by
defendants. ECF No. 26. Upon review of the pleadings
filed, the court finds a hearing in this matter unnecessary.
See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons
stated below, defendants' dispositive motion will be
Edward Allen, a former inmate, filed this civil rights
complaint alleging that during the 8-4 shift on January 21,
2016, while housed at the Eastern Correctional Institution
(ECI), Correctional Officer Mister demanded a search of
Allen's disciplinary segregation cell. Allen claims this
occurred because Allen was found not guilty in a prior
administrative hearing presumably triggered by Mister's
writing a rule infraction. Allen states that, per protocol,
he was handcuffed at the hands and feet and removed from his
cell. He contends that he exchanged words with Correctional
Officer Sturgis and Sturgis slammed Allen's head into the
concrete several times. Allen alleges that Sturgis later
slammed his head again, possibly causing his shoulder to
break or his rotator cuff to tear. He further asserts that
Correctional Officers Sturgis and Collins took turns kneeing
him in that back and then, with the help of Lieutenants
Bromley and Daugherty, as well as Correctional Officer
Mister, beat him, cut off his clothes, put a bag over his
head and placed him in a cell, naked, for several days. Allen
alleges that his face was bleeding and swollen with a gash
over his nose and he had a bleeding toe, broken or sprained
shoulder, and cuts and bruises all over his body from head to
feet. He claims that he was placed in a cell with a broken
window during the first snow storm in January of 2016 and was
not given food, toiletries, or needed medical
attention. ECF No. 1, pp. 5-6. Allen claims he was
assigned to the cell for one week, and was only give a snack
and toilet paper “after many hours, more than a day . .
. .” He appears to claim that he sent a note to his
family, who complained to Warden Green and Sergeant Holmes,
but no changes were made or investigation conducted. Allen
seeks punitive damages to be determined (TBD), but sets out
the amount of $50, 000.00 in damages. Id., p. 8.
states under oath that on January 21, 2016, while escorting
an ECI inmate back to his cell, he noticed a “fishing
line” being pulled from cell 4-B-14 to cell 4-B-20.
Mister removed the note or “kite” from the line
and Allen, who was housed in cell 4-B-14 asked Mister
“why did you take my kite; I don't have problems
with you.” ECF No. 26-4, Mister Decl. Mister affirms
that he opened the note, which read:
“Haw Cuzz Dis what I wanted to holla achu about I know
ya come off real soon I got blades 4 sell, I usually sell
‘em $15 unsharpen $20 sharpen but I'll sell ya one
already made up for 25 flagz cuzz dis deal is for you no one
else keep between us.”
ECF No. 26-4, Mister Decl., ¶ 4.
affirms that he wrote a ticket against Allen for Rule #406
and #105 violations, which entail the possession of or
passing contraband. Mister maintains that at no time has he
or any other officer in his presence retaliated against
Allen. Id., ¶ 5 & ECF No. 26-5. Allen was
found guilty of both rule violations and sentenced to a
cumulative 90-day segregation period and received an
indefinite suspension of his visitation privileges. ECF No.
January 22, 2016, Allen received another infraction from
Sturgis for violating Rules #104, #105, and #400. The
infraction was based upon the following incident. On January
21, 2016, Allen was being escorted back to his cell following
a cell search by Sturgis and Collins. According to the
infraction notice, Allen became verbally abusive and
attempted to pull away from the correctional officers. ECF
No. 26-6, ECF No. 26-11, Sturgis Decl., ECF No. 26-12,
Collins Decl., ECF No. 26-13, Daugherty Decl. Allen was
guided to the ground and, after leg irons were applied, he
was assisted to his feet and placed in cell 4-B-1, where he
again resisted staff and once more had to be guided to the
floor. He was placed on Staff Alert Level I status. ECF No.
26-6 & ECF No. 26-20. Allen's clothing had to be cut
off due to his non-compliance with orders and he stated:
“I get out in six months and I'm gonna come kill
all you Mother Fucker[s]!” The infraction noted that
two fingernail clippers were found in Allen's right sock
during the search. Staff left the cell without further
incident and Allen was informed he would be receiving an
infraction. Allen was found guilty of Rule #104 and #400
violations and received 90 days'
segregation. ECF No. 26-6.
use-of-force investigation report reveals that after the
incident, Allen complained of left shoulder pain, and medical
staff was contacted and responded to the unit. Nurse Fenoch
reported that Allen was awake, alert, and oriented, able to
rotate his left shoulder and fingers, and denied numbness or
tingling. ECF No. 26-7; see also ECF No. 26-9,
Whitelock Decl. and ECF No. 26-17, Enoch Decl. Allen was
prescribed a five-day regimen of Motrin and was seen again on
January 30, 2016, for complaints of facial and shoulder
discomfort. Enoch noted “healed areas noted to bridge
of nose” and that Allen was able to close and open his
mouth. Allen was seen the following months for complaints of
left shoulder, lower back, and jaw pain. X-rays were ordered,
but Allen was transferred out of ECI before the radiology
tests were done. ECF No. 26-18.
taken at the time of the incident indicate that a mesh bag (a
spit mask) was placed on Allen's head. ECF No. 26-7.
Digital Video Discs (DVD) provided show Allen being escorted
by correctional officers, attempting to pull away from the
escort, being taken to the ground, becoming verbally abusive,
having a spit mask placed on his head as a precaution, and
complaining of shoulder pain and the need to stretch his
shoulder. The DVD further reveals a prison nurse arriving to
evaluate Allen's left shoulder discomfort, a correctional
officer explaining the procedures and protocols involving
Staff Alert Level I status to Allen, Allen's clothing
being cut off and his being secured in the cell. ECF No.
26-8. In another DVD, captioned as the “cell search
escort, ” Allen is shown being escorted on the B Unit.
ECF No. 26-22.
of Force incidents were investigated by the Internal
Investigative Division (IID) of the Department of Public
Safety and Correctional Services. ECF No. 26-21 & ECF No.
26-22. No. evidence was found to support the claims of
Standard for ...