United States District Court, D. Maryland
RODNEY B. GAINEY, Plaintiff,
WARDEN CAPASSO, Defendant.
Xinis, United States District Judge.
Plaintiff Rodney B. Gainey, who was previously incarcerated
at the Harford County Detention Center (“HCDC”)
in Bel Air, Maryland, brings this civil action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendant Michael Capasso, Warden
of HCDC. See ECF Nos. 1, 3, 7. Through his
Complaint filed on May 9, 2017, amended on May 31, 2017, and
supplemented six times, Gainey seeks $100, 000 in monetary
damages for Defendant's alleged deprivation of his
constitutional rights. Id.; ECF Nos. 10-14.
December 18, 2017, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in
the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 18.
Gainey was released from HCDC in November, 2017 (ECF No. 17).
The Court had informed Gainey that, pursuant to Roseboro
v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), the failure
to file a response in opposition to the Defendant's
Motion could result in dismissal of the Complaint. ECF No.
19. Gainey did not respond. After review of the record,
exhibits, and applicable law, the Court deems a hearing
unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016).
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss shall be granted.
his arrest on “several Maryland felony and
misdemeanor” charges, Gainey appeared in Harford County
District Court on January 9, 2017, where he was to be
formally advised of his rights. ECF No. 1, p.
The case was continued to the following day prior to
advisement, and Gainey was released on bail. On January 26,
2017, Gainey appeared with private counsel and was remanded
to the Harford County Sheriff “on an unrelated
offense.” Id. Gainey's District Court
hearing took place on March 22, 2017, at which time he was
offered an opportunity to proceed to trial in District Court
without counsel, accept the State's Attorney's offer
to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of one year and
one day, or request a jury trial which would result in
transferring the cases to the Circuit Court. Id.;
ECF No. 1, p. 2.
originally filed his Complaint on May 15, 2017, ECF No. 1,
and amended it on May 31, 2017, stating, in relevant part,
that he “attempted to make contact with the Office of
the Public Defender through Harford County Detention
Center's institutional mail system and grievance
system.” ECF No. 3, p. 3. Gainey claimed that
“[t]hese attempts were futile until a family member
contacted the Public Defender.” Id. By
Memorandum Opinion and Order dated June 8, 2017, this Court
directed Gainey “to amend his complaint against Warden
Capasso with regard to the delay in outgoing mail, ”
noting that “[a]n unreasonable delay in delivery or
mailing general mail within a prison may state a cognizable
claim.” ECF No. 5, pp. 4-5.
22, 2017, Gainey filed his First Supplement, alleging that
Defendant and the staff at HCDC failed to give him “the
proper means to contact the Public Defender.” ECF No.
7, p. 3. Gainey stated that he requested, received, and
submitted three separate forms to HCDC staff for the purpose
of obtaining legal representation through the Harford County
Public Defender, and also sent a personal letter, but was
unable to contact counsel in time for his trial on March 22,
2017. Id. at pp. 1-3. Gainey alleges that the delay
in processing his mail at HCDC played a major role in denying
[him] counsel and due process of the law.” Id.
at p. 3.
12, 2018, Gainey filed his Second Supplement, alleging that
Defendant neglected to allow the Harford County Public
Defender to “readily vet inmates properly and in a
timely manner” during the inmates' first appearance
before a County Commissioner, resulting in a violation of his
due process rights. ECF No. 10.
19, 2018, Gainey filed his Third Supplement, claiming that
Defendant and his staff further denied Gainey his
constitutional right to counsel when they failed to present
him during the Public Defender's visit to HCDC on January
9, 2017. ECF No. 11. According to Gainey, HCDC staff
mistakenly presented in his place an inmate with the last
name of “Gaines.” Id.
August 14, 2017, Gainey filed his Fourth Supplement, alleging
that HCDC violated his right to privacy by refusing to allow
through the mail letters enclosed in an envelope. ECF No. 12.
Gainey also stated that while at HCDC, he was
“hindered” from speaking to his attorney over the
phone after a sergeant “chose to take phones for an
undetermined amount of time . . . as punishment” for
other inmates who violated facility rules. Id.
September 25, 2017, Gainey filed his Fifth Supplement,
informing the Court that the Finance Officer at HCDC did not
file an account statement on his behalf, as directed, and
that he was “violently attacked unprovoked” after
HCDC staff housed him with a violent inmate. ECF No. 13.
Gainey stated his belief that the latter “was done in
retaliation for the filing of the civil suit” and that
“in the process, the Defendant is further responsible
for violating [his] civil right by causing . . . this cruel
and unusual punishment.” Id.
filed his Sixth Supplement on October 3, 2018. ECF No. 14. In
that pleading, Gainey alleged that there had been a delay in
medical treatment following the assault he suffered on
September 19, 2017. Id. Gainey stated that he
received sutures to help close a wound, and that a follow-up
was scheduled for 10 days, but was instead postponed to 15
days later. Id. He added that he had filed an
institutional grievance for each of his complaints, but had
not received any reply. Id.
Standard of Review
reviewing a complaint in light of a motion to dismiss
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the Court accepts all well-pleaded
allegations of the complaint as true and construes the facts
and reasonable inferences derived therefrom in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff. Venkatraman v. REI Sys.,
Inc., 417 F.3d 418, 420 (4th Cir. 2005); Ibarra v.
United States, 120 F.3d 472, 474 (4th Cir. 1997). To
survive a motion to dismiss, “a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. Although
courts should construe pleadings of self-represented
litigants liberally, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S.
89, 94 (2007), ...