United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Plaintiff Edward Conaway, a Maryland Division of Correction
(“DOC”) prisoner currently confined at Western
Correctional Institution (“WCI”), seeks
compensatory damages against Harford County Detention Center
(“HCDC”) Warden Michael Capasso and HCDC employee
Sgt. Danny Haslup. Conaway alleges that while detained on
cell restriction at HCDC, he was denied showers by Haslup for
up to 17 days, beginning on October 31, 2016. ECF
have responded by filings a Motion to Dismiss or, in the
Alternative, for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 8), which Conaway
has opposed. ECF No. 10. After considering the pleadings,
exhibits, and applicable law, the Court now rules pursuant to
Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016), as a hearing on the Motion is
deemed unnecessary. For reasons to follow, Defendants'
Motion is GRANTED.
parties do not dispute that while detained at HCDC, Conaway
was placed on the Restrictive Housing Unit due to
misbehavior, including threats, assaults on personnel, and
destruction of property. ECF 8-2, Kahler Affd., ¶¶
3, 6. Conaway remained in restrictive housing until his
transfer to the Baltimore City Jail on November 17, 2016. ECF
No. 10, p. 2.
claims he was denied showers from October 31, 2016 until his
November 17, 2016 transfer. This claim is only partly
disputed by Lt. Sean Kahler, who avers that on October 29,
2016, Conaway's opportunity to shower was cut short after
he threatened staff, and that on November 2, 2016, Conaway
was permitted to shower. ECF No. 8-2, Kahler Affd., ¶¶
avers that Conaway received a handbook explaining the
grievance system when he entered HCDC on July 11, 2016, and
that Conaway did not file a grievance concerning the denial
of showers. ECF No. 82, ¶¶ 9, 11. In his opposition
response, Conaway states he wrote 10 grievance complaints
concerning a lack of showers and toiletries. ECF No. 10, p.
Court is mindful of its obligation to liberally construe the
pleadings of pro se litigants. See Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Nonetheless, liberal
construction does not mean that this Court can ignore a clear
failure in the pleading to allege facts which set forth a
cognizable claim, Weller v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990), or “conjure
up questions never squarely presented.” Beaudett v.
City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985). In
making this determination, "[t]he district court... must
hold the pro se complaint to less stringent standards than
pleadings drafted by attorneys and must read the complaint
liberally." White v. White, 886 F.2d 721,
722-723 (4th Cir. 1989). Given this standard, the Court has
construed Conaway's allegation concerning the denial of
showers as a conditions of confinement claim.
defendant seeks dismissal or, in the alternative, summary
judgment, the Court may use its discretion, under Rule 12(d),
to determine whether to consider matters outside the
pleadings. See Kensington Volunteer Fire Dep't., Inc.
v. Montgomery Cty., 788 F.Supp.2d 431, 436-37 (D. Md.
2011), aff'd sub nom., Kensington Volunteer Fire
Dep't., Inc. v. Montgomery Cty., 684 F.3d 462 (4th
Cir. 2012). Pursuant to Rule 12(d), “[w]hen matters
outside the pleading are presented to and not excluded by the
court, the 12(b)(6) motion shall be treated as one for
summary judgment and disposed of as provided in Rule
56.” Laughlin v. Metro. Wash. Airports Auth.,
149 F.3d 253, 260-61 (4th Cir. 1998) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P.
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has
outlined two requirements for when a motion to dismiss may be
converted to a motion for summary judgment: (1) the
“parties [must] be given some indication by the court
that it is treating the 12(b)(6) motion as a motion for
summary judgment” and (2) “the parties
‘first [must] be afforded a reasonable opportunity for
discovery.'” Greater Balt. Ctr. for Pregnancy
Concerns, Inc. v. Mayor of Balt., 721 F.3d 264, 281 (4th
Cir. 2013) (quoting Gay v. Wall, 761 F.2d 175, 177
(4th Cir. 1985)). When the motion is expressly captioned as a
motion to dismiss or in the alternative a motion for summary
judgment and matters outside of the pleadings are submitted,
the parties are deemed to have sufficient notice that
conversion may be granted. See Moret v. Harvey, 381
F.Supp.2d 458, 464 (D. Md. 2005). “[T]he party opposing
summary judgment ‘cannot complain that summary judgment
was granted without discovery unless that party has made an
attempt to oppose the motion on the grounds that more time
was needed for discovery.'” Harrods Ltd. v.
Sixty Internet Domain Names, 302 F.3d 214, 244 (4th Cir.
2002) (quoting Evans v. Techs. Applications & Serv.
Co., 80 F.3d 954, 961 (4th Cir. 1996). Here, Conaway has
not filed an affidavit or otherwise requested discovery,
other than the materials that have been made available to
light of the foregoing, the Court is satisfied that it is
appropriate to address Defendants' dispositive Motion as
one for summary judgment, because matters outside of the
pleadings will be considered. See Bosiger v. U.S.
Airways, 510 F.3d 442, 450 (4th Cir. 2007).
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a), the Court must grant summary judgment if
the moving party demonstrates there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact, and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. In reviewing a motion for
summary judgment, the Court must draw all justifiable
inferences in favor of the non-movant. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986) (citing
Adickes v. S. H. Kress & Co.,398 U.S. 144,
158-59 (1970)). Once a motion for summary judgment is
properly made and supported, the opposing party has the
burden of showing that a genuine dispute exists.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). Whether a fact is considered to be
“material” is determined by the substantive law,
and “[o]nly disputes over ...