United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
EARL JOHNSON, JR. #252-782, 335-615 Plaintiff,
J. STEELE, JOESEPH LOHMAN STATE REP. GODLOVE Defendants.
J. HAZEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Johnson (“Plaintiff”) is incarcerated at the
Maryland Correctional Training Center (“MCTC”) in
Hagerstown, Maryland. Plaintiff filed a Complaint under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 on May 3, 2018, alleging that Defendant
Officer J. Steele falsely charged him with possession of
alcohol and that he was improperly strip searched and
harassed as a result. ECF No. 1. On May 29, 2018, the Court
granted Plaintiff twenty-eight days to supplement the
Complaint in order to explain why he named Lohman and Godlove
as Defendants and what law or constitutional provisions
Defendants violated. ECF No. 3. For the following reasons,
Plaintiff's supplement, filed on June 14, 2018, ECF No.
5, does not correct these deficiencies, and the Complaint is
claims that on June 27, 2017 and March 22, 2018, Steele
falsely charged him with possession of alcohol. As a result,
Plaintiff was placed in segregation for a total of 32 days
and lost phone and visiting privileges. ECF No. 1; ECF No. 5
at 2. Plaintiff alleges that Steele discriminated against him
because only Plaintiff, and not his cellmate, was charged
with possession of alcohol. Plaintiff further alleges that
Steele harassed him during a cell search by conducting a
strip search and breaking his TV-radio-boombox. Id.
part of his Complaint, Plaintiff filed a copy of the Notice
of Inmate Rule Violation written by Steele dated March 22,
2018, which states:
After conducting a tier check when Housing Unit 6 was out to
chow I could smell an alcohol like odor emanating from
HU-6-C-1-14. When the unit returned from chow I placed both
occupants of the cell in the rec hall until after my count
was complete. The inmates that are housed in that cell are
Brian Shelton DOC#462840 SID#42763000 and Earl Johnson
DOC#252782 SID#335615. I asked both inmates if there was any
contraband or any inmate made alcohol in the cell. Both
inmates told me that there was no contraband in the cell.
After conducting a cell search of 6-C-1-14 with Officer J.
Munson, I discovered a large trash bag of inmate made alcohol
at the foot of the bunk. Neither inmate claimed ownership of
the alcohol. The contraband was photographed and the alcohol
was testing [sic] using an alco screen test strip. Both
inmates were positively identified by their state issued
ECF No. 1-1 at 1.
Notice was approved by Joseph Lohman. Id. at 1. The
Notice charged Plaintiff with violating the following rules:
301-possession or use of alcohol without authorization;
302-possession of equipment, material or paraphernalia that
may be used for manufacturing alcohol; 406-possession or
passing contraband; and 114-possession of a controlled
substance, intoxicant, or alcohol in sufficient quantity or
packaging materials that suggests an intent to distribute or
a hearing, Hearing Officer La-Tricia Taylor issued a decision
on April 4, 2018, in which she observed that the Notice of
Rule Violation made no mention of the percentage of alcohol
in the liquid or who performed the test. ECF No. 1-2 at 5.
She therefore found Plaintiff not guilty of violating rules
114, 301, and 321. Id. Taylor noted, however, that a
photograph of the alcohol strip was presented into evidence,
showing the alcohol level at .08%. Id. at 3-5.
Plaintiff accepted an incident report on the charge of
violating rule 406. Id. at 4.
also submitted a Notice of Inmate Rule Violation involving
alcohol for an incident on June 7, 2017. ECF No. 1-4. Steele
wrote the Notice, which states in part:
I witnessed an inmate later identified as Earl Johnson DOC
#252782 SID #335615 drinking what appeared to be homemade
alcohol in the rec hall. I witnessed inmate Johnson yelling
loudly at several Ramadan inmates and inviting them to fight
him. I ordered inmate Johnson out of the rec hall and could
smell alcohol on his breath. I ordered inmate Johnson to turn
around and be handcuffed to which he complied. After inmate
Johnson was handcuffed, myself and Sgt. Calder went to inmate
Johnson's cell and discovered numerous single bottles of
homemade alcohol and one large bag of homemade alcohol. The
suspected alcohol was tested utilizing an alco-screen test
which tested at a .3% or higher range. Pictures were taken of
the homemade alcohol and the inmate was identified using his
DOC ID. Inmate Johnson was escorted to the
dispensary for medical treatment.
ECF No. 1-4 at 1. Plaintiff, who was charged with violating
rules 301, 406 and 114, pleaded guilty to Rule 406 before
Hearing Officer David Sipes pursuant to a plea agreement.
Id. at 2.
Defendants Lohman and Godlove, Plaintiff appears to allege
that Lohman discriminated against him by approving the March
22, 2018 violation without “test result
percentages” or a “chain of custody.” ECF
No. 5 at 3. Plaintiff appears to allege that Godlove
discriminated against him because she did not respond to
Plaintiff's request for her first name during the
aforementioned hearing. Id.