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Salisbury v. Anne Arundel County Detention Facility

United States District Court, D. Maryland

August 21, 2018



          Catherine C. Blake, United States District Judge.

         In response to this civil rights complaint, defendants Anne Arundel County Detention Facility (AACDF), Anne Arundel County, Maryland, Pamela Zimmerman, and Michael Okacha filed a motion to dismiss or in the alternative for summary judgment. ECF 7. Plaintiff was informed by the court, pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), that the failure to file a response in opposition to the motion filed by defendants could result in dismissal of the complaint. ECF 8. Plaintiff has not filed an opposition to the motion. The court finds no need for a hearing. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons that follow, defendants' motion, construed as a motion for summary judgment, shall be GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Plaintiffs Claims

         Plaintiff Andre Salisbury alleges in his unverified complaint that while incarcerated at the AACDF he was discriminated against by Pamela Zimmerman and Mike Okacha and his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act violated. ECF 1 at p. 2. Plaintiff is a paraplegic and has been confined to a wheelchair since November of 2006. ECF 1-1. He claims that he was lied to about being able to work as a trustee; that when he asked about working he was told that he was not cleared, which he alleges was untrue. ECF 1 at p. 2. Id. He claims that working would have reduced his sentence. Id.

         As relief, he seeks a change in policy, the crediting of "industrial days [he] should [have] earned," and unspecified compensatory damages for "mental anguish for present and future treatment." ECF 1 at p. 3.

         B. Defendants' Response

         Defendants argue that the AACDF is not a legal entity amenable to suit. Further, they claim that plaintiff was not discriminated against under the ADA.

         Pamela Zimmerman, Case Manager for the Anne Arundel County Department of Detention Facilities, avers that Michael Okacha is her supervisor, and that she is familiar with the Trustee Program offered at AACDF. ECF 7-2 at ¶¶ 2 & 3. Zimmerman was plaintiffs case manager during his incarceration at the AACDF facility at Ordnance Road. Id. at ¶ 5. Corizon Health was the medical provider at the Ordnance Road facility at that time. Id.

         Zimmerman explains that the Trustee Program permits inmates to work jobs in exchange for reductions or diminution of their sentences. ECF 7-2 at ¶ 3. In order to participate in the program, an inmate must be medically cleared by AACDF's medical provider. Id. at ¶ 4. Eligibility to participate in the program is based upon medical clearance as well as an inmate's classification status which must be minimum security or lower. Id. Zimmerman explains that the classification status can change and is determined by the inmate's behavior as well as their criminal history. Id.

         While housed at the AACDF at Ordnance Road, plaintiff requested to participate in the program. ECF 7-2 at ¶ 5. Zimmerman reviewed plaintiffs request and noted that he did not have a medical clearance from Corizon Health but was otherwise qualified to participate in the program. Id. at ¶ 6. Zimmerman discussed with plaintiff his participating in the program and advised him that once he was cleared by Corizon Health, he could begin to work in the program as either an Inmate Observation Aide or Library Assistant Inmate Worker, positions which could accommodate an inmate in a wheelchair. Id. at ¶ 7. Plaintiff was told that once he was medically cleared, he could be transferred to the AACDF's Jennifer Road Correctional Center to work in either of those positions. Id. Zimmerman specifically denies that plaintiffs wheelchair was a factor in his qualifying to participate in the program. Id. at ¶ 6. She further denies that he was held to a different standard from other inmates and affirms that the only thing that prevented plaintiff's assignment to the program was his lack of medical clearance, a requirement that all inmates must satisfy in order to participate in the program. Id. at ¶ 9.

         At an unspecified time, plaintiff was transferred to another housing unit and assigned a different Case Manager and Supervisor. ECF 7-2 at ¶ 8. On an unspecified date, he received his medical clearance and was approved to participate in the Trustee Program with a scheduled start date of December 15, 2017. Id. His participation in the Trustee Program will result in his receiving "a day-for day diminution of his sentence." Id.


         Defendants' motion is styled as a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) or, in the alternative, for summary judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. A motion styled in this manner implicates the court's discretion under Rule 12(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Kensington Vol. Fire Dep't, Inc. v. Montgomery Cty.,788 F.Supp.2d 431, 436-37 (D. Md. 2011). Ordinarily, a court "is not to consider matters outside the pleadings or resolve factual disputes when ruling on a motion to dismiss." Bosiger v. U.S. Airways,510 F.3d 442, 450 (4th Cir. 2007). However, a court, in its discretion, may convert the motion into one for summary judgment. Id. If the court does so, "the motion must be treated as one for ...

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