United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
J. HAZEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Houck is incarcerated at Western Correctional Institution
(“WCI”) in Cumberland, Maryland. Houck filed this
Complaint, ECF No. 1, with a Motion for Leave to Proceed In
Forma Pauperis on January 4, 2018. ECF No. 2. The Court will
grant Houck's Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis, ECF No. 2, because it indicates that he is
claims that he is unsafe in the general prison population at
WCI because of an August 17, 2017 incident with his then
cellmate Joey Poindexter, ECF No. 9,  and because he was allegedly
improperly reassigned from protective custody
(“PC”) to the general prison population at WCI
where he has enemies who pose threats of serious harm to him,
ECF No. 1. Houck asks to be housed in a single cell
in PC or transferred to another correctional facility and
awarded damages. ECF No. 1 at 5.
before the Court are Houck's Motion for Summary Judgment,
ECF No. 14, and the Division of Correction's Motion for
Summary Judgment, ECF No. 10. Also pending before the Court are
Houck's self-styled “Motion for Settlement and
Transfer to a New Facility, ” ECF No. 25, “Motion
for Settlement for Money Judgment, ” ECF No. 26, and
numerous “supplements” and correspondence filed
by Houck, see e.g. ECF Nos. 5, 6, 7, 12, 15, 16, 22,
24, 27, 28, 29. No. hearing is necessary. Loc. R. 105.6
(D. Md. 2016). For the following reasons, Houck's Motion
for Summary Judgment, Motion for Settlement and Transfer to a
New Facility and Motion for Settlement for Money Judgment are
denied, and summary judgment is granted in favor of
November 20, 2013 hearing, the Honorable Michael J. Algeo of
the Circuit Court of Montgomery County sentenced Houck and
recommended “that the Department of Corrections take
whatever steps are necessary to house [Houck] in a secure and
safe environment” because Houck had testified against
two individuals-Trenton Robinson and Corey Yates-in a
separate criminal case. ECF No. 10-4 at 7, 8, 19, 41-42.
Besides Corey Yates and Trenton Robinson, Houck has two other
documented “enemies”: Tyree Edge and Dayvon
Irving. ECF No. 10-1 ¶ 8; see also ECF No. 10-1
at 6; ECF No. 10-4 at 4, 7-8. Houck alleges that these
individuals pose threats of serious harm to him and that they
reside in the WCI general prison population, ECF No. 15 at 3
and ECF No. 17 at 1, however none of these four documented
“enemies” is incarcerated in WCI's general
population. ECF No. 10-1 ¶ 8. Houck also alleges that
the following individuals should be on his “enemies
list” because they pose threats of serious harm to him:
Joey Poindexter, Robert Crowder, Thomas Robinson, Jordan
Kamara. ECF No. 1 at 3-4. Poindexter, Houck's former
cellmate, is now housed in PC at WCI in a housing unit
separate from the one where Houck is located. ECF No. 10-1
¶ 8. Kamara, Crowder, Robinson and Watkins are not
housed at WCI. ECF No. 10-1 ¶ 8.
August 17, 2017, Houck was placed on PC administrative
segregation after a fight with his cellmate, Joey Poindexter.
Walker Decl. ECF No. 10-1 ¶ 4. Houck's description
of this incident changed several times; first he told
WCI's Correctional Case Management Supervisor, Corey
Walker, that he had an argument with Poindexter, then that he
had a physical altercation with Poindexter, and finally, that
he had a claim under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).
ECF No. 10-1 ¶ 4.
Sergeant R. Shifflet of the Internal Investigation Division
(IID) investigated Houck's claims, ultimately found them
unsubstantiated, and closed the case on January 22, 2018. ECF
No. 10-1 ¶ 4. Shifflet found that on August 17, 2017,
Sergeant J. White heard banging in cell 5B09. White went to
the cell where he found Houck unconscious and Poindexter
standing at the back of the cell. ECF No. 10-2 at 25. Prison
medical staff arrived, placed Houck in a neck stabilization
collar, and took him to the medical unit on a stretcher. ECF
No. Id. at 27-38. Houck was given oxygen and awoke
within 2-3 minutes. Id. at 26. Houck was able to
state his name, location and DOC number. Id. at
26-28, 39. Houck informed Nurse Bernice Swan in the medical
unit, that he had been raped repeatedly over the previous few
days. Id. at 38. Houck was taken to the Emergency
Department at Western Maryland Regional Medical Center
(WMRMC) for testing per PREA protocol. Id. at 25.
Staff sealed the cell as a crime scene pending IID
investigation. ECF No. 10-2 at 27. Houck was instructed not
to remove his clothes or drink until he was seen by medical
staff at the hospital emergency room. Id. at 26, 28,
39. Detective Sergeant R. Shifflet concluded that no video
evidence existed of the assault because the incident occurred
inside the cell. Id. at 25, 27.
Wolford, a forensic nurse, examined Houck at WMRMC.
Wolford's medical notes indicate that Houck had an injury
to his face and complained of right eye and right knee pain.
ECF No. 10-2 at 19. Digital photographs were taken of
Houck's injuries. Id. at 47-48. The medical
notes indicate the presence of a blue pen mark and a small
pin point hole on his skin at the chest and small newer
abrasions on the left buttock. Id. at 20. Several
areas of dried blood were noted at the back of Houck's
undershorts. Id. at 5. Houck refused to give his
shorts or tee shirt as evidence, explaining that they would
not be returned to him if sent to the crime lab for
processing. Id. When Wolford asked whether he was
reporting a sexual assault, Houck answered “I was
choked out but yea, when I came to my pants were down so
yea.” Id. at 19. Houck added “I woke up
on the floor with officer [sic] around me over me. I was out
of breath I wasn't functioning seems like I was going to
die my pants were down my drawers were up.”
Id. Houck told her that “on August 6 and
August 8th Poindexter appropriated [sic] me about sexual
harassment” and threatened to kill him. Id.
Houck consented to a sexual assault examination. Id.
at 19, 22. Houck returned to WCI later that day, placed in
the infirmary, and assigned administrative segregation
status. ECF No. 10-2 at 25.
August 17, 2017, Shifflet individually interviewed Houck and
Poindexter. Houck told Shifflet that he was not sure what had
happened to him because he passed out during the incident.
ECF No. 10-2 at 5. Houck denied being in pain. Id.
Shiflett observed a pen mark on Houck's shirt and small
red mark on his chest. Id. Houck alleged Poindexter
had been asking him for sex all week. Id. Houck said
Poindexter attacked him because he had confronted Poindexter
about being in his locker. Id. Shifflet asked Inmate
Houck whether he had been sexually assaulted, and Houck
answered yes, but then stated he wasn't sure because he
was unconscious. Id. Houck stated that he woke up
with staff all around him rendering aid and that he realized
his pants were down a little bit but his underwear was up.
Id. Houck said he wanted Poindexter criminally
charged for the sexual advances. Id. Shifflet told
Houck that unless Poindexter admitted guilt the case would be
closed. Id. Houck stated he understood that but at
least it would be documented to possibly help get him
transferred out of Cumberland. Id. Houck declined to
provide a written statement. Id. at 44.
told Shifflet that he was defending himself after Houck had
attacked him. ECF No. 10-2 at 5, 6, 43. Poindexter said
“Houck had been acting crazy for several days by making
threats and calling him vulgar names.” Id. at
5. According to Poindexter, earlier on the day of the
incident, Houck had accused him of getting into his locker
and threatened to kill him. Id. at 5, 43. Poindexter
said “Houck had two weapons, one of which was an ink
pen.” Id. at 5. Houck “backed Poindexter
against the back wall of the cell and then stabbed Poindexter
in the right arm with the pen.” Id. Poindexter
defended himself. Id. Shifflet noted
Poindexter's injuries on his right arm were consistent
with his account of the incident. Id. at 5.
Poindexter told Shifflet that Houck had been threatening to
use PREA to get out of the facility for weeks. Id.
at 5, 43.
Swan treated Poindexter for a scratch on his right arm and
several superficial scratches to his right chest. ECF No.
10-2 at 28, 41. DOC placed him on administrative segregation
pending IID review. Id. at 28. Poindexter told Swan
that Houck had attacked him with a pen. Swan observed
Poindexter had superficial scratches on his right arm
consistent with being stabbed with a pen. Id. at 41.
Poindexter denied trying to rape or having any sexual contact
with Houck, explaining “I don't want to look at him