United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
J. HAZEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Antonio Lucas filed this civil rights action against Warden
Ricky Foxwell, Lt. Stephen Elliott, and Correctional Officers
Shawn Lowicki, Skylar Waters, and Richard Bankard, all
employees at the Eastern Correctional Institution
(“ECI”). ECF No. 5. Lucas claims that he was
subject to unconstitutional conditions of confinement and
excessive force. Id. at 3-5. Defendants have filed a
Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary
Judgment. ECF No. 16. Although advised of his right to do so,
ECF No. 17, Lucas has not filed a response to Defendants'
dispositive Motion and the time to do so has expired. The
matter is now ripe for review. The court finds a hearing in
these matters unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D.
Md. 2016). For the reasons that follow, Defendants'
dispositive Motion, construed as a Motion for Summary
Judgment, is granted.
sworn complaint,  Plaintiff states:
That on 01/13/2017 [he] was placed in punitive segregation
based on allegations that the plaintiff was found in
possession of an object considered a weapon. . . . [T]he
plaintiff was physically assaulted while on handcuff by
Officer Bankard, Ofc. Lowicki, and Ofc. Waters inside a
mental observation strip cell because of allegations that the
plaintiff refused to take order contrary to legitimate
penological goals. The plaintiff sustained physical and
emotional injuries including but not limited to sw[o]llen
face, facial lacerations and bruises, broken jaw and extreme
anxiety. Furthermore, the plaintiff was taken to the
segregation housing unit medical unit for consultation and
photographs of the injuries were taken.
ECF No. 5 at 3-4. Lucas has attached copies of Administrative
Remedy Procedure (“ARP”) requests alleging that
the officers assaulted him; the requests were dismissed as
repetitive to a previously filed request that Lucas did not
submit to this Court. ECF No. 5-1 at 3-5.
alleges that, thereafter, he “was forced” by an
unnamed person(s) to:
sleep on the [bare] floor in a strip cell for 10 days naked
without a mattress, blanket and bedsheets under extremely
cold cell temperature with inadequate ventilation system and
unsanitary floor with excessive dust, lint particles, mold on
the wall, no toiletries and shower taken, limited food, and
toxic fumes coming out of the cell vent with very strong
ECF No. 5 at 4. Lucas asserts that, as a result of his
confinement under these conditions, he suffered
“choking sensation, labored breathing, constant cluster
migraine headaches, changed [sic] in voice, mucus full of
dust and lint, watery eyes and difficulties sleeping.”
Id. Lucas has attached a copy of an ARP request and
ARP appeal concerning the conditions of the cell. ECF No. 5-1
at 1-3. The ARP request was dismissed as repetitive, and the
appeal was dismissed with instructions to provide the
Warden's response to an earlier ARP; it is unclear from
Lucas' filings whether he complied. Id.
alleges that while he was confined under these conditions, he
placed “many sick call slips but were [sic] ignored by
the medical and psychology department.” ECF No. 5 at 4.
Lucas does not identify the individual who received his sick
call slips, nor does he name any member of the medical or
psychology department as a defendant.
to Defendants, correctional officers found a weapon on
Lucas' person on January 13, 2017. ECF No. 16-13 at 11,
13. Afterward, Defendant Bankard attempted to conduct a strip
search of Lucas, but claims Lucas refused to comply with
orders during the strip search and swung a closed fist at
Bankard. ECF No. 16-2 at 3. According to Defendants,
“Officer Bankard responded to the attempted physical
assault by placing plaintiff against the wall and taking him
down to the floor to gain his compliance. At that point,
Officer Waters handcuffed plaintiff, Officer Lowicki applied
the leg irons, and Officer Bankard removed himself from the
incident.” Id. at 3-4 (internal citation
omitted); ECF No. 16-6 at 7-8, 12-13; ECF No. 16-15 at 8-9;
see also ECF Nos. 16-18, 16-19, 16-20. Defendants
Bankard, Lowicki, and Waters denied punching or striking
Lucas, and stated that the only force they used was that
force required to restrain Lucas on the ground and handcuff
him. ECF No. 16-6 at 7-8, 12-13; ECF No. 16-15 at 8-9. After
Lucas was handcuffed, Defendant “Bankard removed
himself from the incident.” ECF No. 16-6 at 6.
Defendants state that after Waters and Lowicki escorted Lucas
to an interview booth, they also removed themselves from the
situation. Id. at 12-13.
a nurse came to evaluate Lucas, and Lucas told the nurse that
he had no injuries. Id. at 4. After Lucas was strip
searched by other officers (who are not named as Defendants),
Captain Benedict ordered that Lucas be placed on Staff Alert
Level 1 due to Lucas' attempt to punch Bankard. ECF No.
16-9 at 1. Inmates placed on Staff Alert Level 1 are limited
to “one paper gown” instead of ordinary prison
apparel, their hygiene items remain under the control of the
guards, and no mattress or sheets are permitted, among other
limitations. ECF No. 16-10. Over the next 12 days, Lieutenant
Elliott gradually reduced Lucas' Staff Alert level before
removing him from Staff Alert. ECF No. 16-9 at 2-4.
of Force (“UOF”) Report was prepared regarding
the January 13, 2017 incident. The UOF Report included
statements from the involved officers; Lucas refused to make
a statement. ECF No. 16-6 at 7-8, 12-14. The author of the
UOF Report concluded that the Defendant Officers' use of
force was “within the guidelines, polices, and
procedures as stated in the Use of Force Manual.” ECF
No. 16-6 at 4.
result of the incident, Lucas was also charged with several
inmate rule violations, including assault on staff. ECF No.
16-13 at 4-5, 7-11. At the disciplinary hearing, the hearing
officer found Lucas guilty on all charges after finding that
the officers' testimony was credible and that Lucas'
testimony that the three officers assaulted him was not
credible “based on the fact the report indicates he
refused medical treatment.” Id. at 5. Lucas
appealed the hearing officer's decision to the warden,
arguing that he only refused medical treatment “because
the officers who assaulted me was [sic] the ones who was ...