United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Russell, III United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on Defendants Oriyomi Boboe and
Ellwood Lyle's Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative,
Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 18). The Motion is ripe
for disposition, and no hearing is necessary. See
Local Rule 105.6 (D.Md. 2016). For the reasons outlined
below, the Court will grant the Motion in part and deny it in
April 3, 2017, while housed as a pretrial detainee at Jessup
Correctional Institution (“JCI”) in Jessup,
Maryland, Plaintiff Yahyi Shiheed was involved in
back-to-back altercations, one with Lyle and the other with
Boboe, correctional officers at JCI. (Compl. at 3, ECF No.
At approximately 6:00 p.m., as Shiheed held open the feeding
slot of his cell door, Lyle attempted to shut it.
(Id.). Unsuccessful, Lyle confiscated a pen Shiheed
was holding and used it to “stab” his arm three
times, causing “a small bleeding hole.”
(Id.). Shiheed demanded to be escorted to the
medical office for treatment. (Id.). Lyle, however,
refused. (Id.). Having become upset, Shiheed threw
milk on Boboe, who was outside of Shiheed's cell.
(Id.). Boboe responded by spraying Shiheed in the
face with pepper spray. (Id.). Lieutenant Francis
Itula then escorted Shiheed to the medical office for
treatment. (Id.). Upon release from the medical
office, Shiheed was transferred from JCI to North Branch
Correctional Institute (“NBCI”). (Id.).
9, 2017, Shiheed sued Lyle and Boboe. (ECF No. 1). He seeks
monetary damages for alleged violations of his Eighth
Amendment rights against the use of excessive force, denial
of medical care, and interference with his access to the
administrative remedy process. (Id.). On February 2,
2018, Lyle and Boboe filed a joint Motion to Dismiss or, in
the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 18).
Shiheed filed a Motion of Opposition on February 20,
2018. (ECF No. 19).
Standard of Review
style their Motion as a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6)
or, in the alternative, for summary judgment under Rule 56. A
motion styled in this manner implicates the Court's
discretion under Rule 12(d). See Kensington Volunteer
Fire Dep't, Inc. v. Montgomery Cty., 788 F.Supp.2d
431, 436-37 (D.Md. 2011), aff'd, 684 F.3d 462
(4th Cir. 2012). This Rule provides that when “matters
outside the pleadings are presented to and not excluded by
the court, the [Rule 12(b)(6)] motion must be treated as one
for summary judgment under Rule 56.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has
articulated two requirements for proper conversion of a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to a Rule 56 motion: notice and a reasonable
opportunity for discovery. See Greater Balt. Ctr. for
Pregnancy Concerns, Inc. v. Mayor of Balt., 721 F.3d
264, 281 (4th Cir. 2013). When the movant expressly captions
its motion “in the alternative” as one for
summary judgment and submits matters outside the pleadings
for the court's consideration, the parties are deemed to
be on notice that conversion under Rule 12(d) may occur.
See Moret v. Harvey, 381 F.Supp.2d 458, 464 (D.Md.
2005). The Court “does not have an obligation to notify
parties of the obvious.” Laughlin v. Metro. Wash.
Airports Auth., 149 F.3d 253, 261 (4th Cir. 1998).
summary judgment is inappropriate when “the parties
have not had an opportunity for reasonable discovery.”
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. v. Kolon Indus.,
Inc., 637 F.3d 435, 448 (4th Cir. 2011). Yet, “the
party opposing summary judgment ‘cannot complain that
summary judgment was granted without discovery unless that
party had 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)). To raise sufficiently the issue that more discovery
is needed, the non-movant must typically file an affidavit or
declaration under Rule 56(d), explaining the “specified
reasons” why “it cannot present facts essential
to justify its opposition.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(d). A Rule
56(d) affidavit is inadequate if it simply demands
“discovery for the sake of discovery.”
Hamilton v. Mayor of Balt., 807 F.Supp.2d 331, 342
(D.Md. 2011) (citation omitted). A Rule 56(d) request for
discovery is properly denied when “the additional
evidence sought for discovery would not have by itself
created a genuine issue of material fact sufficient to defeat
summary judgment.” Ingle ex rel. Estate of Ingle v.
Yelton, 439 F.3d 191, 195 (4th Cir. 2006) (quoting
Strag v. Bd. of Trs., Craven Cmty. Coll., 55 F.3d
943, 953 (4th Cir. 1995)).
the parties were on notice that the Court might resolve
Defendants' Motion under Rule 56 because Defendants
styled their Motion in the alternative for summary judgment
and presented extra-pleading material for the Court's
consideration. See Moret, 381 F.Supp.2d at 464.
Indeed, Shiheed's Motion of Opposition cites the legal
framework for assessing a motion for summary judgment as the
governing standard of review. (Pl.'s Mot. Opp'n 5-6).
While Shiheed alleges the existence of camera footage of the
parties' encounters, he has not filed an affidavit or
declaration seeking the footage in accordance with Rule
56(d). Accordingly, the Court treats Defendants' Motion
as a motion for summary judgment.
reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the Court views the
facts in a light most favorable to the nonmovant, drawing all
justifiable inferences in that party's favor. Ricci
v. DeStefano, 557 U.S. 557, 586 (2009); 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)). Summary judgment is proper when the movant
demonstrates, through “particular parts of materials in
the record, including depositions, documents, electronically
stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations
. . . admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials,
” that “there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a), (c)(1)(A).
Significantly, a party must be able to present the materials
it cites in “a form that would be admissible in
evidence, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(2), and supporting
affidavits and declarations “must be made on personal
knowledge” and “set out facts that would be
admissible in evidence, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(4).
motion for summary judgment is properly made and supported,
the burden shifts to the nonmovant to identify evidence
showing there is a genuine dispute of material fact. See
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475
U.S. 574, 586- 87 (1986). The nonmovant cannot create a
genuine dispute of material fact “through mere
speculation or the building of one inference upon
another.” Beale v. Hardy, 769 F.2d 213, 214
(4th Cir. 1985) (citation omitted).
“material fact” is one that might affect the
outcome of a party's case. Anderson, 477 U.S. at
248; see also JKC Holding Co. v. Wash. Sports Ventures,
Inc., 264 F.3d 459, 465 (4th Cir. 2001) (citing
Hooven-Lewis v. Caldera, 249 F.3d 259, 265 (4th Cir.
2001)). Whether a fact is considered to be
“material” is determined by the substantive law,
and “[o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the
outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly
preclude the entry of summary judgment.”
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248; accord
Hooven-Lewis, 249 F.3d at 265. A “genuine”
dispute concerning a “material” fact arises when
the evidence is sufficient to allow a reasonable jury to
return a verdict in the nonmoving party's favor.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. If the nonmovant has
failed to make a sufficient showing on an essential element
of her case where she has the burden of proof, “there
can be ‘no ...