United States District Court, D. Maryland
Catherine C. Blake United States District Judge.
Ray Stemple is incarcerated at the Maryland Correctional
Training Center in Hagerstown, Maryland (MCTC). In this
consolidated action, Stemple alleges that defendants failed
to protect him from harm when he, was assaulted at Jessup
Correctional Institution (JO) on May 21, 2017, provided
inadequate medical care, and, after the assault, improperly
placed him in segregation housing. ECF 1, 3, 9. Defendants,
Richard J. Graham, Jr., Warden of Western Correctional
Institution ("WCI"), Denise Gelsinger, Acting
Warden of Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown
("MCI-H"), Richard Dovey, Warden of MCTC, John
Wolfe, Warden of JCI, Lt. McFarland, Lt. Roman, Captain
Roland, Sgt. Lane, and Sgt. Mooney (collectively, the State
Defendants), by their attorneys, move, pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b) to dismiss the complaint, or in the
alternative, move pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 for summary
judgment. ECF 23. Defendant Hettie Wilson, P. A., by her
counsel, separately moves for dismissal pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b) or in the alternative for summary judgment
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. ECF 35. Stemple filed
oppositions to both motions. ECF 27, 39. The State
Defendants and Wilson filed separate replies. ECF 30, 40.
Also pending are Stemple's self-titled motions to
intervene (ECF 34, 44) and to compel (ECF 41), which include
requests for appointment of counsel.
reviewed the pleadings, briefs, and exhibits, the court finds
that a hearing is unnecessary to decide the motions.
See Local R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons
set forth below, the motions to intervene (ECF 34, 44) and to
compel (ECF 41) will be denied. Defendants' dispositive
motions (ECF 23, 35) will be treated as motions for summary
judgment and GRANTED.
filed Civil Action No. CCB-17-1539 on June 2, 2017, and Civil
Action No. CCB-17-1782 on June 28, 2017. The court ordered
the cases consolidated on August 17, 2017. ECF 8. On October
18, 2017, the court dismissed defendant inmate Calvin Carter.
states that on August 16, 2016, while incarcerated at MCI-H,
he was investigated as a member of the Aryan Brotherhood
(AB), a security threat group. ECF 9 at p. 2. He explains
that two days before, on August 14, 2016, an inmate at JCI
was killed in what Stemple asserts was a conflict between
members of the AB and Dead Man Incorporated (DMI), another
security threat group. Stemple claims to not be an AB member,
and notes that he bears no tattoos or other marks associated
with the group. ECF 9-1 at p. 5; ECF 9 at p. 5.
December 5, 2016, Stemple was transferred to WCI where he was
housed "behind door" until May 5, 2017, when he was
sent to JCI. ECF 9 at p. 2; see also Traffic
History, ECF 23-6 at p. 4 (showing Stemple's assignment
to administrative segregation at WCI). Stemple alleges that
DMI gang members at WCI who had been at MCI-H assumed he was
a member of AB because he had been housed with AB members.
ECF 9 at pp. 5, 6. When Stemple questioned his housing
situation at WCI, Stemple alleges that Lieutenant McFarland
told him that "MCI-H has placed a very big bull's
eye on his back." ECF 9 at p. 5; ECF 9-1 at p. 5.
alleges that on May 4, 2017, at 1:00 a.m. he was told that he
was being transferred to JCI. ECF at p.6. Stemple refused to
pack his belongings and asked to see a lieutenant because JCI
was where it "all started." ECF 9 at p. 6. The
unidentified correctional officer returned and said that he
had been mistaken, Stemple was going to MCTC. The following
day, Stemple was sent to MCTC, where he was placed on a bus
and transferred to JCI. ECF 9 at p. 6.
alleges that when he arrived at JCI "the intel stated to
me this was a no DMI compound." ECF 1 at p. 2. Sergeant
Lane told him that no DMI members were allowed at JCI. ECF 9
at p. 6. Stemple asserts that even though he did not sign a
body waiver consenting to placement in the general prison
population at JCI, he was placed in the general population.
ECF 1 at pp. 2-3; ECF 9 at pp. 2, 6; see also
Traffic History ECF 23-6 at p. 4 (indicating general
population housing). Stemple avers that he told Sergeant
Mooney three times that he had "issues" with his
cellmate Calvin Carter, who claimed he was a friend of the
DMI inmate who was killed at JCI. ECF 9 at p. 7; ECF 9-1 at
p. 3. Mooney promised to talk to Stemple, but never did. ECF
9 at p. 7; ECF 9-1 at p. 3.
claims that on May 21, 2017, Carter stabbed him three times
in the shoulder. Stemple was sent to the University of
Maryland Medical System (UMMS) Shock Trauma Center for
treatment. ECF 1 at p, 1. Stemple claims he was used as a
"lab rat" to see whether it was safe for other AB
inmates to come off protective custody. ECF 9 at p. 2; ECF 1
at p. 3.
Stemple returned from UMMS on May 21, 2017, he was placed on
administrative segregation at JCI, and he alleges his medical
needs were not addressed there. ECF 9 at pp. 7-8; ECF 1 at p.
2. Stemple alleges Lieutenant Roman and Captain Roland
assured him he would "stay behind door" until he
healed. ECF 9 at pp. 7-8. Stemple claims he had to argue with
the correctional officers to have his bandages changed
because they told him there was no paperwork. Stemple asserts
he was never given paperwork to sign putting him on
protective custody and "yet they thought I was in
hospital." ECF 9 at p. 9.
alleges that he was denied medical care from May 22, 2017 to
July 21, 2017. ECF 9-1 at p. 3. He alleges that he went
without any medical care for over 33 days as of June 24,
2017. ECF 9 at p. 7-8. He claims that he did not receive his
chronic care medications, had to clean his own stab wounds,
and received no medication to alleviate his pain. ECF 9 at p.
8. He asserts he was denied access to a physician, causing
him to suffer numbness in his hands and arms, pain in his
shoulders, and unspecified issues regarding his neck. ECF 9
at pp. 8-9. He claims he attempted to file administrative
remedy procedure requests (ARP) about his medical concerns,
but correctional officers at JCI told him that they must be
signed by a lieutenant or a higher ranking officer. ECF 9 at
p. 8. Stemple alleges that Defendant Wilson told him that she
cannot treat his stab wounds or provide him medications. ECF
9 at p. 8.
seeks damages for pain, suffering, and future medical bills.
He asks to be provided medical care by an outside physician.
ECF 9-1 at p. 6; ECF 9 at p. 10. In his "Motion to
Compel" Stemple appears to ask the court to hold Wilson
liable for failing to respond beyond his chronic care needs
for headaches and lower back pain and to address his issues
arising from his May 21, 2017 stabbing. ECF 41 at pp 1-2.
motions to intervene, Stemple states that after his transfer
from JCI to MCTC, he was assaulted with a razor blade on
April 9, 2018, by a "so called DMI gang member,"
and needed 8-9 stitches for the laceration on his neck. ECF
34 at p. 1; ECF 44 at p, 1. He states he is again
"behind the door." ECF 34 at p. 2. He claims his
neck and hands still go numb and he is being denied medical
care for his chronic lower back pain. ECF 34 at pp. 1, 2.
Stemple asks "the Court and the Attorney General's
Office to intervene" on his behalf to provide medical
care or a doctor. ECF 34 at pp. 1, 4. Stemple states
"MCTC has done actually nothing but sent actual DMI
members who called the shot to hit me out [sic]of MCTC. Yet
put me on a transfer list to any compound." ECF 44 at p.
1. He claims he is being denied medical care, is in pain, and
no detective has contacted him in regard to either assault.
ECF 44 at p.2. He asks for legal counsel to represent, him.
ECF 34 at p. 3.
may present his claims arising from the assault at MCTC in
his later filed case, Stemple v. Warden, Civil
Action CCB-18-2573, now pending before this court. The court
notes that Stemple acknowledges in these motions that he is
in administrative segregation housing at MCTC for his safety
and his medical record demonstrates that he has received
ongoing treatment for his chronic pain concerns. Thus, there
are at this time no extraordinary circumstances in his
motions to warrant appointment of counsel.
extent Stemple is seeking preliminary injunctive relief, he
must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits,
that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence
of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in
his favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest.
Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc. 555 U.S.
7, 20 (2008) (citing Munaf v. Geren, 553 U.S. 674,
689-90 (2008); Amoco Prod Co. v. Gambell, 480 U.S.
531, 542 (1987); Weinberger v. Romero-Barcelo, 456
U.S. 305, 311-12 (1982)); see also Real Truth About
Obama, Inc. v. Fed. Election Comm'n, 575 F.3d 342,
345 (applying the preliminary injunction standard set forth
in Winter). Stemple does not address these
standards, and for reasons apparent in this memorandum, fails
to establish he is likely to succeed on the merits.
State Defendants' Response
State Defendants filed declarations and verified copies of
Stemple's medical records with their Motion for Summary
Judgment. ECF 23. These records show that on August 16, 2016,
Stemple, then incarcerated at MCI-H, asked Lieutenant Mary
Louk to place him on administrative segregation for his
protection because he had associated with some AB members.
Louk declares that Stemple told her that due to gang violence
at another correctional institution involving AB Stemple felt
he was being targeted, was not comfortable in the general
prison population, and wanted to be placed "behind the
door." Decl. of Lieutenant Louk, ECF 23-4 ¶ 3. At
the time, Stemple was not flagged as being a gang affiliate.
ECF 23-4 ¶ 5; ECF 23-4 at p. 3. Louk explains that
members of the AB were being placed on state-wide lock-up for
safety and security reasons due to gang violence at another
facility. ECF 23-4 ¶ 4. Based on Stemple's request,
Louk wrote an administrative segregation investigation report
the same day recommending Stemple's placement on
administrative segregation pending investigation of his
safety concerns. ECF 23-4 ¶ 6; ECF 23-4 at p. 3. Stemple
was assigned to administration segregation the same day,
August 16, 2016. ECF 23-5 at 3; ECF 23-4 ¶ 7. From
December 2015 until December of 2016, when Stemple was
transferred out of MCI-H, he did not file any ARPs about
these issues. Decl. of Betty McNamee, MCI-H, ECF 23-5 ¶
December 5, 2016, Stemple was moved to WCI where he was
offered housing in the general prison population. ECF 23-6 at
p. 5; Decl. of Lieutenant McFarland, ECF No. 23-7 ¶ 4.
McFarland states Stemple was "formerly flagged as AB,
but after investigation it was determined he was tagged
erroneously and not affiliated with AB." ECF 23-7 ¶
4. Stemple told McFarland and the segregation review board
that he wanted to be placed on administrative segregation.
ECF 23-7 ¶ 4. Stemple explained that while at MCI-H he
had been "behind the door" with members of the AB.
ECF 23-7 ¶ 4; see also ECF 9 at p. 5 (asserting
that WCI housed "a lot of DMIs"). Stemple met
monthly with the segregation review board to discuss his
housing status. ECF 23-7 ¶ 5. At one meeting, Stemple
asked to be transferred from WCI to an institution where he
could live in the general population so that he could work to
earn diminution credits and pay. ECF 23-7 ¶ 6; see
also Inmate Request dated March 26, 2017, Decl. of
Tennile Winters, ECF 23-8 (requesting transfer to earn days
and pay). Stemple was informed at a subsequent meeting that
he would be transferred to JCI. ECF 23-7 ¶ 7. McFarland
declares that he did not make the decision to transfer
Stemple to JCI and, at that meeting, Stemple did not object
to the transfer. ECF 23-7 ¶¶ 7, 8.
arrived at JCI on May 5, 2017. ECF 23-6 at p. 4. Sergeant
Mooney states in his declaration that he never had any
conversations with Stemple. Decl. of Sergeant Mooney, ECF
23-15 ¶ 3. Mooney declares that before May 22, 2017, -he
had no information to lead him to believe that Stemple was in
"any particular, substantial, or extreme risk to his
health or safety by his cellmate or any other inmate."
ECF 23-15 ¶ 4. Further prison records indicate that
Calvin Carter is not a member of DMI or affiliated with any
prison gang. Decl. of Susan Shumaker, ECF 30-1 at ¶3;
see also Decl. of Warden Wolfe, ECF 23-11 ¶ 6
(declaring "[i]n May 2017, because of past gang
violence, JCI did not house any known members of the DMI
gang"). Importantly, Stemple provides no declaration,
verified exhibits, or other information to refute this
21, 2017, at approximately 1:35 p.m. correctional officers in
the dayroom in D-Building, A-wing, observed Stemple with
blood on his shirt. ECF 23-6 at p. 17. Stemple was taken
first to the prison medical department for evaluation and
then to UMMS. ECF 23-6 at pp. 18-21, 38. Stemple left JCI for
UMMS at 2:30 p.m. ECF 23-9 at pp. 76, 77, 80; ECF 23-6 at 38.
Stemple returned to JCI that evening, was examined by medical
personnel, cleared to return to custodial housing with
medical follow-up, and assigned to segregation housing
pending investigation of the assault. ECF 23-9 at pp. 12, 13;
ECF 23-6 at p. 39-40.
Dominic Bonvegna of the Internal Investigation Division (IID)
began his investigation of the stabbing on the same day as
the incident. IID Report, ECF 23-10; see also ECF
23-6 at pp. 17, 18. Bonvegna's review of the Serious
Incident Report found there was no surveillance footage of
the incident because the video camera was not working, no
weapons were found at the crime scene, and no officers had
witnessed the incident. ECF 23-10 at 7; see also ECF
23-10 at 19, ECF 23-6 at 12, 13.
October 4, 2017, when Bonvegna interviewed Stemple at MCTC,
Stemple told him that Carter had stabbed'
ECF 23-10 at p. 7. Calvin Carter denied the allegation. ECF
23-10 at 6, 7; ECF 23-6 at p. 48. Bonvegna's IID report
Stemple stated that he had confronted Inmate Carter about
taking some of his belongings. Inmate Stemple also stated
that Inmate Carter also thought he was associated with the
Aryan Brotherhood (AB).
Inmate Stemple stated that while he was at Maryland
Correctional Institution-Hagerstown, (MCI-H) he was housed
with AB members and everyone assumed that he was part of AB.
Inmate Stemple advised that he feels the prison did this on
purpose. Inmate Stemple advised that he is always housed with
AB members and he feels that because of this he was assaulted
by Inmate Carter.
ECF 23-10 at p. 7.
told Bonvegna that inmates "Shawn" and
"Squirrel" witnessed the attack. ECF 23-10 at p. 7.
Bonvegna contacted inmates Shawn Parks and Ronald Jones
("Squirrel"). Parks said he did not see the
incident, and Jones said he saw Carter stab Stemple, but was
unwilling to testify in court. ECF 23-10 at p. 7. Bonvegna
concluded that "[b]ased on the fact that there is no
surveillance video of the incident and the only witness to
the incident," Ronald Jones, was unwilling to testify,
"I request that a copy of this case be sent to the
Maryland State's Attorney's Office of Anne Arundel
County for further review." ECF 23-10 at p. 8. The case
was forwarded to the State's Attorney for Anne Arundel
County on November 30, 2017, for further evaluation. Decl. of
Britt Brengle, ECF 23-10 at p. 1. Stemple was transferred
from JCI to MCTC on July 21, 2017. ECF 23-6 at p. 4.
services are provided to inmates by a private corporation
that contracts with the Department of Public Safety and
Correctional Services. Decl. of Warden John Wolfe, ECF 23-11
¶ 2; Decl. of Warden Richard Dovey, ECF 23-12 ¶ 2.
Neither the Warden nor correctional employees are personally
involved in-providing medical care to inmates, prescribing
medications or particular treatments, or recommending a
particular treatment or procedure. An inmate can fill out a
sick call slip to request medical evaluation and treatment.
Inmate sick call slips are collected and reviewed by the
medical contractor's personnel who schedule appointment
dates. ECF 23-11 ¶ 3; ECF 23-12 ¶ 3. Wardens Wolfe
and Dovey declare that neither they nor their employees have
interfered with, hindered, or delayed medical treatment or
care to Stemple. ECF 23-11 ¶ 5; ECF 23-12 ¶ 5;
see also Decl. of Sergeant Mooney, ECF 23-15 ¶
Wilson, P.A. filed 109 pages of Stemple's medical records
in support of her dispositive motion. ECF 35-4. Wilson saw
Stemple three times: June 9, 22, and 29, 2017. ECF 35-4 at
pp. 16-18, 19-21. Stemple's medical care during the times
relevant to his complaint are summarized below.
20, 2017, Mathew Carpenter, P.A. saw Stemple for complaints
of headaches occurring every other day. Stemple reported
suffering migraine headaches his entire life and explained
that using distance vision triggers headaches. ECF 35-4 at
pp. 2, 39; Decl. of Erwin Aldana, M.D. ECF 35-5 ¶ 7.
Carpenter requested an optometry consultation for Stemple,
discontinued his headache medicine, Fioricet, and started him
on Excedrin Tension Headache. Carpenter increased
Stemple's Neurontin to treat his back pain and
discontinued his prescriptions for Baclofen and
Nortriptyline. Carpenter also ordered an x-ray of
Stemple's back and gave him information on back
exercises. ECF 35-4 at pp. 2r4.
was stabbed the next day, May 21, 2017. Jewaher Abubaker,
P.A. examined Stemple at JCI following the assault. Stemple
was bleeding profusely from two deep stab wounds to both
upper shoulders. Stemple also complained of neck pain. ECF
35-4 at p. 6. Abubaker cleaned the wounds and applied
pressure dressing to control the bleeding. Stemple was sent
to the emergency room at UMMS for evaluation and treatment,
where he was prescribed a one-time dose of Tylenol #
ECF 35-4 at pp. 6, 92. Stemple's CT scan revealed no
evidence of damage to vital organs and he was discharged with
plans for wound care and pain management, and to follow-up in
two days. ECF 35-4 at p. 9, 10. He was released back to DPSCS
with a recommendation to use Motrin or Tylenol for pain. ECF
35-5 ¶ 4.
22, 27, and 29, medical staff cleaned Stemple's wounds
and applied a dry dressing. There were no signs of infection.
ECF 35-4 at pp. 12-14, 94; ECF 35-5 ¶ 5 (stating Stemple
received wound care and cleaning for six days).
9, 2017, Wilson saw Stemple at sick call for complaints of
upper back pain from his stab wounds. ECF 35-4 at p. 16.
Stemple stated his medications were ineffective. He was taken
off Baclofen, his Neurontin was increased and he was placed
on Nortriptyline. ECF 35-4 at p. 16. Stemple said his pain
had worsened because it was not being managed with his
previous medications, which helped him, and claimed his new
injury aggravates his pain. ECF 35-4 at p. 16. Wilson
prescribed Tylenol 500 mg. and a one-time dose of Mobic for
pain relief. ECF 35-4 at p. 17.
medical notes indicate that Stemple was seen on June 22,
2017, but the changes made to his medications on that date
were not reflected in the EPHR (Electronic Personal Health
Record). On June 22, 2017, Stemple's Tylenol and Excedrin
were discontinued because they were not relieving his
headache pain. ECF 35-4 at p. 19. Because Stemple mentioned
that Fioricet had provided relief in the past, Wilson
prescribed Fioricet for him and ordered an optometry
consultation, noting his vision complaints and headaches
might be associated with a need for glasses. Stemple also was
prescribed Baclofen. Wilson discontinued Stemple's
Nortriptyline prescription because it made Stemple sick to
his stomach. Wilson renewed Stemple's other medications,
started him on fish oil for his high cholesterol, and ordered
a physical therapy consultation. ECF 35-4 at pp. 19, 21,
18, 2017, Titilayo Otunaga, N.P. saw Wilson for shoulder and
neck pain which Stemple rated as 10 out of 10. ECF 35-4 at p.
24. Otunaga observed Stemple had approximately 1 cm healed
stab wounds on both shoulders, full range of motion with
tenderness, and mild swelling at the base of the left side of
his neck at the proximal clavicle. ECF 35-4 at p. 24. Otunaga
ordered an x-ray of Stemple's left shoulder. ECF 35-4 at
p. 24. Stemple reported Tylenol and Motrin did not relieve
his pain, so Otunga increased his Baclofen to 20mg twice
daily. ECF 35-4 at pp. 24-26.
21, 2017, Stemple was transferred to MCTC. ECF 23-6 at p. 4.
August 17, 2017, Monica Stallworth, M.D., examined Stemple in
the Chronic Care Clinic at MCTC for pain management. ECF 35-4
at p. 28. She renewed his prescription for Neurontin. ECF
35-4 at p. 28. The medical records show Stemple had active
prescriptions for Fioricet and Baclofen. ECF 35-4 at p. 28.
Stallworth ordered follow-up appointments in the Neurology,
Internal Medicine, and Pain Management Clinics to be
scheduled. ECF 35-4 at pp. 30.
August 31, 2017; Stemple complained to Harlan E. Woodward,
RN, of constant and daily pain in his left shoulder
collarbone area where a knot was also visible. ECF 35-4 at p.
32. He asserted that he was experiencing constant numbness in
both of his arms and hands. ECF 35-4 at p. 32. He claimed
that he had not received treatment for these problems
stemming from his stabbing on May 21, 2017. ECF 35-4 at p.
32. Woodward's examination showed two 1/8 inch healed
scars. ECF 35-4 at p. 32. Stemple reported the area of the
scar was tender to the touch. ECF 35-4 at p. 32. There was no
swelling or heat, although sun exposure or sun burn at the
area was noted. ECF 35-4 at p. 32. The medical notes indicate
Stemple was unable to raise his left arm above shoulder
height. ECF 35-4 at p. 32. Stemple had full range of motion
(ROM) of his head and neck. ECF 35-4 at p. 32. Stemple said
he performs his activities of daily living (ADL) every day,
including dressing himself. ECF 35-4 at p. .32. Woodward
recommended Stemple ...