United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
above-captioned case was opened on February 1, 2018 upon
receipt of correspondence from Edward Conaway alleging he was
forcibly medicated on one occasion while housed at the
Harford County, Maryland Detention Center. ECF No. 1. The
correspondence, requesting money damages against the
contractual health care provider, Correct Care Solutions
(“CCS”) and two members of its staff, Licensed
Practical Nurse Keisha Sylvester and Dr. Raju, was opened as
a civil rights Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. To date, service has not been accepted on
behalf of Defendant Dr. Raju. ECF No. 11.
Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative for Summary Judgment
filed by CCS and Sylvester, ECF No. 15,  prompted
Conaway's opposition response. ECF 17. For reasons noted
herein, the Motion is denied, subject to renewal upon
supplementation following service of process on Dr. Raju.
alleges that on October 21, 2016, Sylvester and Raju forcibly
medicated him while he was restrained at the Harford County
Maryland Detention Center. Conaway told Raju he did not want
to speak with him, and also told Raju and Sylvester that he
was allergic to certain psychiatric medication and did not
want to be medicated. Raju then ordered Sylvester to inject
Conaway with medication, causing an allergic reaction
including muscle spasms in the neck, shortness of breath,
loss or changes in vision, and difficulty in swallowing.
Sylvester provide 112 pages of unauthenticated medical
records in support of their dispositive Motion, which
contains no affidavit or declaration from Sylvester. As
previously noted, Dr. Raju, who allegedly gave the order that
Conaway be medicated against his will, is not yet served with
Court is mindful of its obligation to liberally construe the
pleadings of pro se litigants. See Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Nonetheless, liberal
construction does not mean that this Court can ignore a clear
failure in the pleading to allege facts which set forth a
cognizable claim, Weller v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990), or “conjure
up questions never squarely presented.” Beaudett v.
City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985). In
making this determination, A[t]he district court... must hold
the pro se complaint to less stringent standards than
pleadings drafted by attorneys and must read the complaint
liberally.@ White v. White, 886 F.2d 721, 722-723
(4th Cir. 1989).
defendant seeks dismissal or, in the alternative, summary
judgment, the Court may use its discretion, under Rule 12(d),
to determine whether to consider matters outside the
pleadings. See Kensington Volunteer Fire Dep't., Inc.
v. Montgomery Cty., 788 F.Supp.2d 431, 436-37 (D. Md.
2011), aff'd sub nom., Kensington Volunteer Fire
Dep't., Inc. v. Montgomery Cty., 684 F.3d 462 (4th
Cir. 2012). Pursuant to Rule 12(d), “[w]hen matters
outside the pleading are presented to and not excluded by the
court, the 12(b)(6) motion shall be treated as one for
summary judgment and disposed of as provided in Rule
56.” Laughlin v. Metro. Wash. Airports Auth.,
149 F.3d 253, 260-61 (4th Cir. 1998) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P.
Court is satisfied that it is appropriate to address the
dispositive Motion as one for summary judgment, because
matters outside of the pleadings will be considered. See
Bosiger v. U.S. Airways, 510 F.3d 442, 450 (4th Cir.
2007). Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a), the Court must grant summary
judgment if the moving party demonstrates there is no genuine
issue as to any material fact, and the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. In reviewing a
motion for summary judgment, the Court must draw all
justifiable inferences in favor of the non-movant.
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)). Once a motion for summary judgment
is properly made and supported, the opposing party has the
burden of showing that a genuine dispute exists.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). 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.
allegations focus on a period during which he was a pretrial
detainee. The constitutional protections afforded a pre-trial
detainee as provided by the Fourteenth Amendment are
co-extensive with those provided by the Eighth Amendment,
see Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535 (1979), and
are “at least as great as the Eighth Amendment
protections available to the convicted prisoner.”
Hill v. Nicodemus, 979 F.2d 987, 991 (4th Cir.
1992), citing Martin v. Gentile, 849 F.2d 863, 870
(4th Cir. 1988). The Fourteenth Amendment ensures that states
will provide not only for the medical needs of those in penal
settings, but for anyone restricted by a state from obtaining
medical care on his own. See DeShaney v. Winnebago,
489 U.S. 189, 200 (1989); Youngberg v. Romeo, 457
U.S. 307, 324 (1982). In the context of forced psychiatric
medication, Conaway arguably had a “'significant
constitutionally protected liberty interest in avoiding the
unwarranted administration of antipsychotic
drugs.'” Sell v. United States, 539 U.S.
166, 178 (2003), quoting Washington v. Harper, 494
U.S. 210, 221 (1990). Thus, his allegation of forced
medication “constitutes a deprivation of liberty in the
most literal and fundamental sense, ” United States
v. Bush, 585 F.3d 806, 813 (4th Cir. 2009), and CCS and
Sylvester are not entitled to summary judgment as a matter of
limited circumstances, when resolving a Rule 12(b)(6) motion,
a court may consider documents beyond the complaint without
converting the motion to dismiss to one for summary judgment.
Goldfarb v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore,
791 F.3d 500, 508 (4th Cir. 2015). In particular, a court may
properly consider documents that are “explicitly
incorporated into the complaint by reference and those
attached to the complaint as exhibits . . . .”
Goines, 822 F.3d at 166 (citations omitted); see
also U.S. ex rel. Oberg v. Pennsylvania Higher Educ.
Assistance Agency, 745 F.3d 131, 136 (4th Cir. 2014);
Anand v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, 754 F.3d 195,
198 (4th Cir. 2014); Am. Chiropractic Ass'n v. Trigon
Healthcare, Inc., 367 F.3d 212, 234 (4th Cir. 2004);
Phillips v. LCI Int'l Inc., 190 F.3d 609, 618
(4th Cir. 1999).
a party fails to properly support an assertion of fact or
fails to properly address another party's assertion of
fact as required by Rule 56(c), the court may: (1) give an
opportunity to properly support or address the fact; (2)
consider the fact undisputed for purposes of the motion; (3)
grant summary judgment if the motion and supporting
materials--including the facts considered ...