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Dorsey v. Stouffer

United States District Court, D. Maryland

November 29, 2018

TERRY L. S. DORSEY, #193-579, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL STOUFFER, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          George L. Russell, III United States District Judge.

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Defendants Michael Stouffer, Frank Bishop, Jr., Richard Roderick, and Charlotte Zies's Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 14). 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.

         I. BACKGROUND[1]

         Plaintiff Terry L. S. Dorsey is currently incarcerated at the North Branch Correctional Institution (“NBCI”) in Cumberland, Maryland. (Compl. at 3, ECF No. 1).[2]

         On March 4, 2014, Gregg Hershberger, the former Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (“DPSCS”), signed NBCI Information Bulletin (“IB”) #02-14, creating the security designation of Maximum Level II, effective immediately. (See Zies Decl. at ¶ 4, ECF No. 14-4; see also NBCI IB #02-14, ECF No. 14-5). The following criteria determine Maximum Level II security suitability:

a. Serious assault on staff or inmate within the past five years;
b. Escape from Secure Confinement housing;
c. Incident resulting in a death of another while incarcerated;
d. Sexual assault on staff or inmate while incarcerated; and
e. Verified behavior detrimental to the operation or security of a DPSCS facility, to include STG [Security Threat Group] activity, within the past five years.

(NBCI IB #02-14 at 1).

         On August 7, 2014, Zies, a Correctional Case Management Specialist (“CCMS”) at NCBI since 2007, conducted an annual security review of Dorsey using a Security Reclassification Instrument (“SRI”). (See Compl. at 3; Zies Decl. ¶ 5; see also Aug. 7, 2014 SRI, ECF No. 14-6). Zies recommended that Dorsey's security level be increased from Maximum I security to Maximum II. (See Zies Decl. ¶ 6; see also Aug. 7, 2014 SRI). Zies used a “Discretionary Override” based on Dorsey's “extensive history of adjustments and his verified behavior detrimental to staff/inmates/institution, which included inciting inmates to attack a female staff member and his involvement as an accomplice to an inmate assault in a Medical holding cell in 2014.” (Zies Decl. ¶ 6; see also Mar. 3, 2014 Notice of Assignment to Administrative Segregation, ECF No. 14-7).

         On August 13, 2014, Roderick, Manager of the NBCI Case Management Unit since 2010, conducted an optional administrative review of the SRI and concurred with Zies's recommendation. (See Compl. at 4; Zies Decl. ¶ 7). On August 19, 2014, Bishop, the Warden of NBCI, reviewed Dorsey's SRI and approved the decision to reclassify him to Maximum II. (See Compl. at 4; Roderick Decl. ¶ 2, ECF No. 14-8). Dorsey was notified of the decision that same day. (See Compl. at 4).

         Dorsey contacted the case management unit to challenge the decision. (Id.). On September 16, 2018, Roderick told Dorsey that “the decision had undergone several levels of administrative review, would not be changed, and that [Dorsey's] security level would be reviewed again in August 2015.” (Id.). Subsequently, Dorsey submitted a complaint to the Inmate Grievance Office (“IGO”), IGO No. 20141871. (Roderick Decl. ¶ 9). On May 20, 2015, an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) heard the case. (Id. ¶ 10).

         On August 4, 2015, CCMS Shawn Gainer completed another SRI of Dorsey and recommended that Dorsey remain assigned to Maximum II. (See Zies Decl. ¶ 12; Roderick Decl. ¶ 11; Aug. 4, 2015 SRI, ECF No. 14-10). Zies, as the Acting Case Management Supervisor, and Jeff Nines, Assistant Warden, reviewed the SRI and both concurred with Gainer's recommendation. (See Zies Decl. ¶ 12). On August 13, 2015, Bishop approved the recommendation. (See Aug. 4, 2015 SRI). On August 12, 2015, Dorsey filed another complaint with the IGO, IGO No. 20151425, regarding the August 4, 2015 reclassification. (See Aug. 4, 2015 Appeal of Administrative Remedy Response, ECF No. 14-11).

         On August 31, 2015, the ALJ rendered her decision regarding Dorsey's first complaint, IGO Case No. 20141871, concluding that the grievance was meritorious in part and proposing that the August 2014 decision to reclassify Dorsey to Maximum II status be reversed and remanded for a new reclassification. (See IGO No. 20141871 Record at 23-24, ECF No. 14-9). DPSCS ...


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