United States District Court, D. Maryland
W. Grimm United States District Judge.
are Azaniah Blankumsee's verified civil rights complaint
filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, ECF No. 1, and
Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis, ECF No. 2.
Because Blankumsee, who is incarcerated at Eastern
Correctional Institution in Westover, Maryland, demonstrates
that he is indigent, the Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma
Pauperis will be granted. Blankumsee, a frequent
self-represented litigator in this district,  faults Defendants
for failing to provide him mental competency examinations and
mental health treatment. As redress, he seeks declaratory and
filed his Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915, which allows
an indigent prisoner to commence an action in federal court
without prepaying the filing fee. To protect against abuse of
this privilege, the statute requires a court to dismiss any
claim that fails to state a claim for which relief may be
granted or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), (iii), 1915A(b)(1), (2). This Court is
mindful of its obligation to liberally construe the pleadings
of pro se litigants such as Blankumsee. See
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). In
evaluating apro se complaint, a plaintiffs
allegations are assumed to be true. Id. (citing
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). Nonetheless, liberal construction does not mean that
a court can ignore a clear failure in the pleading to allege
facts which set forth a claim cognizable in a federal
district court. See Weller v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 390-91 (4th Cir. 1990);
Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278
(4th Cir. 1985) (stating a district court may not
"conjure up questions never squarely presented").
brings this action against Judge Donald
Beachley; Judge Mark Boyer;Dayana Corcoran, Commissioner
of Corrections; Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland; and Joseph
Michael, who was the prosecutor at Blankumsee's
trial. Blankumsee alleges that "Beachley,
and Michaels, [sic] elected a punishment instead of
treatment," but he does not make any other allegations
against Michael. See Compl. 4. As a prosecutor,
Michael had no ability to mandate the type of sentence that
the court would impose. Consequently, Blankumsee's
Complaint does not allege any action for which Michael could
be liable, and therefore, the Court will dismiss Michael from
claims that when he committed the offense for which he is
serving his sentence,  he was suffering from untreated mental
illness. Blankumsee states that during his incarceration he
has undergone several mental health evaluations and diagnosed
with schizophrenia, anxiety, impulse control disorder, and
obsessive control disorder. Blankumsee alleges that since his
incarceration, his illness has worsened, and generally
asserts that defendants have exhibited deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs.
states that during presentencing investigation stage of his
case, his mother expressed concern about his need for a
mental health evaluation. Blankumsee claims that he was
entitled under the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with
Disabilities Act to a mental health evaluation, a competency
hearing, and treatment. He faults Judge Beachley for
sentencing him to "punishment" instead of
treatment. Blankumsee faults Judge Boyer for denying his 2017
motion for a competency hearing. Blankumsee faults Governor
Hogan and Commissioner Corcoran for denying or failing to
forward to a judge the "several petitions, commutations,
and medical leave request[s]" he has filed. Compl. 4.
asks this Court to declare that Defendants have violated his
constitutional rights and compel Judge Beachley or Judge
Boyer to hold a competency hearing or order him not
criminally responsible and place him in a hospital for
treatment. Blankumsee also asks for an injunction requiring
Defendants to shorten his sentence or release him.
Complaint repeats the same claims against Judges Beachley and
Boyer he presented in Civil Action No. PWG-18-1509,
Blankumsee v. Washington County Circuit Court, et
al, which this Court dismissed with prejudice on June
25, 2018. The Court dismissed the claims against
Judge Beachley and Judge Boyer on the grounds of absolute
judicial immunity. Where there has been a final judgment on
the merits in a prior suit; an identity of the cause of
action in both the earlier and the later suit; and an
identity of parties or their privies in the two suits,
res judicata is established. See Pension Ben.
Guar. Corp. v. Beverley, 404 F.3d 243, 248 (4th Cir.
2005). The doctrine of res judicata precludes the
assertion of a claim after a judgment on the merits in a
prior suit by the same parties on the same cause of action.
See Meekins v. United Transp. Union, 946 F.2d 1054,
1057 (4th Cir. 1991). This Court may dismiss an action
sua sponte under the doctrine of res
judicata if it "is on notice that the issues
presented in a suit have been previously decided."
Roberts v. Thrasher, No. ELH-15-1906, 2015 WL
4485477, at *2 (D. Md. July 20, 2015) (quoting Arizona v.
California, 530 U.S. 392, 413 (2000) (citation and
citation marks omitted)). Res judicata bars
Blankumsee's claims against Judges Beachley and Boyer,
and they will be dismissed with prejudice.
to the extent Blankumsee faults Governor Hogan or
Commissioner Corcoran for denying or failing to forward to a
judge the "several petitions, commutations, and medical
leave request[s]" he has filed, he fails to specify when
he submitted these filings or their content. Blankumsee's
summary averment that "all defendants have exhibited
deliberate indifference to [his] serious medical needs"
is insufficient to confer liability. Compl. 5. To assert an
Eighth Amendment claim, a plaintiff must show that the
defendant "acted with 'deliberate indifference'
(subjective) to the inmate's 'serious medical
needs' (objective)." Iko v. Shreve, 535
F.3d 225, 241 (4th Cir. 2008) (citing Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976)). Deliberate
indifference requires a showing that an official
"subjectively 'knows of and disregards an excessive
risk to inmate health or safety.'" Jackson v.
Lightsey, 775 F.3d 170, 178 (4th Cir. 2014) (quoting
Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994)).
Blankumsee's conclusory assertions fail to show either
Defendant was personally aware of his alleged medical
concerns or that their actions show deliberate indifference
to his serious medical needs. Accordingly, the claims against
Governor Hogan and Commissioner Corcoran will be dismissed
without prejudice for failure to state a claim. See
forma pauperis statute limits the ability of prisoners to
file civil actions without prepayment of filing fees.
McLean v. United States, 566 F.3d 391, 393 (4th Cir.
2009). The statute contains a "three strikes" rule,
codified at 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), which provides:
In no event shall a prisoner bring a civil action or appeal a
judgment in a civil action or proceeding under this section
if the prisoner has, on 3 or more prior occasions, while
incarcerated or detained in any facility, brought an action
or appeal in a court of the United States that was dismissed
on the grounds that it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, unless the
prisoner is under imminent danger of serious physical injury.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). Thus, "[w]hen a prisoner has
previously filed at least three actions or appeals that were
dismissed on the grounds that they were frivolous, malicious,
or failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted,
the Act's 'three strikes' provision requires that
the prisoner demonstrate imminent danger of serious physical
injury in order to proceed without prepayment of fees."
McLean, 566 F.3d at 393-94 (citing 28 U.S.C. §
1915(g)). This case will be dismissed for failure to state a
claim, in part with prejudice, and Blankumsee will be
assigned a "first strike" on this basis. He is
cautioned that if he continues to file complaints that are
frivolous, malicious, or fail to state a claim upon ...