United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jamahl Rice filed this civil rights against Defendant
Brittany Distance, claiming that she used excessive force
against him and violated his due process rights. ECF No. 1.
Defendant has filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in the
Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 26, and
Plaintiff has responded, ECF No. 31. The Motion is now ripe
for review. For the reasons that follow, the Court will grant
the Motion in part and deny the Motion in part.
unsworn Complaint, Plaintiff states that,
On [October 27, 2017] at 10:45 am[, ] I[, ] Jamahl Rice asked
officer Brittany Distance if I could use the inmate
telephone. She told me there was none open at the time which
was not the truth because I had the phones in my eye sight,
so I asked her again a[nd] this time she cursed at me stating
"you heard what I fucking said[.]" So I proceeded
to walk out of my dorm toward the payphone[.] At this time
she hit me in the back of my head with her radio c[au]sing me
to lose balance and fall on the floor. I was unable to
catch myself d[ue] to me wearing two slings for shoulder
injuries. She then called a signal 13 which is assault on an
officer, and I was given an infraction ... [for] assault on
an officer. There was a male officer on the hospital floor
working with officer Distance, at no time did she ask this
officer for assistance. ... I had on two arm slings because
my left shoulder was dislocated and my right shoulder was
ECF No. 1 at 2-3 (some capitalization altered). Plaintiff
reports that his right shoulder was dislocated as a
consequence of the fall. Id. at 3. Plaintiff states
the infraction notice for assaulting an officer was false,
but that he was nonetheless punished for the infraction, by
having 240 days of good time credit revoked, being deprived
of various privileges, and being placed on segregation
housing. Id. at 3. Plaintiff requests monetary
damages for Defendant's use of excessive force and asks
that the punishments imposed as a consequence of the
infraction be rescinded. Id. at 3-4.
Response to Plaintiffs Complaint, Defendant filed a Motion to
Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment.
ECF No. 26. Accompanying the Motion are Defendant's
affidavit regarding the incident and various reports about
the incident prepared by employees of the Department of
Public Safety and Correctional Services, including a report
in response to Plaintiffs complaint to the Intelligence and
Investigative Division that Defendant assaulted him. ECF Nos.
26-2, 26-3, 26-4.
she acknowledges using force against Plaintiff, Defendant
argues that Plaintiffs Complaint is without merit because the
force was not excessive under the situation. She avers that
On October 27, 2017, I was assigned to the 3rd
floor hospital [at Metropolitan Transition Center]. As I was
conducting rounds on the floor, I heard a banging coming from
the window of room #310, which housed Mr. Rice. After
reaching the room to investigate, I opened the door and Mr.
Rice asked to use the telephone. I advised him that both
phones were currently in use and that he would have to wait.
I ordered Mr. Rice to step away from the door; however, he
refused replying "I don't give a Fuck." Using
his left hand, Mr. Rice aggressively pushed my right
should[er] causing me to stumble backwards. Fearing for my
safety, I used my radio to call a signal 13, Officer Needs
Assistance, meanwhile Mr. Rice continued to advance toward
me. As a means of self-defense, I struck Mr. Rice in the head
with my assigned radio. Mr. Rice jumped back as Corporal
Carlton Simmons responded to the scene.
. ... I did not physically touch Mr. Rice on October 27, 2017
before he assaulted me and I did not push him. . .. Mr. Rice
did not fall on the floor at any time and he was not wearing
a sling on both arms. He had one sling on during the
ECF No. 26-2 at 2-3.
escorted Plaintiff from the scene and "to the Dispensary
for treatment and evaluation." Id; ECF No. 26-3
at 4. Plaintiff was evaluated by a doctor the same day. ECF
No. 26-3 at 8. Plaintiff informed the doctor that a
correctional officer pulled his right arm and dislocated it.
Id. Accordingly, the doctor ordered that Plaintiff
undergo an x-ray of his right shoulder; the x-ray revealed
that there was "no acute dislocation" of the