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Massey v. Langmead

United States District Court, D. Maryland

December 13, 2018

JOHN MASSEY, Petitioner
v.
PAULA LANGMEAD, [1] Respondent

          MEMORANDUM

          Ellen L. Hollander, United States District Judge

         John Massey, who is self-represented, is a patient at Springfield Hospital Center (“Springfield”) in Sykesville, Maryland. He has filed a petition for release, titled “Motion Request To [sic] Withdrawal of NCR Plea Bargain After Debt To Society Paid, And Petitioner Did Not Get What He Bargained For.” ECF 1. This court ordered Massey to clarify his claims. ECF 3.

         Thereafter, Massey filed a supplement. ECF 4 (collectively, the “Petition”). He claims that he is confined “over and over for [a] 2002 crime, ” id. at 5, and indicates that he is challenging the decision of December 10, 2002, issued by a court in Prince George's County, Maryland. Id. at 1.[2] Massey seems to allege that he is confined beyond the term of his sentence for a misdemeanor. Id. at 5.

         Paula Langmead, the Chief Executive Officer at Springfield, has filed a Response, along with numerous exhibits, seeking dismissal of the Petition for lack of exhaustion and because the claims have no merit. ECF 8. Massey did not file a Reply, although he was provided notice of the opportunity to do so. ECF 9. Because Massey's financial affidavits indicate he is indigent, the Court will grant his requests for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. See ECF 2; ECF 5.

         Upon review of the filings, I am satisfied that no hearing is necessary to resolve the dispute. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons that follow, I will deny the Petition.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Massey is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and polysubstance abuse. ECF 8-5 at 6; ECF 8-8 at 4, ¶7; ECF 8-11 at 3. He has a history of involuntary hospitalizations at Springfield, beginning in 2008. In that year, the District Court for Prince George's County found him Not Criminally Responsible (“NCR”). Although Massey premises his petition for habeas relief on a 2002 conviction, and he was charged in other criminal cases in 2000- 2002, [3] the only NCR verdict in his record occurred in 2008, in connection with a charge of second degree assault. ECF 8 at 1-2, ¶¶ 2, 3.

         The District Court for Prince George's County found Massey NCR on April 10, 2008, and ordered him committed to the Department of Health (“the Department”)[4] in State v. Massey, No. 001E00309653. In that case, Massey was charged with second degree assault for attacking his roommate in a group home. ECF 8-1; ECF 8-2.

         On March 24, 2009, the District Court for Prince George's County Maryland ordered Massey conditionally released, to reside in the Assisted Living Program on the grounds at Springfield and to continue his treatment and his prescribed medication. ECF 8-3. The Assisted Living Program is a residential facility with limited supervision and direction. It was designed to address the needs of patients with moderate mental illness and substance abuse conditions. ECF 8-5 at 6, ¶10.

         On May 21, 2010, the District Court for Prince George's County found Massey in violation of the terms of his conditional release. However, it was satisfied that Massey had demonstrated that he was eligible to continue his conditional release with additional conditions. ECF 8-4. On December 7, 2010, a petition for a hospital warrant was made. ECF 8-5 at 3.[5]

         A State administrative law judge (“ALJ”) conducted a hearing on December 16, 2010, to determine whether Massey had violated the terms of his conditional release and, if so, whether he was eligible for conditional release or discharge. Massey and his attorney from the Office of the Public Defender were present, as was the licensed clinical social worker who represented the Department. ECF 8-5 at 2-3. The exhibits the ALJ admitted into evidence included Massey's psychiatric report, dated December 13, 2010. ECF 8-5 at 3.

         On January 4, 2011 the ALJ found that Massey had “engaged in altercations with other patients and staff, and destroy[ed] the personal property of others, including the destruction of a car windshield, ” bullied other patients, did not regularly attend or participate in therapy sessions, refused his mental health provider's recommendation that he voluntarily admit himself for mental health treatment and evaluation, and showed poor insight and judgment in a conditional release environment, and recommended revocation of conditional release. ECF 8-5 at 4-7. On the same day, the District Court for Prince George's County revoked Massey's conditional release and committed him to the Department of Health for inpatient care and treatment. ECF 8-6.

         On August 12, 2011, the District Court for Prince George's County granted Massey conditional release from Springfield's inpatient care. ECF 8-7. But, on December 13, 2011, a hospital warrant was issued for Massey. ECF 8-8 at 3.

         An ALJ held a hearing on March 22, 2012, to consider whether Massey violated the terms of his conditional release and his eligibility for conditional release or discharge. Massey's social worker filed an emergency petition on December 23, 2011, advising that Massey had become “threatening and aggressive both verbally and physically toward his roommate as well as staff members at his residential placement….” ECF 8-8 at 4, ¶3. Massey, his attorney from the Public Defender's Office, and a Department representative were present at the hearing. ECF 8-8 at 2. Massey and his treating psychiatrist, Sandra Johnson, M.D., ...


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