United States District Court, D. Maryland
Paula Xinis, United States District Judge
Plaintiff Richard Lawrence, an inmate incarcerated at Western
Correctional Institution (“WCI”) in Cumberland,
Maryland, brings this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against Defendants, Department of Corrections
(“DOC”), Commissioner Dayena Corcoran, WCI,
Warden Richard J. Graham, Jr., and Correctional Officer Jamie
Ratke (collectively “Defendants”). ECF No. 1.
Lawrence claims that Defendants have subjected him to cruel
and unusual punishment by housing him at WCI in
“dangerous and deadly living conditions, ” and
that Defendants have been deliberately indifferent to his
medical needs. Id. He seeks $60, 000, 000 in
damages. Id. at 6.
April 19, 2018, Defendants moved to dismiss the action, or
alternatively, for summary judgment to be granted in their
favor. ECF No. 18. Lawrence responded on July 23, 2018. ECF
No. 25. After review of the record, exhibits, and applicable
law, the Court deems a hearing unnecessary. See
Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). Defendants' Motion shall
alleges that WCI was built without any means to combat the
extreme heat during the summer months. ECF No. 1 at 4-5. He
more particularly contends that he has been forced to live in
dangerous and life-threatening conditions in his cell, to
include extreme heat which triggered his chronic seizure
disorder. Id. On June 18, 2017 and June 21, 2017,
Lawrence suffered three seizures which he believes had
occurred because of the extreme heat. ECF No. 1 at
On June 26, 2017, the medical department issued an order
stating, “Please allow for medical ice & second fan
due to medical condition.” Id. Despite this
order, Lawrence maintains that Defendant Ratke deliberately
refused to deliver Lawrence a second fan and ice to
ameliorate the extreme heat. Id. at 6. Lawrence
thereafter suffered additional seizures on July 11, 2017,
July 17, 2017, and July 21, 2017, and was admitted into the
infirmary and placed in a cool cell. Id.
24, 2017, Lawrence filed Administrative Remedy Procedure
(“ARP”) No. WCI-1709-17, with respect to the
extreme heat in his cell and the exacerbation of his chronic
seizure disorder. Id. at 4; ECF No. 1-1. On July 25,
2017, Lawrence was instructed to resubmit the ARP along with
a copy of the medical order stating that he was to be given a
fan and ice at his request. ECF No. 1-1. Lawrence resubmitted
the ARP on July 26, 2017. On August 30, 2017, Warden Graham
dismissed the ARP, stating: “Per medical an additional
fan is not medically indicated. You also have been receiving
your ice on the 8-4 and the 4-12 shift.” ECF No. 18-2
at 2. Lawrence appealed the dismissal of ARP No. WCI-1709-17
to the Commissioner of Correction.
August 21, 2017, Lawrence amended ARP No. WCI-1709-17 by
filing ARP No. WCI-1983-17 in which he added allegations
against Defendant Ratke based on her refusal to give him ice
between August 14, 2017 and August 20, 2017. ECF No. 1-4.
Id.; ECF No. 1-5.
September 26, 2017, the ARP was dismissed with the following
response from Warden Graham:
Your request for administrative remedy has been dismissed. An
investigation revealed that you did receive your ice. You are
not permitted to retrieve the ice yourself. You also will not
receive your ice during mass movements. Staff has at no time
acted unprofessional or outside the scope of their authority.
No. further actions will be taken at this time.
ECF No. 1-5. On September 27, 2017, Lawrence appealed the
dismissal of ARP No. WCI-1983-17 to the Commissioner of
Correction. ECF No. 1-6.
October 16, 2017, Commissioner Corcoran dismissed both
appeals. With regard to ARP No. WCI-1709-17, Corcoran
concluded after investigation that the Warden had fully
addressed both complaints and that the requested provisions
were not medically necessary. Lawrence never filed a
grievance concerning either action with the Inmate Grievance
Office. See ECF No. 18-3; ECF No. 25-2 at 5.
do not dispute that Lawrence suffered seizures on June 18 and
21 and July 11, 17, and 21 in 2017. See ECF No. 18-1
at 5. Defendants instead maintain that Lawrence
“received prompt medical treatment, his medications
were re-evaluated, and he received medical orders for ice and
a fan.” Id. Ratke specifically maintains that
she did not know Lawrence was suffering from a medical
condition requiring the provision of ice. ECF No. 18-4 at 5.
The Defendants further assert that Lawrence's requests
occurred while other inmates were in movement, so ice could
not be provided per security protocols. See ECF 18-2
Standard of Review
have moved to dismiss the claims under Rule 12(b)(6) or, in
the alternative, for summary judgment. Motions styled in this
manner implicate the Court's discretion under Rule 12(d).
See Kensington Vol. Fire Dep't., Inc. v. Montgomery
Cty., 788 F.Supp.2d 431, 436-37 (D. Md. 2011),
aff'd, 684 F.3d 462 (4th Cir. 2012). When
“matters outside the pleadings are presented to and not
excluded by the court, the [Rule 12(b)(6)] motion must be
treated as one for summary judgment under Rule 56.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d). This Court maintains
“‘complete discretion to determine whether or not
to accept the submission of any material beyond the pleadings
that is offered in conjunction with a Rule 12(b)(6) motion
and rely on it, thereby converting the motion, or to reject
it or simply not ...