United States District Court, D. Maryland
AMENDED MEMORANDUM OPINION
XINIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Terrell Holly filed this action alleging due process
violations related to prison disciplinary proceedings at the
Dorsey Run Correctional Facility (DRCF). Pending and ready
for review is Defendant Richardson's Motion to Dismiss
or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 23,
which Plaintiff opposed. ECF No. 25. The Court finds a hearing in
these matters unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6. For
the following reasons, Defendant's dispositive motion,
construed as one for Summary Judgment, is GRANTED.
7, 2017, Officer Kevin Richardson issued a notice of inmate
rule violation (NOIRV) to Holly arising his failure to follow
Richardson's commands. The violation alleged that:
On June 6, 2017; at approximately 2:15 P.M., I, Officer
Richardson and Officer Moore were assigned to count the
second floor for the institutional stand up count. Once we
entered, I gave the order for the count. I, Officer
Richardson ordered the third row to stand up, but they
refused. I came to the next bunk and gave a direct order for
Terrell Holly #2169934, bunk #35, but he refused as so did
the other inmates within the dorm. The unruly inmate's
behavior was so bad that it interfered with our duties in
counting the dorm. That's when the entire dorm came to
the front and sat down on the benches located in the front of
the dorm. The entire dorm was ordered to go back to their
bunks, but they all refused. I, Officer Richardson had
immediately called Unit 6, Sergeant D.A. Johnson to respond
with other officers. Inmate Holly was identified by tier
roster and bunk location.
ECF No. 1-1 at 1. The NOIRV charged Holly with engaging in a
disruptive act (Rule Violation 100), interfering with or
resisting the performance of staff duties (Rule Violation
312), disobeying an order (Rule Violation 400), and failing
to possess or properly display a required inmate
identification badge (Rule Violation 500). Id.
Richardson signed the NOIRV under penalty of perjury.
19, 2017, Hearing Officer Thomas Williams conducted a
disciplinary hearing regarding the NOIRV notice. ECF No. 1 at
3. Holly pleaded not guilty to all charges. ECF No. 1-1 at 2.
Richardson participated in the hearing via teleconference,
and Holly was afforded the opportunity to question him. Holly
questioned Richardson regarding the circumstances surrounding
Holly's refusal to go to his bunk. Id. at 2-3.
Holly alleges that Williams “not only coached Ofc.
Kevin Richardson through the hearing but used his false
testimony and allowed it.” ECF No. 1-1 at
Holly does not offer any specifics on how Williams
“coached” Richardson, nor is any such coaching
plausibly inferred from the record.
the hearing, Williams found Holly guilty of interfering with
or resisting the performance of staff duties and disobeying
an order, but not guilty of the remaining charges. In his
decision, Williams explained that he “weigh[ed] and
consider[ed] all evidence, ” and found “that
[Holly] did not report to his assigned bunk during stand-up
count when ordered. This is a violation of Rule 312 &
400.” ECF No. 1-1 at 2; ECF No. 23-2 at 6-7. As a
sanction, Holly was placed in segregation housing for 30 days
and had 20 diminution credits revoked. ECF No. 23-2 at 7.
Holly also contends that his transfer to Roxbury Correctional
Institution (RCI) was the result of this
challenges Williams's decision primarily because, in
Holly's view, Richardson testified inconsistently when
compared with his sworn statement in the NOIRV. Holly
complains that although Richardson testified he did not come
to Holly's bunk to request that Holly stand for the
count, Richardson also stated in the NOIRV that he “did
come to [Holly's] bunk and give that order.” Holly
also highlights that Richardson at the hearing had agreed
that Holly was not unruly during the incident, although
Richardson in the NOIRV used the term “unruly
inmate's behavior.” ECF No. 1-1 at 2-3. At bottom,
Holly contends that Williams could not rationally conclude
Holly had committed the two rule violations because
Richardson testified inconsistently with his NOIRV statement.
ECF No. 1-1 at 3.
day of the hearing (July 19, 2017), Holly filed an appeal
with the Warden at DRCF, but avers that he never received a
response. ECF No. 1-8 at 1. On July 21, 2017, Holly was
transferred to RCI, where he again appealed this ruling with
the Warden of that facility. Id. On August 19, 2017,
Holly filed a grievance with the Inmate Grievance Office
(IGO). Holly mailed the grievance to an address on Sudbrook
Lane, the address provided in Holly's inmate handbook.
Id. at 1-2; see also ECF No. 1-1 at 14.
Holly also sent the Commissioner for the Division of
Correction a letter dated September 1, 2017. See ECF
No. 1-1 at 12 (referencing that letter).
September 13, 2017, RCI Warden Miller responded in writing to
Holly. Miller noted that the Commissioner had referred
Holly's letter to Miller for response. As to the
substance of Holly's complaint, Miller stated:
I did review your hearing on August 8, 2017, affirming the
guilty finding, but reducing your sanction to a total of 22
days disciplinary segregation, which ended your sanction on
August 9, 2017. I never received an appeal from you and on
the date that I reviewed your hearing it was August 8, 2017,
which was the 20th day from the hearing and the time for
filing an appeal is 15 days after receiving the hearing
officer's decision. The appeal which you included with
your letter was dated July 19, 2017, which I never received;
as well you did not transfer to RCI until July 21, 2017.
Based on my review of the officer's report, the hearing
record and the information you supplied with your letter, I
affirmed the hearing officer's decision and stand on my
decision to reduce the sanction imposed from 30 days
disciplinary segregation to 22 days.
Id. Miller also informed Holly that should Holly
wish to pursue an appeal regarding the disciplinary hearing,
Holly should direct the appeal to the IGO at an address on
Reisterstown Road. Id. In addition to sending it to
Holly, Miller indicated that a copy of the letter was to be