United States District Court, D. Maryland
W. Grimm United States District Judge.
Enow, who now is incarcerated at Roxbury Correctional
Institute, formerly was incarcerated at Eastern Correctional
Institution (ECI) in Westover, Maryland. Enow claims that,
while he was at ECI, he was assaulted on July 25, and July
27, 2017, and these attacks demonstrate a pattern of
deliberate indifference to his safety in retaliation for his
filing of lawsuits. Comp1. 9 ¶¶ 19-20, ECF No. 1;
Feb. 16, 2018 Mem. Op. 29, 33, ECF No. 21. Defendants, Warden
Ricky Foxwell, Assistant Warden Walter West, Lt. Stephen
Elliot and Case Manager Mike Muir filed a Motion to Dismiss
or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No.
32, with a Memorandum in Support, ECF No. 32-1, and verified
exhibits and affidavits, ECF Nos. 32-3 - 32-11. Enow filed an
Opposition, ECF No. 35, with declarations, ECF No. 35-2,
which he later supplemented, ECF Nos. 36, 37. Defendants
filed a Reply to the Opposition. ECF No. 41. The parties have
briefed the issues, and no hearing is necessary. See
Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). Because the undisputed facts
show that Defendants were not personally involved in the
alleged assaults on Enow or deliberately indifferent to his
need for safety, Defendants' Motion, treated as a Motion
for Summary Judgment, will be granted.
initiated this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on
August 9, 2017, by filing a verified Complaint. Compl. 12.
Enow filed a motion for a temporary restraining order related
to the allegations in this suit on August 29, 2017. ECF No.
4. Among Enow's allegations was the claim that his rights
under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments were violated
because prison officials told inmates that Enow is a
“snitch, ” which led to assaults against him.
Compl. 9-10. Enow states the “most extreme-failure-to
protect claim is when prison officials use inmates to do
their dirty work by intentionally setting up an inmate to be
attacked by other inmates.” Id. at 10. Enow
seeks monetary damages against Defendants in their official
and individual capacities for pain and suffering and mental
anguish. Id. at 1, 12.
February 16, 2018, I denied Enow's Motion for a Temporary
Restraining Order, dismissed claims 1-9 of the original
Complaint,  and ordered that the following claims
would proceed: (1) Enow was allowed to be assaulted at ECI on
July 25, 2017; (2) Enow was allowed to be assaulted at ECI on
July 27, 2017; and (3) these assaults represent a pattern of
deliberate indifference to Enow's safety in retaliation
for his filing of other lawsuits. Feb. 16, 2018 Mem. Op. 29,
33; Feb. 16, 2018 Order 3 ¶ 3, ECF No. 22. Additional
facts and the applicable standard of review are outlined in
the Memorandum Opinion that accompanied that Order and are
incorporated here by reference. See Feb. 16, 2018
Mem. Op. 6, 26-33. They are repeated only as necessary to
resolve the issues under review here.
time of the assaults at issue, Enow was in ECI segregation
Housing Unit 4 due to violations of prison rules. Enow
Traffic History, ECF No. 32-4 at 2; Stephen Elliott Decl.
¶ 3, ECF No. 32-3.
25, 2017 at 5:00 p.m., Enow informed Officer Paul Hudson that
his cellmate Mark Jackson had assaulted him. At 5:10 p.m.
Enow was taken to the medical unit for evaluation. Nurse
Nikki Frey observed that other than a mild facial contusion,
Enow did not have any injuries. Elliott Decl. ¶ 10;
see also Prison Records, ECF No. 32-4, at 8, 10.
After the incident, Enow was moved to another cell. Enow
Traffic History, ECF No. 32-4, at 2.
next cellmate was William Spicer. While conducting rounds on
July 27, 2017 at 8:10 p.m., Officer Hudson observed Enow
bleeding from his left eye. Notice of Rule Violation, ECF No.
32-4, at 11. Enow was escorted to the medical unit where
Bruce Ford, P.A., noted a shallow laceration on the left eye
and a laceration on the upper lip. Medical Records 2, ECF No.
36-5. Enow's lip was sutured. Enow was also provided ice
and Tylenol. Id. Spicer was moved to a different
cell after the incident. Spicer Traffic History, ECF No.
32-4, at 5. Spicer and Enow were placed on each other's
enemy list. Enemy Alert, ECF No. 32-4, at 6-7. At 8:55 p.m.
on July 27, 2017, Enow completed an inmate statement about
the assault. Inmate Statement, ECF No. 32-4, at 13. Enow
claimed the fight arose because Spicer was interfering with
his reading. Enow wrote: “This guy is suffering from
mental illness and I don't think he was conscious of the
action.” Id. Of import, Enow's
contemporaneous statement made no mention of retaliation for
filing lawsuits, Defendants' involvements in the assault,
or his purported status as a “snitch” as a cause
of the incident. Id.
his opposition to Defendants' dispositive motion, Enow
filed two declarations. The first is a declaration dated
March 1, 2018, from inmate Antron Taylor, DOC #402078.
Relevant here, Taylor declares there are “some
allegations or rumors going around in the housing unit made
by some correctional staff and other inmates that Enow is a
government snitch.” Taylor Decl. ¶ 3, ECF 35-2, at
2. The second declaration, dated March 23, 2018, is from
Inmate Aruis K. Marcelin, DOC # 442-472. Marcelin declares
there are rumors around the housing unit made by correctional
staff that Enow is a government snitch. Marcelin Decl. ¶
3, ECF No. 35-2, at 5. Neither declarant, however, identifies
any Defendant as the source of the rumor. See Taylor
Decl. ¶ 3, ECF 35-2, at 2; Marcelin Decl. ¶ 3, ECF
No. 35-2, at 5.
move for dismissal of the claims against them or for summary
judgment in their favor, asserting they did not personally
participate in the wrongdoings alleged and Enow fails to
demonstrate they acted with deliberate indifference.
Foxwell and Assistant Warden West
fault is necessary to establish liability under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, whether based on the defendant's own conduct
or another's conduct in executing the defendant's
policies or customs. See Monell v. New York City
Dep't of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 690 (1978);
West v. Atkins, 815 F.2d 993, 996 (4th Cir. 1987),
rev'd on other grounds, 487 U.S. 42 (1988) (no
allegation of personal involvement relevant to the claimed
deprivation); Vinnedge v. Gibbs, 550 F.2d 926, 928
(4th Cir. 1977) (for an individual defendant to be held
liable pursuant to § 1983, it must be
“affirmatively shown that the official charged acted
personally in the deprivation of the plaintiff's
rights”) (quoting Bennett v. Gravelle, 323
F.Supp. 203, 214 (D. Md. 1971), aff'd, 451F.2d
1011 (4th Cir. 1971)). An individual cannot be held liable
under § 1983 under a theory of respondeat
superior. See Monell, 436 U.S. at 690;
Love-Lane v. Martin, 355 F.3d 766, 782 (4th Cir.
2004) (no respondeat superior liability under § 1983).
Thus, to establish § 1983 liability, a plaintiff must
show that a defendant was personally involved in the alleged
deprivation of his constitutional rights, Vinnedge,
550 F.2d at 928-29, or establish the defendant's
liability as a supervisor, see Shaw v. Stroud, 13
F.3d 791, 799 (4th Cir. 1994). A defendant may be liable
under the theory of supervisory liability in a § 1983
action if (1) the defendant had actual or constructive
knowledge that a subordinate was engaged in conduct that
posed a pervasive risk of a constitutional injury; (2) the
defendant's response to that knowledge was so inadequate
as to show deliberate inference to or tacit authorization of
the alleged offensive practices; and (3) there was an
affirmative causal link between defendant's inaction and
the alleged constitutional injury. Shaw, 13 F.3d at
alleges that on July 25, 2017, he was assaulted by his
cellmate Mark Jackson based on allegations he is a government
snitch. Compl. 5, 9. He also alleges that two days later,
after he was assigned a new cellmate, he was assaulted by his
new cellmate William Spicer, again due to allegations that
Enow is a government snitch. Id. at 9-10. Enow
faults Warden Ricky Foxwell because he is “responsible
for ensuring the safety and well-being of prisoners under his
supervision.” Id. at 3. Similarly, Enow faults
Assistant Warden Walter West because he is “responsible
for ensuring the safety and well-being of prisoners under his
supervision.” Id. Importantly, nowhere does
Enow specifically claim ...