United States District Court, D. Maryland
Xinis, United States District Judge.
Becraft, an inmate presently incarcerated at Dorsey Run
Correctional Facility in Jessup, Maryland, brought this 42
U.S.C. § 1983 action against Sgt. Kingsley Kessie,
alleging that Kessie interfered with Becraft's medical
treatment. ECF No. 1. Kessie moved to dismiss the claims or
alternatively for summary judgment in his favor. ECF No. 15.
Becraft was advised of his right to respond to Kessie's
motion (ECF No. 16) but has failed to do so. The Court has
reviewed the pleadings and finds a hearing unnecessary.
See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2018). For the
following reasons, Kessie's motion is granted.
to his Complaint, Becraft is a self-described “brittle
diabetic.” On September 22, 2017, Becraft went to the
medical unit to receive his insulin. ECF No. 4 at p. 7.
Because his blood sugar was low, “medical told [him] to
go eat at the kitchen.” Id. At the cafeteria,
Kessie refused to allow Becraft to eat and directed him to
leave the table. Id. Becraft “refused to leave
the table because [he] was falling out, and [he] was drinking
juice to bring [his] sugar up.” Id. Kessie
ordered Becraft to stop drinking and leave the cafeteria,
orders which, in Becraft's view, put his life in danger.
Id. Consequently, Becraft received an infraction
which amounts to punishment “for having a low blood
sugar.” Id. As relief, Becraft seeks
restoration of his good conduct credits, outside clearance,
back pay, and compensation for the attendant emotional
stress. ECF No. 4 at p. 7.
11, 2018, Kessie moved for dismissal or alternatively summary
judgment in his favor. Kessie included as record evidence
relevant portions of Becraft's medical records, an
affidavit of Correctional Dietary Manager Ronald Hale, the
Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services'
Medical Diet Manual, Becraft's commissary orders, records
regarding the rule infraction issued as a result of the
September 22, 2017 incident, and a transcript of the rule
violation hearing. ECF No. 15-2 (medical records), ECF No.
15-3 (Hale Affidavit), ECF No. 15-4 at pp. 2-19 (medical diet
manual); ECF No. 15-4 at pp. 20-44 (commissary orders); ECF
No. 15-4 at pp. 45-55 (rule infraction records); ECF No. 15-5
(medical records); ECF No. 15-6 (transcript of rule violation
hearing). The following summarizes the pertinent facts taken
from these records.
is a chronic care clinic patient regularly seen by medical
staff at the prison to treat and manage his diabetic
condition. ECF No. 15-2. The medical staff have provided
Becraft education and nutrition counseling to manage his type
II diabetes, afforded a 2400 calorie diabetic diet,
prescribed medication, and monitored Becraft's blood
glucose levels daily. ECF Nos. 15-2, 15-5. Previously, when
Becraft went to medical unit with low blood sugar, medical
personnel provided him food or glucose in the medical unit,
then rechecked his blood sugar before releasing him. ECF No.
15-2 at p. 33; ECF No. 15-5 at pp. 5, 36, 38. The records do
not reflect that Becraft's blood glucose was checked on
September 22, 2017, as he alleges. ECF No. 15-2 at p. 2
(record of glucose monitoring from 8/10/2017-10/01/2017).
September 5, 2017, Becraft was granted permission to carry
snacks with him at all times to combat his low blood sugar.
ECF No. 15-2 at p. 39. Per medical unit protocol, an inmate
prescribed a diebetic snack bag receives the bag every day
during the dinner meal. ECF No. 15-3, ¶ 2. The inmate is
permitted to have the bag in the dormitory so that he may eat
when necessary. Id. Additionally, Becraft's
prison commissary orders during that time reflect regular
purchases of sugary snacks such as cookies, candies,
danishes, and doughnuts. ECF No. 15-4 at pp. 20-27.
September 22, 2017, Kessie issued to Becraft a Notice of
Inmate Rule Infraction. ECF No. 15-4 at p. 45. Under the
penalties of perjury, Kessie attested that he was the
assigned duty officer monitoring inmate movement during
dinner. As Kessie sat inmates, he assigned Becraft a seat
which Becraft refused to take. Id. Becraft told
Kessie that he was diabetic and was not going to sit anywhere
other than a seat in the front row. Id. Another
inmate joined the protest, also refusing to sit in his
assigned seat, thus “throwing the entire dining room
into chaos.” Id. Becraft then ignored
Kessie's direct orders, and remained standing in the
middle of the front row, holding his food tray until his
desired seat became available. Becraft and the other
disruptive inmate then sat at the front row table.
Id. Both inmates were charged with violating rules
100 (engaging in a disruptive act), 312 (interfering with or
resisting the performance of staff duties), 400 (disobeying
an order), and 402 (being in a location without
was served with the notice of rule violation and a hearing
was held on September 25, 2017. ECF No. 15-4 at pp. 48-49.
Becraft waived representation and the calling of witnesses.
ECF No. 15-6 at p. 2. Kessie's report was read into the
record. ECF No. 15-4 at p. 50; ECF 15-6 at p. 3. Becraft
testified that he had gone to get his insulin and he had
“so long before the insulin kicks in, to eat.”
ECF No. 15-6 at p. 3. Becraft explained that the dining hall
was in chaos because Kessie had initially shut down the
cafeteria medical line then reopened it. Id. Becraft
testified that even though Kessie told him to return to his
unit until the line reopened, Becraft went back because he
“had to eat.” Id. Becraft started
shaking, and other inmates gave him juice to bring his blood
sugar level up. ECF No. 15-4 at pp. 50-51; ECF No. 15-6 at p.
3. Becraft admitted that he sat down nearest to where the
juice was dispensed because access to juice “was saving
[his] life.” ECF No. 15-6 at p. 3. Becraft described
the situation as “chaotic” because Kessie was
screaming and inmates crowded the area. Id.
hearing officer ultimately found Becraft guilty of violating
rules 312, 402 and 400. ECF No. 15-4 at p. 51; ECF No. 15-6
at p. 4. As a sanction, Becraft lost 10 days of good conduct
credits. ECF No. 15-4 at p. 52; ECF No. 15-6 at p. 5.
Court now turns to the sufficiency of Becraft's claims.
Standard of Review
as here, the parties submit evidence beyond the four corners
of the Complaint, the Court may treat the motion as one for
summary judgment. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(d). Before
converting a motion to dismiss to one for summary judgment,
courts must give the nonmoving party “a reasonable
opportunity to present all the material that is pertinent to
the motion.” Id. “Reasonable
opportunity” means that the nonmoving party must be
aware that the court may treat the motion as one for summary
judgment and “be afforded a reasonable opportunity for
discovery” if necessary to oppose the motion. Gay
v. Wall, 761 F.2d 175, 177 (4th Cir. 1985) (citation
omitted). To do so, the nonmoving party must file an
affidavit or declaration under Rule 56(d) explaining why
“for specified reasons, it cannot present facts
essential to justify its opposition” without formal
discovery, or otherwise put the district court on notice of
the reasons why summary judgment is premature. Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(d). See also Harrods, Ltd. v. Sixty Internet Domain
Names, 302 F.3d 214, 244-45 (4th Cir. 2002).
Court treats Kessie's motion as one for summary judgment.
Becraft knew from the motion itself that Kessie sought
summary judgment. Moreover, Becraft has not requested
additional discovery under Rule 56(d) or otherwise asked to
take formal discovery prior to resolution, and the submitted
record evidence appears to include Becraft's prison