United States District Court, D. Maryland
W. Grimm United States District Judge
inmate Adam Locklear filed a verified Complaint and verified
Attachment in this civil rights action, alleging that he was
physically assaulted and verbally harassed by correctional
officers and housed in inadequate conditions at Western
Correctional Institution. Compl., ECF No. 1; Att., ECF No.
1-1. He claims excessive force, harassment, and failure to
protect him from assault, and he challenges his conditions of
confinement. He named Stephen T. Moyer, Secretary of Public
Safety; Warden of WCI Richard Graham, Jr.; Lieutenant James
Smith; and Correctional Officers J. Weimer, G. Durst, T.
Warmick, and C. Davis as Defendants.
filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary
Judgment, ECF No. 28, along with a Memorandum in Support, ECF
No. 28-1, and Plaintiff filed correspondence that the Court
will construe as an Opposition, ECF No. 31. The matter is now
ripe for review. A hearing is not necessary. See
Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2018). Because Locklear failed to
exhaust all but his excessive force claims, and a genuine
dispute of material facts exists regarding the amount of
force used against him, Defendants' dispositive Motion,
treated as a Motion for Summary Judgment, is DENIED as to the
excessive force claims against Defendants G. Durst and C.
Davis, and GRANTED as to the remaining claims and Defendants.
The Court will appoint pro bono counsel to represent
Plaintiff on his excessive force claims.
was transferred to Western Correctional Institution in
December 2016. He alleges that upon arrival, Lieutenant James
Smith stated “Oh, Locklear, I been waiting on you, you
better not throw no trays on us out here, they will kill you
out here.” Pl.'s Att. 1. Smith asserts that he did
not make this statement. Smith Decl. 2, ECF No. 28-4.
reports that he spent his first four and half days at WCI in
a “contensioncy cell, ” which was filthy and
unsanitary. Pl.'s Att. 1. He states that the cell lacked
a “bunk” and toilet paper, and that he was denied
a shower, clean clothes, and his medication. Id.
Smith asserts that Plaintiff was only housed on Staff Alert
for two days; that Plaintiff was not denied showers,
medication or access to medical care; and that “at no
time was [Plaintiff] placed in a cell with urine, feces,
mold, bugs, pepper spray, etc.” Smith Decl.
being released from the “contensioncy cell, ”
Plaintiff states he was housed with a “known
homosexual.” Pl.'s Att. 1. Plaintiff claims that
this housing assignment placed both his and his
cellmate's “life in danger due to [Plaintiff's]
affiliation” with the Crips. Id. Plaintiff
claims that he later dropped his affiliation with the Crips
and consequently has a “contract HIT on [his]
head.” Id. He also claims that, while he
was housed in the cell with a homosexual cellmate, other
inmates threw “human waste, urine, spoiled milk, and
dead mice” at him, and correctional officers (whom he
does not identify by name) did not take any action to protect
him or punish the offending inmates. Id.
March 9, 2017, Correctional Officers Durst, Warnick, Davis,
and Weimer were involved in a search of Plaintiff's cell.
Id. at 2. Plaintiff reports that during the search
his property “was being willfully discarded” and
that the officers were “breaking and ripping
things.” Id. After the search was complete,
there was an altercation between Plaintiff and Defendant
Durst during which Durst maced Plaintiff. The parties present
competing versions of the altercation.
to Plaintiff's sworn Complaint, after search ended, he
“was let back in the cell still secured in handcuffs[.]
Ofc. G. Durst COII pulled his mace can out and sprayed [him]
with the whole can. They opened the cell door
directing [him] to lay down, they picked [him] up by both
arms and legs.” Id. (emphasis added). Officers
carried Plaintiff away from the cell to the medical
department, where Plaintiff was evaluated by a registered
nurse for mace exposure. Id. Plaintiff further
alleges that, before being returned to his cell, he was
“vigorously and physically assaulted by OFC. C.
issued a sworn Notice of Inmate Rule Violation (NOIRV) to
Plaintiff following the incident, charging Plaintiff with
using intimidating, coercive, or threatening language;
interfering with or resisting the performance of staff duties
to include a search of a person, item, area, or location; and
disobeying an order. NOIRV, ECF No. 28-3, at 18. In the
NOIRV's Statement of Facts, Durst reported:
At the completion of the cell search Locklear walked to the
rear of the cell so that the cell door could be closed. I
called for the cell door to be closed, via my radio. Before
the control center Officer could get the cell door closed
Inmate Locklear stepped through his handcuffs so they were in
the front of him and charged aggressively towards the
Officer's [sic] standing at the cell door. I applied
a burst of pepper spray to the facial area of Inmate
Locklear and ordered him to get on the cell floor, which he
complied. Officers Davis, Warnick, Weimer, and I entered the
cell and gave several direct orders to stand up and exit the
cell, which he refused. Locklear was lifted off the cell
floor with Officer Davis having his right arm, Officer
Warnick had his left arm, Officer Weimer had a hold of his
jumper above his shoulders, and I had control of both feet.
Inmate Locklear was carried from the wing in a sitting
position. Inmate Locklear was taken to the Housing Unit #4
Medical Room where he was treated by M. Klepitch RN for
exposure to pepper spray. At the completion of his medical
treatment Inmate Locklear was offered and accepted a shower.
Inmate Locklear was returned to cell 4-A-8 at the completion
of his shower with no further incident.
Id. (emphasis added).
brief unsworn Opposition, Plaintiff contends that the NOIRV
was resolved in his favor and that the hearing officer who
considered the NOIRV “said it doesn't take that
many [correctional officers] to deal with someone and he
still had handcuffs on[;] no ma[c]e should have been
used.” Pl.'s Opp'n. Plaintiff requests that
Defendants be ordered to produce the documentation associated
with the NOIRV hearing. Id.
asserts that the day after the March 9, 2017 incident, he was
removed from his cell and placed in another
“contensioncy cell/isolation cell[, ] which once again
was disgusting housing conditions, ” over a period of
four days. Pl.'s Att. 2. Finally, Plaintiff reports that
after being separated from his cellmate following the March
9, 2017 incident, he “refuse[d] cell mates for safety