United States District Court, D. Maryland
HAMMEL J. CLARK, Plaintiff,
DENISE GELSINGER, Defendant.
THEODORE D. CHUANG, United States District Judge.
Hammel J. Clark, a prisoner incarcerated at the Jessup
Correctional Institution (“JCI') in Jessup,
Maryland, filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants Warden Richard J.
Graham, Jr., former Assistant Warden Denise Gelsinger, Lt.
Larry C. Bennett, Sgt. Jason A. Daddysman, Sgt. Thomas C.
Menges, and Correctional Officer (“C.O.”) II
Alicia A. Cartwright. Clark alleged that while he was
incarcerated at the Western Correctional Institution
(“WCI”), (1) Daddysman wrongfully took a
religious headpiece from him and verbally and physically
assaulted him as part of a pattern of harassment; (2) Clark
was removed from the “honor building” and placed
in a cell covered in human feces in retaliation for asserting
complaints; and (3) his due process rights were violated when
his administrative complaints about Daddysman and the
headpiece's confiscation were mishandled and denied.
Defendants previously a filed Motion to Dismiss, or, in the
Alternative, for Summary Judgment (“the First
Motion”), which the Court granted in part and denied in
part. See Clark v. Daddysman (“Clark
I”), No. TDC-16-0921, 2018 WL 1453333 (D. Md. Mar.
22, 2018), appeal dismissed sub nom. Clark v.
Gelsinger, 738 Fed.Appx. 244 (4th Cir. 2018). Assistant
Warden Gelsinger is the only remaining Defendant. The two
remaining claims are that Clark was placed in a feces-covered
cell for two weeks in violation of the Eighth Amendment of
the United States Constitution and that his placement in that
cell was in retaliation for filing complaints against
Gelsinger, in violation of the First Amendment.
the Court directed Gelsinger to file an Answer to these
claims, Gelsinger instead filed a “Supplemental Factual
Memorandum in Support of Defendant Denise Gelsinger's
Motion for Summary Judgment, ” construed as a renewed
Motion for Summary Judgment (“the Second
Motion”), which provides additional factual background
but no new argument. Clark has responded. Having reviewed the
Complaint and submitted materials, the Court finds no hearing
necessary. See D. Md. Local R. 105.6. For the
reasons set forth below, the Motion will be denied.
Court has set forth the factual background of this case in
its Memorandum Opinion of March 22, 2018, which is
incorporated by reference. On the remaining issue of
Clark's cell assignment, at the time of the First Motion,
the record reflected that immediately following his March 16,
2016 encounter with Daddysman:
Clark returned to his cell, where he learned that he was
being moved out of the “honor building” and into
a cell in Housing Unit No. 3, which he considered the worst
unit in the prison. Clark alleges that this new cell had
human feces and urine spread around in different spots, left
behind by an inmate known to put his own feces all over his
cell. When Clark refused to go into the filthy cell, the
correctional officers threatened to place him in lock up.
Clark asked to be put in one of the clean empty cells nearby,
but that request was denied. According to Clark, he spent
several days cleaning up the cell, feces got on his shoes,
his wheelchair, and his hands, and the cell reeked of human
waste even after the cleaning, so that he felt sick and could
not eat. When he complained to Assistant Warden Denise
Gelsinger about the conditions and Sgt. Daddysman's
actions, she smiled and said, “Everybody gets a
turn.” ARP WCI-756-16 at 25, Defs.' Mot. Dismiss
Ex. 31, ECF No. 39-34. She also asked him, “Did you
ever stop to think it's just you?” Compl. at 27,
ECF No. 4. Clark remained in that cell for 14 days before he
was returned to his original cell. Clark asked multiple
correctional officers if they knew who had ordered his
transfer to another cell. One officer, Lt. McKenzie, told
“[I]t came from high up.” ARP WCI-756-16 at 26.
Clark alleges that he was placed there in retaliation for
standing up to Daddysman and for writing up complaints about
Gelsinger in the past.
Clark I, 2018 WL 1453333, at *2.
asserted that Gelsinger was responsible for the retaliatory
cell transfer because he had written several complaints about
her, including one as recently as December 14, 2015.
Id. at *5. In response, Defendants submitted the
declaration of Lt. Robert Carder, who stated that Clark was
moved to a new cell on March 15, 2016 due to institutional
needs and denied that the cell was covered in feces or that
Clark ever complained about its condition to correctional
officers in charge of the housing unit. He further asserted
that Clark was provided with ample cleaning supplies when he
was moved to the new cell. Based on these facts, the Court
denied summary judgment in favor of Gelsinger.
Second Motion, Gelsinger has submitted a declaration in which
she denies that she was involved in the decision to move
Clark to another cell on March 15, 2016. She asserts that at
the relevant time, decisions regarding inmate housing
assignments were made by the Housing Unit Manager or Officer
in Charge, not the Assistant Warden. According to Gelsinger,
on an unspecified day after March 15, 2016, she spoke to
Clark, who complained about Daddysman and his move to Housing
Unit 3. She states that Clark did not tell her that his cell
contained feces. Gelsinger advised Clark that he did not have
a right to any specific housing and he could be moved any
time in order to accommodate the needs of the institution.
She does not recall telling Clark that “Everyone gets a
turn.” Gelsinger Decl. ¶ 4, ECF No. 82-2. She
acknowledges making the statement “Did you ever stop to
think it's just you, ” or words to that effect, but
explains that she meant that Clark was paranoid and reading
more into the situation than was warranted, and that the move
was simply routine. Id. Gelsinger acknowledges that
she knew Clark from when she worked at Roxbury Correctional
Institution (“RCI”) and recalls a complaint he
asserted relating to his legal mail at RCI, but she stated
that she does not recall any Administrative Remedy Procedure
complaints (“ARPs”) filed by Clark against her at
RCI. According to Clark, while at RCI, Gelsinger stopped his
legal mail from being sent out and then had him transferred
has also submitted another declaration by Carder, who states
that on March 15, 2016, Clark was moved from Housing Unit 1
to Housing Unit 3 to free up a wheelchair-accessible cell in
Housing Unit 1 for inmate Jerome Miller, who needed to be
temporarily housed in Housing Unit 1. According to Carder, at
that time, the only available wheelchair-accessible cell into
which Clark could be place was the cell vacated by Miller in
Housing Unit 3. On March 28, 2016, when Miller no longer
needed to be housed in Housing Unit 1, Clark was returned to
his former cell. Clark, however, maintains that other
wheelchair-accessible cells were available during this time.
denies that Clark reported that the cell in Housing Unit 3
contained feces. According to Carder, if Clark had reported
that the cell contained feces, a specially trained
blood-spill team would have disinfected and cleaned the cell.
Instead, as a matter of routine, Clark was provided
unspecified cleaning supplies upon his transfer to the new
own affidavit, Clark asserts that the cell smelled of feces
and urine, and that as a result of being housed in the cell,
he became ill and was unable to hold food down. Clark has
submitted a sick call slip, dated April 3, 2016, in which he
reported the ...