United States District Court, D. Maryland
DONALD R. PEVIA, Plaintiff
DEYANA CORCORAN, et al., Defendants
L. Hollander, United States District Judge.
plaintiff Donald R. Pevia, an inmate currently confined at
the North Branch Correctional Institution
(“NBCI”), filed a civil rights complaint pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his rights to Equal
Protection and Due Process were violated by defendants when
he was prevented from attending classes in order to obtain
his general education diploma (“GED”). ECF
He also filed a supplement to his Complaint. ECF 5.
Governor Larry Hogan, Former Commissioner Deyana Corcoran,
Warden Frank Bishop, Lieutenant Vaughn Whiteman, and
Correctional Officer II Amy Conner, have moved to dismiss or,
in the alternative, for summary judgment. ECF 14. The motion
is supported by a memorandum (ECF 14-1) (collectively, the
“Motion”) and exhibits. Plaintiff opposes the
motion. ECF 16.
hearing is necessary to resolve the Motion. See
Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2018). For the reasons that follow,
defendants' Motion, construed as a motion for summary
judgment, shall be granted.
organized by unit management. The institution is divided into
smaller units, which then operate as small institutions
within the larger whole. ECF 16-1 at 12. NBCI consists of
four units; housing units 1 and 2 are defined as special
management units, which provide a closer level of monitoring
due to security reasons. Id. Inmates assigned to
Housing Unit 2 are designated as either Maximum II,
member of the special needs unit, or are inmates from the
general population who are recent transfers and/or recent
disciplinary segregation transfers. ECF 14-3 (Whiteman
Decl.), ¶ 4.
who are placed on Housing Unit 2 for disciplinary
segregation, such as plaintiff, must remain adjustment free
for six months before being able to transfer to Housing Unit
3. Those inmates who transfer into NBCI must remain on
Housing Unit 2 for one year before being able to transfer to
Housing Unit 3. Id., ¶ 5. The parties agree
that, other than the special needs inmates confined to
Housing Unit 2, inmates confined in Housing Unit 2 are not
permitted to attend school. ECF 1 at 4; ECF 14-2 at 8; ECF
14-3, ¶ 3.
alleges that in 2016, while incarcerated at NBCI, he
attempted to sign up for classes to obtain his GED but was
advised by the principal that “only inmates from
Housing Unit[s] #3 and 4 were permitted schooling.” ECF
1 at 3. Before plaintiff could explore the matter further he
was placed on disciplinary segregation. After plaintiff's
release from disciplinary segregation he again inquired about
obtaining his GED and was advised that an unspecified
Maryland regulation prohibited him from attending school.
Id. Plaintiff did not pursue the issue. Id.
November 3, 2017, plaintiff was transferred to Western
Correctional Institution (“WCI”) where he
immediately requested to obtain his GED. ECF 1 at 3.
Plaintiff took a placement test and began classes on January
2, 2018. Id.
January 23, 2018, plaintiff was returned to NBCI, Housing
Unit 2. ECF 1 at 3. While assigned to general population on
Housing Unit 2 he was convicted of a rule infraction in June
of 2018. ECF 14-3, ¶ 6. He was found guilty of another
rule infraction in October of 2018. As such, his ability to
transfer to Housing Unit 3 was reset to March of 2019.
offer that plaintiff has completed his mandatory education
requirement. ECF 14-2 at 9. Nevertheless, plaintiff indicates
that he may continue in the education program beyond 120 days
at the case manager's discretion. ECF 16-1 at 1.
Plaintiff has been placed on the list for school programs
once he is transferred to Housing Unit 3. ECF 14-3, ¶ 7.
filed an administrative remedy procedure (“ARP”)
regarding the denial of his access to school. ECF 1 at 4. He
alleges that Whiteman and Conner attempted to have him sign
off on the grievance. Id. In a Supplemental
Complaint, plaintiff states that he notified Governor Hogan
of the disparate treatment regarding educational
opportunities but Hogan failed to change the policy that
denied those housed on Housing Unit 2 access to education.
ECF 5 at 2.
Standard of Review
motion is styled as a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6) or, in the alternative, for summary judgment under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. A motion styled in this manner implicates
the court's discretion under Rule 12(d) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. See Kensington Vol. ...