United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
is a Motion to Dismiss, or in the alternative, Motion for
Summary Judgment (ECF 20) filed by Defendants Warden,
Secretary Stephen T. Moyer, Rachel Sessa, Commissioner of
Correction, Adrian Boyd, and Adetokunbo
Osilesi. ECF 20. Plaintiff has responded. ECF 24.
Upon review of the papers filed, this Court finds a hearing
unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2018). For
the reasons stated below, the dispositive motion, construed
as a Motion for Summary Judgment,  IS GRANTED.
is an inmate at the Maryland Correctional Institution-Jessup
(MCI-J). On August 23, 2018, he filed the instant civil
rights complaint presenting a laundry list of grievances
about his incarceration. ECF 1. He subsequently filed an
Amended Complaint alleging "conspiracy, abuse of
authority, harassment, stealing property, discrimination
intentionally, negligence, removal of open Court cases, Court
exhibits, denial of access to Courts, mental abuse." ECF
8 at p. 1.
Amended Complaint, ECF No. 8 at p. 6, Plaintiff alleges that
in February of 2017, he entered a settlement agreement with
employees of the Maryland Division of Correction resolving
Brightwell v. Hershberger, et al., Civil Action No.
agreement, attached as an exhibit to Defendants'
dispositive motion, provided:
5. Property: While housed at Patuxent Institution, Plaintiff
will be allowed access to his property maintained at Patuxent
Institution within one (1) day of execution of this agreement
and permitted to take any and all of the following items and
to the extent that he does not have these items they will be
provided within two (2) days of execution of this agreement:
one comb, one hairbrush, two toothpaste, two deodorants, two
bars of soap, two shampoo items, one mouthwash, one pack of
tooth floss, two big towels, two big wash cloths, two white
writing pads, two big ink pens, twenty white envelopes, give
manila envelopes, all of his legal books, all of his
religious books legal cases in court (all), all new novels
that the Eastern Correctional Institution [("ECI)] sent
to [Patuxent] that came from Barnes and Noble, and his
petition to Governor of Maryland, etc.
6. Purchase of Approved Items: Plaintiff and/or his Counsel
will be allowed to purchase approved items from an approved
vendor for Plaintiffs use consistent with DPSCS guidelines
for such items.
See ECF 20-3 at pp. 4-5. In addition to defining
Plaintiffs allowable property, the agreement contemplated
Plaintiffs transfer to MCI-J. Id. at p. 4.
April 25, 2018, while housed at MCI-J, Plaintiff observed
Officer Osilesi carrying Plaintiffs X-Box 360 in a green
trash bag. ECF 8 at p. 7. Plaintiff confronted Osilesi and
accused him of stealing his property. Id. Osilesi
advised Plaintiff that he was told to take the property.
asked to accompany the property and Osilesi told him to wait
in the hallway of the G- building Control Center.
Id. Approximately 20 minutes later Lt. Boyd arrived
with two other correctional officers. Id. at p. 8.
Osilesi advised the officers that Plaintiff refused to lock
in to his cell, which Plaintiff disputed. Id. Lloyd
escorted Plaintiff to his cell and slammed the cell door.
Id. at p. 9.
August 15, 2018, Plaintiff was instructed by an unidentified
officer to pack up his property because he was being
transferred. ECF 8 at p. 9. He was given a large green trash
bag to put his property in and the bag was taken to the
property room by the unidentified officer. Id.
the transfer failed to occur, on August 17, 2018, Plaintiff
requested that his property be returned to him. Id.
When his property was returned several items were missing
including a watch, legal books, court cases, typing paper, a
"Steven Right Angle F Adapter Male to Female" for
his television, evidence, exhibits, a college dictionary,
Black's Law Dictionary, copies of DCDs and Directives,
and certified mail receipts. Id. at pp. 9-10.
alleges generally that since he was transferred to MCI-J in
2017 he has "been harassed, disliked, mentally abused,
etc., by MCI-J Correctional Staff." Id. at p.
10. Upon his arrival at MCI-J, Plaintiff states he was placed
in an unsanitary cell, GW-145. ECF 8 at p. 11. He claims that
he had to bang on the cell door in order to get the attention
of staff to open the door. He also claims that at times he
missed religious classes and services because the cell door
could not be opened. Id.
Plaintiff claims that his current cell assignment, HE-142, is
also unsanitary. Id. He states that the toilet
flushes on its own, there are large flying cock roaches, and
that when the adjoining cell flushes the toilet it causes his
toilet to spray waste. Id. at pp. 11-12.
Additionally he claims the cell is often flooded. He states
that there are holes in the walls around the windows.
Id. at p. 12.
also claims that he did not receive pay for working as a
laundry man. ECF 8 at p. 12. Plaintiff states that Sgt.
Blankinship inquired about his pay but all the money he
earned was taken and put toward money he owed. Id.
at pp. 12-13. Plaintiff claims this was an error as a
Division of Correction Directive provides that he would be
left $10.00 so that he would not become indigent.
Id. Plaintiff stopped eating to protest his lack of
pay. Id. at p. 13. Captain Johnson investigated
Plaintiffs concerns and on July 24, 2018, he was given $10.00
for spending. Plaintiff states that he should have received
$30.00--$10.00 each month. Id.
August 25, 2018, Sgt. James and two other correctional
officers came to Plaintiffs cell to conduct a cell search.
ECF 8 at p. 14. They advised Plaintiff they were looking for
some books. Id. Plaintiff asked about his legal
books, cases, and other property that had not been returned
to him. Id. On October 14, 2018, Plaintiff addressed
a request to Sgt. Jones regarding securing all of his legal
books. Id. at. p. 15. He did not receive a response.
December 30, 2016, the Department of Public Safety and
Correctional Services (DSPSCS) promulgated Division of
Correction Directive 220-004 "Inmate Personal
Property" which allowed inmates to keep authorized
personal property, including an Xbox gaming consoles in their
cell. ECF 20-4 at p. 36. While incarcerated at Patuxent,
Plaintiff acquired an Xbox, which he brought with him on June
13, 2017 when he was transferred to MCI-J. ECF No. 20-5,
March 6, 2018, Warden Morgan prohibited any new Xboxes from
entering the institution due to a statewide investigation
Xboxes by the Division of Corrections. ECF 20-4 at p. 61. On
April 20, 2018, all Xboxes in the institution were inspected
and sealed with security tape. Id. at p. 62. Those
inmates who possessed an Xbox were permitted to keep it.
Id. On May 14, 2018, Commissioner Corcoran issued a
memo noting that all Xboxes were being removed and examined
from all facilities during the Xbox investigation and that
DPSCS would thereafter return the gaming systems.
April 25, 2018, Officer Osilesi removed Plaintiffs Xbox from
his cell pursuant to the investigation. ECF 20-6 at p. 2; ECF
20-7 at p. 2. Plaintiff yelled at Osilesi and refused to lock
in His cell, yelling also at Lt. Boyd and demanding to know
who gave Osilesi permission to enter his cell and remove the
gaming system. ECF 20-7 at p. 2. Boyd explained to Plaintiff
that it was a statewide check of the gaming system and the
Xbox would be returned after the investigation was complete.
12, 2018, Plaintiff filed ARP MCI-J-0272-18 complaining that
Officer Osilesi stole his Xbox from his cell. ECF 20-4 at p.
3. The ARP was investigated by Capt. Crystal Harris. ECF
20-8. Harris attempted to interview Plaintiff on May 29,
2018, but he refused to report to the p supervisor's
office and stated that he did not want the Xbox. Id.
at p. 2. Capt. Harris also noted all Xbox units were
inspected by staff, including Plaintiffs. Id. at p.
13, 2018, the Warden responded to Plaintiffs ARP, explaining
that the ARP was dismissed because "an investigation
revealed no evidence to support your claim....Your property
was not stolen. Your Xbox was confiscated during the
statewide search of all Xbox gaming systems. ECF 20-4 at p.
7. On or about May 29, 2018, the Xbox was presented to
Plaintiff, but he refused to take it. ECF 20-4 at p. 8.
Plaintiff was advised that the X-Box was in the property
vault awaiting his action. ECF 20-4 at p. 8; ECF 20-9, ¶
filed IGO No. 20181170 on July 11, 2018 as an appeal from the
ARP MCI-J 0272-18. ECF 20-11, ¶ 5. The IGO dismissed
Plaintiffs grievance on November 2, 2018, based on a
determination that Plaintiff failed to state a claim and
further finding that Plaintiff had been presented with a
confiscation form regarding the X-Box which he refused to
sign and that efforts were made to return the X-Box, but
Plaintiff refused to accept it.. ECF 20-4 at p. 8.
was employed as a laundry worker at MCI-J beginning on March
2, 2018. ECF 20-9 at pp. 2, 9, 12; ECF 20-4 at p. 12. Prior
to his employment he was indigent. Id. As a laundry
worker, he earned a monthly salary of $29.45. ECF 20-9 at p.
13. On May 17, 2018, he was paid $57.00, representing his
wages for March and April, 2018. Id., p. 9.
Plaintiff had incurred debts of $910.00 for federal court
filing fees, $57.39 in state fees, and $8.00 for copy card
purchases. Id. Funds were deducted from Plaintiffs
account and applied toward his debts. On May 17, 2018, $11.40
and $35.60 were deducted from his inmate account to pay on
his federal and state debts respectively. Id. On
June 4, 2018, $5.89 was taken from Plaintiff s account and
applied to his federal debt and $13.56 was taken and applied
to his state debt. Id.
August 1, 2018, plaintiff filed ARP MCI-J-0459-18 alleging he
was denied wages for the first two months of his employment
as a laundry worker on the evening shift. ECF 20-4 at p. 11.
The ARP was dismissed as untimely. Id. Plaintiff s
appeal to the Commissioner was also dismissed. Id.
at p. 9. On September 24, 2018, Plaintiff filed IGO No.
20181594 as a grievance appeal from the disposition of
ARP-MCIJ-0473-19, complaining that ARP MCIJ-0459-18 was
improperly dismissed. ECF 20-11, ¶ 6. The grievance was
dismissed on October 31, 2018, due to Plaintiffs failure to
properly exhaust the ARP process. Id.
Conditions of Confinement
Plaintiff arrived at MCI-J on June 15, 2017, he was assigned
to cell GW-145. ECF 20-5, ¶ 3. He was transferred to
HW-130 on June 11, 2018, HE-213 on ...