United States District Court, D. Maryland
WILLIAM K. DIXON, Prisoner Identification No. 312-160, Plaintiff,
KARLA HILL-PEAY, CCMS II  JEFFREY NINES, Assistant Warden, KEVIN LAMP, Chaplain, LIEUTENANT GREGORY FORNEY, and CO II SOWS, Defendants.
Theodore D. Chuang United States District Judge.
William K. Dixon, an inmate incarcerated at the North Branch
Correctional Institution ("NBCI") in Cumberland,
Maryland, has filed a civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 alleging that violations of his rights under the
First, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United
States Constitution when he was denied access to religious
services, accused of attempting to bribe a prison chaplain in
exchange for withdrawing a grievance relating to that alleged
denial, and unfairly punished with disciplinary segregation.
Defendants Jeffrey Nines, Assistant Warden of NBCI; Lt.
Gregory Forney; and NBCI Chaplain Kevin Lamp (collectively,
"Defendants") have filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in
the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment. Dixon responded
by filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, which the Court
construes as both a Motion and a memorandum in opposition to
Defendants' Motion. Having reviewed the submitted
materials, the Court finds that no hearing is necessary.
See D. Md. Local R. 105.6. For the reasons set forth
below, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or, in the
Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment, will be granted,
and Dixon's Motion for Summary Judgment will be denied.
unverified Complain,, Dixon alleges that on March 4,
2017, he was not able to attend a Seventh
Day Adventist ("SDA") religious service when his
cell door did not open to allow him to leave and attend the
service. As of that date, Dixon was listed in NBCI records as
having SDA as his religious preference. However, his
preference had changed over time. At Patuxent Institution,
where Dixon was incarcerated until February 2016, he had
listed his religious preference as Moorish Science Temple of
America ("MSTA"). After arriving at NBCI in
February 2016, Dixon switched his religious preference to
SDA. On February 13, 2016, Dixon was released from his cell
to attend an SDA religious service but went to the wrong
location and was thus unable to attend. Between February 2016
and March 2017, Dixon was held in administrative segregation
for significant stretches of time, during which, under NBCI
policy, he and other inmates on segregation were not
permitted to attend religious services and were instead
supposed to worship in their own cells.
February 23, 2017, Dixon submitted a written request to
change his religious preference to MSTA. On March 2, 2017,
Chaplain Lamp responded in writing, noting that Dixon was
presently listed as SDA and stating that if Dixon wanted to
change religious groups, he needed to complete a form
enclosed with the response.
March 4, 2017, when Dixon's cell door did not open so he
was not able to attend an SDA service, Dixon asked
correctional officers why he was not released for religious
services. He was told that the chaplain was responsible for
determining which religious services an inmate would be
permitted to attend.
March 13, 2017, Dixon filed an Administrative Remedy
Procedure grievance ("ARP") complaining about the
denial of access to religious services. According to Lamp, on
March 29, 2017, while he was interviewing Dixon about his
ARP, Dixon offered to withdraw his ARP if Lamp would pay him
five dollars. Lamp then reported Dixon for attempting to
bribe a correctional officer. In contrast, Dixon claims that
Lamp had tried to get him to withdraw the ARP in exchange for
Lamp agreeing to change Dixon's religious preference to
MSTA, which Dixon had "preferred for months."
Pl.'s Mot. Summ. J. at 7, ECF No. 15-1. Dixon refused to
withdraw the ARP without any monetary compensation. Dixon
asked for $5, 000, which was the amount that he was seeking
through the ARP.
April 2, 2017, Acting Warden Nines denied the ARP on the
grounds that an NBCI investigation had concluded that
Dixon's cell had been opened to allow him to attend the
service, but he chose not to do so, and that Dixon had tried
to bribe Lamp.
was placed on administrative segregation, which he asserts
was actually disciplinary segregation. On April 25, 2017, a
disciplinary hearing was conducted. The witnesses were Dixon,
Lamp, and a correctional officer who corroborated Lamp. The
hearing officer found that Dixon had tried to bribe Lamp and
imposed 60 days of cell restriction upon Dixon. Where Dixon
had already served approximately 30 days in disciplinary
segregation in advance of the hearing, dating back to March
29, 2017, he only had to serve approximately 30 more days on
cell restriction, until May 27, 2017.
to Dixon, while in disciplinary segregation, he was denied
access to certain personal property, outside recreation,
phone privileges, work opportunities, and visitation without
being handcuffed. He contends that received only one hour of
recreation per week and was regularly handcuffed. Dixon
further alleges that he suffered unspecified physical and
emotional injuries as a result. At one point, he reported
that he was hearing voices.
9, 2017, approximately three months after that incident,
Dixon submitted a form seeking to change his preference to a
third religion, Sunni Islam. The change was made on July 10,
filed his Complaint in which he alleged that the denial of
access to religious services violated his rights under the
First Amendment, his punishment for allegedly bribing Lamp
violated his right to due process under the Fifth and
Fourteenth Amendments, and his placement in disciplinary
segregation both before and after his disciplinary hearing
constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the
Motion for Summary Judgment, Dixon for the first time alleges
a claim of retaliation under the First Amendment. In a
supplemental brief entitled "Motion for New Evidence
Admission," submitted after he filed his Motion for
Summary Judgment, Dixon attaches a prison grievance relating
to a January 25, 2099 incident in which Correctional Officer
Sharon Lipcomb ordered him not to attend a Sunni Islamic
religious service. Briefs in opposition to a dispositive
motion may not be used to amend a complaint or add new
claims. See Zachair Ltd. v. Driggs,965 F.Supp. 741,
748 n.4 (D. Md. 1997) (stating that a plaintiff "is
bound by the allegations contained in its complaint and
cannot, through the use of motion briefs, amend the
complaint"), aff'd,141 F.3d 1162 (4th Cir.