United States District Court, D. Maryland
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
this court denied injunctive relief and directed service,
(ECF Nos. 8, 9) Defendants filed a motion to dismiss or for
summary judgment (ECF No. 17) in response to Plaintiff David
Allen Reinhardt’s civil rights complaint as amended
(ECF Nos. 1, 7). Mr. Reinhardt opposes the motion via a
motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 19). The court finds a
hearing in this matter unnecessary. See Local Rule
105.6 (D. Md. 2018). For the reasons set-forth below,
Defendants’ motion, construed as one seeking summary
judgment, will be granted and Plaintiff’s motion will
Reinhardt filed this complaint following an incident that
occurred on August 27, 2018, at Western Correctional
Institution (WCI) where he was incarcerated. He explains
that he was approached by Sgt. Middleton at approximately
4:20 p.m., having returned to his cell after the evening
meal. Sgt. Middleton told Mr. Reinhardt that “per
orders [of] Lt. Bennett” he had to move Mr. Reinhardt
to Administrative Segregation and advised that “the
good news [was] ‘you did not get stabbed
today.’” ECF No. 7 at p. 3. Sgt. Middleton told
Mr. Reinhardt he would look into why this was happening.
fifteen minutes later, the correctional officer who had
accompanied Sgt. Middleton to Mr. Reinhardt’s cell
returned. He told Mr. Reinhardt that, “‘Rob was
to stab you on orders from DMI because you won’t let
nor allow DMI to steal tobacco from the Native American
service nor will you give it to them either.’”
ECF No. 7 at p. 3. Mr. Reinhardt asked how the planned
assault was supposed to have occurred. In response, the
officer advised that “Rob” turned in the weapon
while at the medical unit and admitted that “he was to
stab David Reinhardt 3B44 wheelchair pusher.”
Id. The officer further reported that, when Rob was
questioned, he indicated that he did not have a problem with
Mr. Reinhardt and that is why he did not follow through with
the assault. Id.
Reinhardt explains that the purpose of placing him on
administrative segregation was to allow time for an
investigation, but he was never interviewed by anyone
investigating the incident. ECF No. 7 at p. 3. He describes
himself as a person who stands up for what he believes in and
the DMI as a “white gang that only wants to steal
tobacco and disrupt Native American Ceremon[ies] by
talking.” Id. In Mr. Reinhardt’s view,
the totality of the circumstances as well as later-occurring
events, created a pervasive risk of harm to his safety. He
points to an incident that occurred on September 2, 2018,
where an inmate was “found dead in [a] cell and only
the cell buddy [was] in there” as further evidence of a
pervasive risk of harm. Id. at p. 4. Further, Mr.
Reinhardt states that he has been incarcerated for 32 years
and has “seen contract killing in prison cells”
which were motivated by money. Id.
August 30, 2018, Mr. Reinhardt wrote to Warden Graham seeking
assistance with maintaining a “single cell and a job
while on admin[istrative] seg[regation].” Id.
Warden Graham reportedly never responded to Mr.
Reinhardt’s missive. Id.
September 10, 2018, Mr. Reinhardt wrote to Lt. Bennett
because he was in charge of the investigation in Mr.
Reinhardt’s case. In the written message Mr. Reinhardt
informed Lt. Bennett that he would “not go on
Protective custody” and he would not “sign
off.” Id. Mr. Reinhardt states he never
received a response from Lt. Bennett. Id.
October 1, 2018, Mr. Reinhardt saw a Case Management Team for
review of his housing assignment status. ECF No. 7 at p. 4.
At that time Mr. Reinhardt was informed that Lt. Bennett told
the team to put him back into general population.
Id. The team made the recommendation to move Mr.
Reinhardt back to general population. Id.
October 4, 2018, Mr. Reinhardt filed the instant complaint in
this court. Id. He explains that “[i]n any
other prison where I was housed in if and when I was put on
admin. seg. the investigating [lieutenant or captain] would
come talk to me.” Id. Mr. Reinhardt believes
the manner in which his case was handled was irresponsible
and showed a disregard for his safety. Id. As
relief, Mr. Reinhardt seeks monetary damages.
do not dispute the factual allegations raised by Mr.
Reinhardt in his complaint. Rather, they assert, inter
alia, that the actions taken in response to the reported
threat to Mr. Reinhardt were constitutionally adequate and
did not run afoul of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition
on cruel and unusual punishment. ECF No. 17. As noted by this
court in its Memorandum Opinion denying preliminary
injunctive relief, Defendants explained that:
[C]ounsel provides a declaration under oath from Correctional
Case Management Supervisor Michael Yates along with relevant
records. ECF No. 4. Yates confirms that on August 27, 2018,
Plaintiff was placed on administrative segregation pending an
investigation into an allegation that he was going to be
stabbed by inmate Robert Hawkins. ECF No. 4-1 at p. 1, ¶
3. The investigation was prompted when Hawkins
reported* to the Officer in Charge at the WCI
Medical Unit that he was ordered by the DMI to stab Plaintiff
because Plaintiff had stopped the DMI from stealing tobacco
from the Native American service. ECF No. 4-1 at p. 8
(Information Report dated Aug. 27, 2018). A weapon was found
in the inmate’s bathroom in the Medical unit, near a
sink, after Hawkins told officers that he had left it there
for the purpose of carrying out his assault on Plaintiff.
Id. at p. 7 (Administrative Segregation
Investigative Report), see also p. 8 (documenting
Lt. Margaret Bennett investigated the allegation and
concluded her investigation on September 26, 2018, advising
the Case Management team that her investigation into Hawkins
was not complete; that Hawkins had been placed on
administrative segregation 120; and that Plaintiff could be
reassigned to general population the following day. ECF No.
4-1 at, p. 1 ¶ 5; ECF No. 4-1 at p. 5.
On September 27, 2018, the Case Management team recommended
Plaintiff’s removal from administrative segregation and
he was returned to general population on October 5, 2018. ECF
No. 4-1 at pp. 1-2, ¶¶ 5&6. Hawkins remains
assigned to administrative segregation where ...