United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
April 25, 2019, Plaintiff James Alvin Greene, II, currently
held at the Prince George's County Detention Center
("PGCDC"), filed an unverified Complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging deficiencies in,
and a lack of access to, the PGCDC law library, for which he
seeks injunctive relief requiring greater access to the
library and money damages. ECF 1. Defendant filed a Motion to
Dismiss the Complaint or in the Alternative, Motion for
Summary Judgment (ECF 8), opposed by Greene (ECF 10), and
Defendant's Reply. ECF 11. For reasons set forth herein,
Defendant's dispositive motion, construed as a motion for
summary judgment,  IS GRANTED.
The Parties' Assertions and Arguments
asserts that PGCDC has an "insufficient, poor and
inadequate law library" often unavailable to him. As a
result, Greene alleges that he did not have proper resources
to research his criminal case or to request copies of case
law and law review articles, forcing him to accept a guilty
plea. ECF 1, pp. 2-4.
asserts an affirmative defense to suit; namely, that Greene
failed to pursue exhaustion of administrative remedies by
filing an internal grievance with the Prince George's
County Department of Corrections pursuant to its Inmate
Grievance Policy prior to bringing this lawsuit. Defendant
states that because Greene did not pursue his claim
administratively, his civil rights action must be dismissed
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1997e. ECF 8, pp. 3-4; ECF 8-1,
Excerpt of Inmate Handbook, § 800, Inmate Grievance
Procedure; ECF 8-2, Policy and Procedure Manual for grievance
unverified response, Greene states "I got denied a
grievance, they wouldn't let me get a grievance. So I
have neglected of my rights." ECF 10, p. 1. Defendant
counters this statement by providing an affidavit
demonstrating that Greene failed to comply with the known and
available grievance procedure available to PGCDC detainees.
ECF 11-1, Affidavit of Derrick Garnett.
Standard of Review
Court is mindful of its obligation to liberally construe the
pleadings of pro se litigants. See Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Nonetheless, liberal
construction does not mean that this Court can ignore a clear
failure in the pleading to allege facts which set forth a
cognizable claim, Welter v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990), or
"conjure up questions never squarely presented."
Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278
(4th Cir. 1985). In making this determination, this Court
"must hold the pro se complaint to less stringent
standards than pleadings drafted by attorneys and must read
the complaint liberally." White v. White, 886
F.2d 721, 722-23 (4th Cir. 1989).
motion for summary judgment is appropriate under Rule 56(c)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure only if there exists
no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 56(c); see also Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986); Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). In other words, if
there clearly exist factual issues "that properly can be
resolved only by a finder of fact because they may reasonably
be resolved in favor of either party, " then summary
judgment is inappropriate. Anderson, 477 U.S. at
250; see also Pulliam Inv. Co. v. Cameo Props., 810
F.2d 1282, 1286 (4th Cir. 1987); Morrison v. Nissan Motor
Co., 601 F.2d 139, 141 (4th Cir. 1979); Stevens v.
Howard D. Johnson Co., 181 F.2d 390, 394 (4th Cir.
1950). The moving party bears the burden of showing that
there is no genuine issue of material fact. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 56(c); Pulliam, 810 F.2d at 1286 (citing
Charbonnages de France v. Smith, 597 F.2d 406, 414
(4th Cir. 1979)).
ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the Court must draw
all reasonable inferences in favor of and construe the facts
in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. See
Tinsley v. First Union Nat'l Bank, 155 F.3d 435, 437
(4th Cir. 1998). Nevertheless, a party who bears the burden
of proof on a particular claim must factually support each
element of his or her claim. "[A] complete failure of
proof concerning an essential element. .. necessarily renders
all other facts immaterial." Celotex, 477 U.S.
at 323. Thus, on those issues on which the non-moving party
will have the burden of proof, it is his or her
responsibility to confront the motion for summary judgment
with an affidavit or other similar evidence. See
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256.
Prisoner Litigation Reform Act provides, in pertinent part,
42 U.S.C. § 1997e:
(a) Applicability of administrative remedies No action shall
be brought with respect to prison conditions under section
1983 of this title, or any other Federal law, by a prisoner
confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility
until such administrative remedies as are available are
purposes of the PLRA, "the term 'prisoner' means
any person incarcerated or detained in any facility who is
accused of, convicted of, sentenced for, or adjudicated
delinquent for, violations of criminal law or the terms and
conditions of parole, probation, pretrial release, or
diversionary program." 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(h). The
phrase "prison conditions" encompasses "all
inmate suits about prison life, whether they involve general
circumstances or particular episodes, and whether they allege
excessive force or some other wrong." Porter v.