United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
March 15, 2019, the Court received an
unverified civil rights Complaint filed pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 filed by self-represented Plaintiff
Edward Conaway. Conaway alleged that Sgt. April Carr did not
protect him when she failed to act on his February 15, 2019
request for medical single-cell housing and wrongfully issued
him a notice of infraction for refusing to return to his
assigned cell. ECF 1, p. 1. In addition to $ 5 million in
damages, Conaway seeks injunctive relief mandating his
placement in a single medical cell. ECF 1, p. 3. Although
incarcerated at the North Branch Correctional Institution in
Cumberland ("NBCI") at the time of filing, Conaway
was released from NBCI on or before September 12, 2019, and
now resides in Glen Burnie, Maryland. ECF 1, p. 2; ECF 14.
While his release moots his request for an injunction, his
claim for money damages will proceed.
case is before the Court on Defendant Carr's Motion to
Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment
(ECF 11) and Conaway's opposition thereto. ECF 13. A
hearing to determine the matters pending is not necessary.
See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2018). For reasons that
follow, Defendant Carrr's Motion, construed as a Motion
for Summary Judgment,  is GRANTED.
claims that Carr neglected his medical needs by refusing to
place him in medical housing on February 15, 2019. ECF 1, p.
1. Conaway told Carr that he needed to be housed on C-tier in
a single medical cell because of his 2006 injury which
resulted in amputation of his penis and the need to use a
Foley catheter to urinate. As a result, Conaway's
then-cellmate did not want him in the cell because he smelled
of urine. ECF 1, pp. 1, 3. Conaway states his interaction
with Carr was recorded by the security camera for Tier A in
Housing Unit 2. Id. Conaway alleges that he filed a
Request for Administrative Remedy ("ARP") seeking
placement in a single medical cell in Unit 2 of Tier C at
NBCI (ECF 1, p. 3), but provides no documentation of this
denies any communication with Conaway concerning medical or
housing issues. ECF 11-2, Decl. of April Carr, p. 2, ¶
7. Carr also avers that Conaway never told her that he was
endangered by his cellmate, that his cellmate was making any
comments, or that he should be relocated to a different cell.
Id., p. 1, ¶ 4. Counsel for Carr represents
that there is no archived video footage of interactions
between Conaway and Carr. ECF 11-3, p. 1, ¶ 3, Decl. of
Benjamin Bradley with attachments. Further, Conaway lacked
the necessary paperwork mandating his transfer to a single
cell. ECF 11-2, p. 1, ¶ 2.
February 15, 2019, Carr charged Conaway with violating inmate
rule 316 (disobeying an order) by refusing to return to his
cell. ECF 11-2, p. 2, ¶ 5; ECF 11-3, p. 3. Carr reported
that Conaway "came out of his cell for yard [sic] with
all of his property packed and left it on the Wing",
told her "I refuse to cell with any other inmate because
of my condition. I'm refusing to fucking lock back
in" and ignored her orders to return to his cell before
stating, "fuck it, take me to lockup." ECF 11-2, p.
2, ¶ 5; ECF 11-3, p. 3.
his February 19, 2019 hearing on the rule violation, Conaway
argued that despite his injury correctional staff
"continue to put me in cells with other inmates that
could hurt me." ECF 11-3, p. 4. Hearing Officer Jamie
Farris found Conaway guilty of violating inmate rule 316,
finding Carr's report "to be credible and
reliable" and finding that Conaway "did refuse to
return to his cell..." Id. at 5. Farris also
found that Conaway did not provide "[any] evidence that
the other inmates were going to hurt him" or "[a]ny
medical documentation for a single medical or single
notes that while Conaway filed an ARP grievance concerning
Nurse Holly Pierce alleging the denial of medication, he
filed no grievance against Carr prior to filing this lawsuit.
ECF 11 -3, Decl. of Benamin Bradley, with attachments; ECF
11-4, IGO Records Decl. of Samiyah G. Hassan, p. 1, ¶2.
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, Weller v. Dep't o/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.