United States District Court, D. Maryland
DAVON PHILLIPS, ALTON W. CUMBO, Plaintiffs
SGT. OLUWEMIMO SAIBU, CO II ORIYOMI BABOE, COII MILTON TARKANG, COII ABEEB KAZEEM, SGT. ADEMOLA IDOWU, COII ADEMOLA ADENIYI, Defendants
W. Grimm, United States District Judge.
pending and ready for resolution in this civil rights case is
Defendant Abeeb Kazeem's unopposed Motion to Dismiss or
in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 29.
No. hearing is necessary. Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2018). For the
reasons following, Defendant's Motion will be treated as
a Motion for Summary Judgment and will be granted.
February 28, 2019, I granted Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment except for the excessive force claim against
Correctional Officer Abeeb Kazeem, which I denied without
prejudice and directed Defendants' counsel to respond to
the allegation that Kazeem used handcuffs like “brass
knuckles” to hit Cumbo in the eye. ECF No. 27, 28 at 2,
Counsel filed the pending dispositive motion with
Kazeem's declaration and verified exhibits on March 8, 2019.
ECF No. 29.
motion will be treated as one for summary judgment under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. Defendant has submitted
materials outside the original pleadings and Plaintiffs were
given the opportunity to object or otherwise respond to such
evidence. See Bosiger v. U.S. Airways, 510 F.3d 442,
450 (4th Cir. 2007).
motion for summary judgment is granted 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(a); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). In this inquiry, a court must
consider the facts and all reasonable inferences in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party. Libertarian Party
of Va. v. Judd, 718 F.3d 308, 312 (4th Cir. 2013);
see also Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 378 (2007).
District courts must “thoroughly analyze[ ]” even
an unopposed motion for summary judgment. Maryland v.
Universal Elections, Inc., 729 F.3d 370, 380 (4th Cir.
2013) (citing Robinson v. Wix Filtration Corp., 599
F.3d 403, 409 n.8 (4th Cir. 2010)). “Although the
failure of a party to respond to a summary judgment motion
may leave uncontroverted those facts established by the
motion, the moving party must still show that the
uncontroverted facts entitle the party to ‘a judgment
as a matter of law.'” CX Reinsurance Co. Ltd.
v. Heggie, ELH-15-1674, 2016 WL 6025488, at *5 (D. Md.
2016) (quoting Custer v. Pan Am. Life Ins. Co., 12
F.3d 410, 416 (4th Cir. 1993)).
establish an Eighth Amendment claim for use of excessive
force, a plaintiff must demonstrate that a prison official
“acted with a sufficiently culpable state of mind
(subjective component)” and that “the deprivation
suffered or injury inflicted on the inmate was sufficiently
serious (objective component).” Williams v.
Benjamin, 77 F.3d 756, 761 (4th Cir. 1996). In his
declaration, Kazeem denies that he ever “made any
contact” with or attempted to strike Cumbo with
handcuffs. ECF No. 29-2. Kazeem declares that he “did
not use handcuffs as ‘brass knuckles' and strike
Plaintiff Cumbo in the eye as he alleges.” Id.
Kazeem states that on the day of the incident, he ordered
Cumbo to stop kicking his cell door and to turn around for
handcuffing. Kazeem twice removed the handcuffs from his
utility belt when it seemed that Cumbo would comply with the
handcuffing orders. Id. Cumbo did not comply;
instead, he hit Kazeem on the shoulder and face, causing him
to fall to the ground. Id.
has not opposed the summary judgment motion with an affidavit
or other similar evidence to show that there is a genuine
issue of material fact to premise an excessive force claim.
Absent a genuine issue as to any material fact, Kazeem is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
foregoing reasons, the Motion for Summary Judgment will be
granted. A separate Order follows.
 Plaintiffs were notified that they are
entitled to file an opposition with supporting materials
including affidavits, declarations, and other records. ECF
Nos. 27, 30. Neither Plaintiff filed a reply or responsive