United States District Court, D. Maryland
K. Bredar Chief Judge.
Chauncy Bennett is an inmate at Eastern Correctional
Institution (ECI). He alleges in his Complaint filed pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that nude photographs sent to him in
prison were improperly confiscated and that on October 25,
2018, he was placed in handcuffs and leg shackles from 8:15
a.m. to 3:20 p.m. while attending a civil hearing on his
Petition for Judicial Review in the Circuit Court for
Somerset County, Maryland. He alleges the handcuffs caused
him wrist pain which has been “overlook[ed] for
years.” Compl. ECF No. 1. Ricky Foxwell, former Warden
of ECI, has filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative,
Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 14. Bennett has filed a
response in opposition to Foxwell's dispositive motion.
ECF No. 16. Bennett later filed two separate pleadings
captioned as Motions for Summary Judgment. ECF Nos. 18,
case is ripe for disposition and no hearing is necessary.
Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2018). For the reasons to follow,
Bennett's Motions for Summary Judgment will be denied.
Foxwell's Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment,
treated as a Motion for Summary Judgment, will be granted.
filed this Complaint on January 11, 2019. On January 31,
2019, the Court granted Bennett an opportunity to supplement
the complaint and directed him to explain how Warden Foxwell
was involved in the matters alleged, indicate the basis for
his discrimination claim, and state who placed him in
handcuffs. ECF No. 6.
February 25, 2019, Bennett submitted correspondence listing
the First, Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, and
“Equal Protection Clause and Discrimination” as
claims. ECF No. 7 ¶1. He asserted Warden Foxwell had
“knowledge of the photos due to the chain of command by
mailroom, Commissioner, IGO hearing, Judicial Review in the
Circuit Court for Somerset County….” ECF No. 7
¶ 3. Bennett also alleged he was discriminated against
because “everyone else is receiving” their
photographs, while his were withheld for more than two years,
and “its duly noted we can obtain naked
materials.” Id. As relief, Bennett asks for
return of the photographs, punitive damages of $100, 000,
compensatory damages of $100, 000, and $100, 000 for
“emotional stress.” ECF No. 1 at 4.
April 29, 2019, Bennett filed a paper titled “Amending
Complaint, ” in which he stated he was offered the
photographs by Lieutenant Ward on April 22, 2019 if he would
“sign off” on his grievance before the Inmate
Grievance Office (IGO). ECF No. 11. Bennett refused because
he alleges confiscation of the photographs caused him
financial and psychological harm. Id.
Motion for Summary Judgment is governed by Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 56(a) which provides that: “[t]he court
shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” The
Supreme Court has clarified that this does not mean that any
factual dispute will defeat the motion:
By its very terms, this standard provides that the mere
existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties
will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for
summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine
issue of material fact.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
247-48 (1986) (emphasis in original).
party opposing a properly supported motion for summary
judgment ‘may not rest upon the mere allegations or
denials of [his] pleadings,' but rather must ‘set
forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue
for trial.'” Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens
Football Club, Inc., 346 F.3d 514, 522 (4th Cir. 2003)
(alteration in original) (quoting former Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)).
The court should “view the evidence in the light most
favorable to . . . the nonmovant, and draw all inferences in
her favor without weighing the evidence or assessing the
witnesses' credibility.” Dennis v. Columbia
Colleton Med. Ctr., Inc., 290 F.3d 639, 645 (4th Cir.
2002). A court must, however, also abide by the
“affirmative obligation of the trial judge to prevent
factually unsupported claims and defenses from proceeding to
trial.” Bouchat, 346 F.3d at 526 (internal
quotation marks omitted) (quoting Drewitt v. Pratt,
999 F.2d 774, 778-79 (4th Cir. 1993)).
under § 1983 allows “a party who has been deprived
of a federal right under the color of state law to seek
relief.” City of Monterey v. Del Monte Dunes at
Monterey, Ltd., 526 U.S. 687, 707 (1999). To state a
claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that (1) a
right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United
States was violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was
committed by a person acting under the color of state law.
See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). To the
extent Bennett intends to raise a condition-of-confinement
claim for the handcuffing and an inadequate medical care
claim for his wrist pain under the Eighth Amendment, Foxwell
raises Eleventh ...