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Gladu v. Maine Department of Corrections

Superior Court of Maine, Cumberland

May 27, 2018

NICHOLAS GLADU Petitioner
v.
MAINE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS et als. Respondents

          James Fortin, AAG Office of the Attorney General

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT

          A. M. HORTON, JUSTICE

         These consolidated Rule 8OC appeals from administrative action are before the court for decision, based on parties' briefs-Petitioner Nicholas Gladu's initial and reply brief and Respondents' brief in opposition-and the entire records on appeal in each case.

         The court elects to decide the cases without oral argument. See M.R. Civ. 8OC(1) (oral argument to be scheduled "[V]nless the court otherwise directs." See also Lindemann v. Comm'n on Governmental Ethics & Election Practices, 2008 ME 187, ¶26, 961 A.2d 538 (Rule 8OC permits court to direct that oral argument not be scheduled).

         Based on the entire record, the court denies both appeals and grants judgment to Respondents.

         Background

         Petitioner Nicholas Gladu is a prisoner in the custody of the Maine Department of Corrections (DOC). His appeal is from the DOC's denial of two grievances he submitted to prison staff at the Maine Correctional Center (MCC) in 2017, while he was an inmate there. Petitioner's brief summarizes the background as follows:

Gladu's Petitions allege that while he was incarcerated at Maine Correctional Center in 2017, he submitted two sick call slips to be seen for serious medical concerns and that prison staff failed to provide timely response to his requests for care and treatment (or even respond at all within a reasonable period of time). MDOC policy 18.3 mandates that all prisoner sick call slips be triaged by facility medical staff within 48 hours. Gladu wasn't evaluated by medical staff for his sick call slips until several weeks later.
Gladu first attempted to informally resolve his grievance complaints with the designated staff member. When that staff member failed to timely respond to informal resolution, Glad then submitted his grievance forms to £the] Grievance Review Officer for investigation. When Gladu was finally evaluated by prison medical staff for his sick call complaints, the designated supervisor with jurisdiction was also present and asked Gladu if he would agree to resolve his grievance complaints. Gladu stated, "No, I want my complaints investigated by the GRO.
MDOC policy 29.01 and 29.02 do not require Gladu to accept any proposed informal resolution. Furthermore, nor does MDOC policy permit a supervisor with jurisdiction to respond to a prisoner's attempt at informal resolution several weeks late.
Gladu provided updates of said interaction with the SWJ to the GRO. The GRO then dismissed Gladu's grievances stating that Gladu had failed to make a good-faith effort at informal resolution when he declined to accept the SWJ's proposed untimely resolution.

         Petitioner's Brief at 2.

         Respondent DOC's summary does not significantly differ from the Petitioner's, but the precise chronology of events is important, for reasons set forth in the Analysis section below. The record indicates the following:

• February 24: Petitioner submitted two sick call slips requesting to be evaluated by the prison health care staff.
• February 26: Forty eight hours after submitting the sick call slips, Petitioner had not been evaluated by prison health care staff.
• February 27: Petitioner initiated complaints and attempted to contact the Health Services Administrator (HSA) for ...

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