Franklin v. Georgia Department of Corrections

Filing 13

ORDER granting #6 Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, directing the Clerk to terminate all pending motions and deadlines, enter judgment in favor of Defendant GDC, and close the case. Signed by Judge Dudley H. Bowen on 05/22/2023. (jlh)

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Case 3:23-cv-00030-DHB-BKE Document 13 Filed 05/22/23 Page 1 of 3 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIADUBLIN DIVISION ArT.-i '-. V » . . ■ ■ ■ ■! ' . i , 2GZ3 HAY 22 P 3- 03 AARON ELI FRANKLIN, * * Plaintiff, * ■* V. * CV 323-030 ★ GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF * CORRECTIONS, * ★ Defendant. * ORDER On March 2, 2023, Plaintiff Aaron Eli Franklin filed a complaint in the Superior Court of Monroe County wherein he sets forth two causes of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff was incarcerated at Johnson State Prison at all times relevant to the allegations in the complaint. The case was properly removed on March Defendant 29, Corrections 2023. At ("GDC") present. has filed a motion Georgia for Department judgment on of the pleadings. The complaint alleges that the GDC, which operates the Johnson State Prison, violated Plaintiff's constitutional rights in two ways. First, Plaintiff claims that the Johnson State Prison was inadequately staffed, which allowed four inmates to physically attack him on September 7, 2021. Second, Plaintiff claims he was improperly incarcerated from November 5, 2022 to February 27, 2023. Case 3:23-cv-00030-DHB-BKE Document 13 Filed 05/22/23 Page 2 of 3 Plaintiff seeks money damages for both claims. the motion, these facts are taken as true. For purposes of See Hart v. Hodges, 587 F.3d 1288, 1290 n.l (ll^h cir. 2009). "After the pleadings are closed - but early enough not to delay trial - a party may move for judgment on the pleadings." Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c). "Judgment on the pleadings is proper when no issues of material fact exist, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law based on the substance of the pleadings and any judicially noticed facts." Cunningham v. Dist. Att^y^s Off, for Escambia Cnty., 592 F.3d 1237, 1255 (ll'^^ Cir. 2010) (citation omitted). The GDC contends that the Eleventh Amendment bars Plaintiff's § 1983 claims. The Court concurs. The Eleventh Amendment bars a plaintiff from suing a state or its agencies in federal court unless the state has expressly waived its sovereign immunity and consented to suit. Welch v. Texas Dep't of Highways, 483 U.S. 468, 472-73 (1987); Pennhurst State School & Hosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 98-100 (1984). Federal civil rights statutes like § 1983 do not abrogate the sovereign immunity granted by the Eleventh Amendment. (1989). Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 67 Thus, Plaintiff's suit against the GDC is barred under the Eleventh Amendment. See Stevens v. Gay, 864 F.2d 113, 115 (ll^^'^ Cir. 1989) ("The Eleventh Amendment bars [suit] against the Georgia Department of Corrections" regardless of the relief Case 3:23-cv-00030-DHB-BKE Document 13 Filed 05/22/23 Page 3 of 3 sought.). Notably, Plaintiff's response to the motion for judgment on the pleadings utterly fails to address the GDC's claim of sovereign immunity. Upon the foregoing, Defendant GDC's motion for judgment on the pleadings (doc. no. 6) is GRANTED. The Clerk is directed to TERMINATE all pending motions and deadlines, ENTER JUDGMENT in ORDER ENTERED at Augusta, Georgia, this of May, 2023. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

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