Francis v. Western Corr. Inst. et al

Filing 28

MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge George Jarrod Hazel on 8/14/2017. (c/m 8/15/2017 tds, Deputy Clerk)

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FILED U.S.r:ST'::cr ere::r IN THE UNITED STATES ()JSTRICt;C~lllR(JI:.:= i-::,:;YLA::) FOR TIlE ()JSTRICT OF MARYLAN() SOl/tit CHRISTOPHER SCOTT FRANCIS, )011 AUG III P 5: 05 em DiI';liOl/ * ~y.._- I'laintiff, * \'. Case No.: G.JII-16-2li9li * WESTERN CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION, et ill., * Defendants. * * * * * * * * * MEMORAN()UM Plaintiff Christopher Correctional Institution seeking monetary damages Dismiss or Alternatively No. 24. and Plaintitrs hearing is necessary. Presently I. tllr Summary Judgmen\. Motion to Reconsider at the Western relief Irom Defendants ~ 19X3. WCI and Wcxford Motion to ECF No. 13. WCI's Motion to Dismiss. Denial of Additional Disc(l\'ery. lOCI' ECF No. 21. No Motion to Reconsider Denial of Additional is denied. BACKGROUND dermatitis. Pin ciles * S'!!e Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For rcasons that tollo\\'. Defendants' In the Complain\. I inmate incarcerated pending beli.lre the Court is Wexilm!'s Motions to Dismiss arc granted. and Plaintilrs Discovery * hrings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 lJ.S.c. and other miscellaneous Ilcalth Sources (""). '* * OPINION Scott Francis. a selt:represented ("Wcn. * 10 PlaintilTstates and allergy conditions documents filed 011 that his preseriptionmedications Ii.))'his arthritis. expired. ECF No. I at 4.1 Francis complains the Court"s electronic filing system (CMIECF) that although refer to the page numbers he gcnt.:ratcd liled inflmnal complaints and sought administrative medication in May of 20 16. his medications remedies regarding the expiration of his were not renewed. 1<1. Francis aCKnowledges that on ..2 was delivered to provide him"some" .July 21.2016_ an m1hritis medication--Meloxicam rclief. but he was not provided his dermatitis cream or his allergy spray. Id at 5. Plaintiff claims he was informed that the order Ill!' the medications "was never put in:' 1tI. PlaintifT Iiled the instant Complaint on August 17. 2016. ECF No. I. On November 28. 2016. DetCndant Wexllml Iiled a Motion to Dismiss. or Alternatively. whieh remains unopposed wcrs unopposed Il11" ummary .Judgment. S as of the signature date.-' ECF No. 13. Also pending is Defendalll Motion to Dismiss.-l ECF No. 24. In addition. Francis has Iiled a Motion Reconsider the Denial of his Request Il)r Additional 10 Discovery. ECF No. 21. This Court previously denied Francis' Motion to Expand the Record. noting that Francis had not shown the relevance of documents declaration. rebuttal oppositions he seeks. nor his inability to cran. through aflidm'it or which present "facts essential to justify [his] opposition" hased upon the record presented to the court. ECF No. 18; srr Fcd. R. Civ. P. 56(d). Id. In his iVlotion to Reconsider. indecipherable. Francis contends that the record presented to the Court is incomplctc. and inconclusive. inaccurate. ECF No. 21 at 2. He therell)re claims that he requires acccss to his entirc medical record and siCK-cali histories. Id Wexllml opposes the rcconsiderationmotion. ECF No. 23. The issues presented Il)r review by the Complaint and Defendant WCTs response do not involve a substantive or complicated analysis of the lilCtS. Francis has failed to shO\v that bv that s\'stcm. :!~\tfcloxi~al11 used to treat arthritis. It reduces pain. swelling. and stiffness ofthc joints. Mcloxicam is nonsteroidal <lnti-intl<lll1lllalory drug (NSA is ~11()\\'11 as a I D) . .':";e(' http://www.wchl11d.colll.drugs1l/drug-911/melo..\.ic<llll- oml/dclails . • Francis was gnulled additional time to and including January 17.2017 to tile his opposition. ECF No. 18. lie has not done so. ~ By motion. Francis requested The Motion shall be granted an extension IlUIlC pro oftimc to respond and including. tUIlC. ., February 13.2017.'" ECF 0.22. he cannot crati a rcsponse to thc Wcxford and WClmotions materials. Accordingly. the Motion to Reconsider in thc absence of additional Denial of Additional Discovery is denied. II, STANDAIW OF I{EVIEW Dclendants Rule 12(b)(6):' may "test the adequacy of a complaint by way of a motion to dismiss under Prelich ,'. Med. Res .. Il1c.. 813 F, Supp. 2d 654. 660 (I). Md. 2(11) (citing (;erlllal1 \'. Fox. 267 F, App'x 231. 233 (4th Cir. 2(08»), Motions to dismiss tiJr n,ilure to statc a claim do "not resolve contcsts surrounding the tacts. the merits ofa claim. or the applicability Prelich, 813 F. Supp. 2d at 660 (citing E<!ll"lmls \'. Cil)' ojGo/dshol'll, detCnses:' of 178 F.3d 231. 243 (4th Cir. 1999). Thc court should not grant a motion to dismiss tiJr failure to statc a claim tiJr rclief unlcss "it is clear that no relief could be granted under any set of t~lcts that could be proved consistent with thc allcgations:' GE 111\',Primle Placemel1/ Parll1ers II \'. Parker. 247 F.3d 543. 548 (4th Cir. 2(01) (citing II..!. Il1c. J'. Norllnreslel'1l (1989)). To ovcrcome Bell Tel. Co .. 492 U.S. 229. 249-50) a Rulc 12( b)( 6) motion. a compiaint plausible claim t(Jr relief must allege cnough t~lcts to state a Bell All. Corp. ". 7iromhl)'. 550 U.S. 544.570 (2007): Ashcl'II!i \'. Iqhal, 556 U,S. 662. 678 (2009), A claim is plausible when .'thc plaintitTplcads that allows the Court to draw the reasonable misconduct alleged:' In evaluating allegations interence that the detendant is liable tiJr the I'lhal, 556 U,S, at 678. the sufticiency in the complaint of the Plaintiffs as true and construes favorable to the Plaintiff. See Alhrighl claims. the Court accepts t~lctual thc I~lctual allegations contain more than "Iegal conclusions. of furthcr lactual cnhancement." (4th Cir. 2(09). in the light most \'. Oli,w. 510 U,S. 266. 268 (1994): I.alllhelh \'. 1M 0( ('olllm'r.' 11/1J({l'i<!s0I1Oy.. 407 r,3d 266. 268 (4th Cir. 2(05). Ilowcver. 250.255 t~lctlml content elcments the complaint of a cause of action. and bare assertions must de\"(Jid Nemel (,17£,\'l'IIlel, !.I<!\'. ('OI/.\'I11II£'ru{!ilirs. com. I11C 591 F.3d .. Fed. R. Civ. 1'. 8(a) further provides that "laJ pleading that states a 3 claim for relief must contain a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief."' Although the defendant "no technical fimns of pleading arc required. a complaint filir notice of what the plaintiJrs claim is and the ground upon which it rests .... Ellgle \'. Vlliled Siaies. 736 F. Supp. 670. 671 (D. Md. 1989). afrd. 902 F.2d 28 (4th Cir. 1990) (citing COllley \'. Gihsoll. 355 U.S. 41. 48 (1957)). Thc Court is not obligatcd unsupported legal allegations. Rewlle Cir. 1989) or legal conclusions must 'gi,'e \'. Charles C(Jlmly Commissiollen. couched as lilctual allegations. to accept 882 F.2d 870. 873 (4th PaplI.\(1II \'. A//aill. 478 U.S. 265. 286 (1986). III. DISCUSSION 42 U.S.c. statute. ordinancc. subjectcd. regulation. at la\\' ... custom. or usage. of any state or territory. subjects. or causes to bc secured by the Constitution for redress." 42 U.S.c. to the deprivation based on ordinary supervisory superior principles indifferenec ~ 1983. It is well established or that the doctrine of respolldeal 355 F.3d 766. 782 (4th Cir. \'. Marlill. liability under ~ 1983). Liability of supervisory of respondeat superior. or tacit authorization tilctor in the constitutional of any rights. privileges. and laws. shall bc liable to the party injured in an action docs not apply in ~ 1983 claims. See Lm'e-Lalle 2(04) (no rcspondeat Malolle. part that "cvery person who. under color of any any citizen of thc Unitcd States ... immunities sllperior ~ 1983 states in pertinent but rathcr is prcmised ofsubordinatcs' misconduct injuries they inllict on thosc committed 268 F.3d 228. 235 (4th Cir. 2(01) (quoting Siakalll'. ol'lieials "is not on 'a recognition that may be a causative to their carc .... 8aYllard \'. Porler. 737 F.2d 368. 372 (4th Cir. 1984»). Therefore. municipalities. other local government bodies. and private corporations undcr color of state la\\'. as here. may not be held liable in a Section ofresp0l/(leaISllperior. See AIiSlill\'. acting 1983 action undcr a theory ParalllO/lIl1 ['arks. IIII' .. 195 f.3d 715. 727 (4th Cir. 1999): 4 Davis v. We.-.:jimllleaIIIlSo/lrces. /IIC.. No. 2:15.CV.09756. 2017 WL938319. at *4 (S.D. W. Va. Mar. 9. 2017) (explaining that a private entity which contracts with the state to provide medical services acts "under color of state law") (citing Wesl,'. A/killS. 487 U.S. 42 (1998)). Rather. "a private corporation is liable under Section 1983 only when an official policy or custom of the corporation causes the alleged deprivation of lederal rights." A/lslill. 195 F.3d at 728. Here. Francis has failed to allege lilcts showing an official policy or custom by Wexllml in regard to the matters alleged in his Complaint. His eflllft to hold Wexllmlliable based on its supervisory role. without more. fails to state a e1aim upon which relief may be granted. Further. Delendant WCI is not a "person" subject to suit under 42 U.S.c. ~ 1983. A number of courts have held that inanimate objects such as buildings. facilities. and grounds do not act under color of state law and are not subject to suit under ~ 1983. See SII/illl \'. '\/olllgoll/el)' CI)'. Corr. Fi.lcilil)'. No. CIV.A, PWG.)3.3177. 2014 WI. 4094963. at *3 (D. Md. Aug. 18. 2(14) (holding that Montgomery County Correctional Facility "is an inanimate object that cannot act under color of state law and there!llre is not a 'person' subject to suit undcr Section 1983.") /'rem/,'. Rello. 57 F.Supp.2d 307. 310 (E.D. Va. 1999) ("[Tille Piedmont Regional Jail is not a 'person: and therefore not amenable to suit under 42 U.S.c. ~ 1983."): 8rooks \'. /'ell/hroke Cily.!ai/. 722 F.Supp. 1294. )301 (E.D. N.C. 1989) ("Claims under ~ 1983 are directed at 'persons' and the jail is not a person amenable to suit."). Thus. the Section 1983 claim against WCI is also subject to dismissal. In addition. even if Plainti IThad brought suit against the appropriate individual prison or medical otllcials. the allegations in his Complaint arc insufficient to state a e1aim Il)r constitutional violations. i\ defendant prison orticial "violates the Eighth Amendment by acting with deliberate indiflerence to a prisoner's serious medical needs." Ralll/o//,11 v. Slale. 74 F. Supp. 2d 537. 543-44 (D. Md. 1999) (citing Eslelle \'. (Jail/hie. 429 U.S. 97. 104 (1976)). To 5 statc a claim fell' this typc of violation, a sufliciently thc plaintilTilllllatc must adcquatcly serious medical need that required mcdical treatmcnt: awarc of it. but actcd with dclibcratc indiffcrcnce by dcclining 1995)), "Deliberate negligence indiffercncc" onthc part ofthc or lack of due care fell"the prisoner's prison official actually werc to securc availablc medical 'knows of and disregards prison oflicial requircs "more than ordinary intercsts or safety: it instead requires thai a an excessive Opensha\l' \'. We.\iiml Med Dep'l. No. CV TDC-15-3521. risk to inmate health or safety:" 2017 WL 658712, 'II *2 (D. Md. Feb. (citing Farme!" \'. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994)), In this casc. Plaintiff alleges that he expericnces allegations. arthritis, eczema, and allcrgies. without further detail. do not risc to the levcl of suflicicntly that rcquire immcdiate TDC -15-3521. violation and (b) prison oflicials (citing Brice r, Virginia Beach Correctional 01' .. 58 F,3d 101. 104 (4th Cir. attention:'/d 16,2017) plead "(a) that hc had medical attention. These serious mediealnccds See, e.g., OpellS/lllll' \'. We.tfiml Med /Jep'l. No. CV 2017 WL 658712. at *2 (D, Md. Fcb. 16, 2(17) (Iinding no Eighth Amendment wherc plaintiff inmate allegcd that he was not bcing provided the right medication his hepatitis C. resulting fill' in physical pain): While \'. Cori::on, Inc.. No. CIV.A. DKC-14-879. 2014 WL 1831 120. at * I (D, Md. May 7, 2014) (finding plaintiff inmale failed to state a constitutional cancellcd, claim where he alleged that his prescriptions and that he had not received adequate hand. and skin rashcs). Moreover. medication fill' lotion and muscle rub were medical care lilr back pain. nel'\'e damage in his Francis himselfacknowlcdges that he was provided arthritis that "docs provide some relief: but does not kill all pain:' ECF No. I '115: see also Wrig/u ,'. Collins. 766 F,2d 841. 849 (4th Cir. 1(85) ("A disagrccment prison staff over proper treatment exceptional circumstances docs not rise to thc Icvel of deliberate arc alleged, '''). For these reasons, Plaintirt-s 6 between an inmate and indi rtcrencc 'unless Complaint fails to allege sufiicient facts showing Defendants' deliberate indifference to a sufiiciently serious medical need. which would entitle Plaintiff to reliefin this Court. IV. CONCLUSION For the foregoing reasons. Defendants' Motions to Dismiss shall he granted. Defendant Wextord's Motion tor Summary Judgment shall be dismissed without prejudice.; A separate Order shall issue. Date: August (~. Aff- 2017 GEORGE J. HAZEL United States District Judge 'Counsel is cautioned that any future filing of a Rule 56(a) motion that relies on the medical record should be accompanied by Affidavit and a more comprehensive filing of exhibits. 7

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