Kulhanek v. Griffith et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Court will convert Defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings (Doc. No. 53 ) into a motion for summary judgment, in accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(d). IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, in light of the above, Defendants shall have 30 days from the date of this Order to file any supplemental briefing setting forth materials pertinent to their motion. Plaintiff shall have 30 days thereafter to file any supplemental response, and Defendants shall have 14 days thereafter to reply. Signed by District Judge John A. Ross on 12/26/2019. (CLO)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
CINDY GRIFFITH, et al.,
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Defendants Cindy Griffith, Greg Dunn, Will Hunger,
and Rick Menteer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. (Doc. No. 53). Defendants moved
for judgment on the pleadings, asserting that they, in their individual capacities, are entitled to
qualified immunity because Plaintiff failed to state factual allegations that specifically suggest
Defendants knowingly violated Plaintiff’s clearly established constitutional rights, namely, a due
process right to be free from additional restraints or increased cell and body searches.
Defendants also argue that Plaintiff has not alleged that the additional safeguards placed upon
him were punitive or wanton in nature, thus violating the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on
cruel and unusual punishment.
Plaintiff responds that he asserted sufficient facts to support his claims and contends
prison administrative records will demonstrate that his grievances were never adjudicated. (Doc.
No. 58-1). In reply, Defendants contend that Plaintiff “is not entitled to murder other offenders,
nor assault and threaten others.” (Doc. No. 59). Defendants further maintain that “there is no
clearly established law that states that an offender who murders another offender then engages in
a pattern of disruptive behavior afterwards including the attempted ‘green lighting’ of another
offender cannot be subjected to visual body cavity searches as a result of their continued risk.”
Defendants and Plaintiff make arguments that rely, in part, on documents outside the
pleadings, such as Plaintiff’s conviction for second degree murder of his cellmate and a conduct
violation for assault based on allegations that Plaintiff was “green lighting a hit on other
offenders.” A court must convert a motion for judgment on the pleadings to a motion for
summary judgment when matters outside the pleadings are presented to and not excluded by the
court. See Stahl v. United States Dep’t of Agric., 327 F.3d 697, 700–01 (8th Cir. 2003).
Upon careful consideration, the Court concludes that Defendants’ motion for judgment
on the pleadings should be converted to a motion for summary judgment based on the arguments
presented by the parties and their reliance on evidence beyond the scope of the complaint. See
Issaenko v. Univ. of Minnesota, No. 13-CV-3605 (JRT/SER), 2016 WL 8198306, at *7 (D.
Minn. Jan. 25, 2016), report and recommendation adopted, No. CV 13-3605 (JRT/SER), 2016
WL 1271470 (D. Minn. Mar. 31, 2016) (holding that because it declined to convert the motion
into a motion for summary judgment, “the Court cannot consider [Plaintiff’s] arguments to the
extent they are based on documents that are outside the pleadings”); see also E. Coast Test Prep
LLC v. Allnurses.com, Inc., 307 F. Supp. 3d 952, 962 (D. Minn. 2018) (“The nonmoving party is
normally entitled to notice that conversion is occurring so that the burden to produce affidavits,
not merely allegations, is clear . . .”) (citing Country Club Estates, L.L.C. v. Town of Loma
Linda, 213 F.3d 1001, 1005 (8th Cir. 2000)).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Court will convert Defendants’ motion for
judgment on the pleadings (Doc. No. 53) into a motion for summary judgment, in accordance
with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(d).
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, in light of the above, Defendants shall have 30 days
from the date of this Order to file any supplemental briefing setting forth materials pertinent to
their motion. Plaintiff shall have 30 days thereafter to file any supplemental response, and
Defendants shall have 14 days thereafter to reply.
Dated this 26th day of December, 2019.
JOHN A. ROSS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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