Robinson v. Buncombe County, et al
ORDER that 25 Plaintiff's Objections to Memorandum and Recommendation are OVERRULED; that 24 the Memorandum and Recommendation is ACCEPTED; and 16 , 17 , 18 Defendants' Motions to Dismiss are GRANTED. Plain tiff's claims asserted under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. In the exercise of its discretion, the Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the Plaintiff's state law claims, and such claims are therefore DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. Signed by District Judge Martin Reidinger on 1/8/2018. (khm)
THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
CIVIL CASE NO. 1:17-cv-00016-MR-DSC
TIMOTHY CHARLES ROBINSON,
BUNCOMBE COUNTY, a political
subdivision; JACK VAN DUNCAN,
individually and in his official
capacity as Sheriff of Buncombe
County; and WESTERN SURETY
COMPANY, a South Dakota
THIS MATTER is before the Court on the Defendants’ Motions to
Dismiss [Docs. 16, 17, 18]; the Magistrate Judge’s Memorandum and
Recommendation [Doc. 24] regarding the disposition of those motions; and
the Plaintiff’s Objections to the Memorandum and Recommendation [Doc.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and the standing Orders of Designation
of this Court, the Honorable David S. Cayer, United States Magistrate Judge,
was designated to consider the Defendants’ motions and to submit a
recommendation for their disposition.
On June 6, 2017, the Magistrate Judge filed a Memorandum and
Recommendation in this case containing conclusions of law in support of a
recommendation regarding the motions to dismiss. [Doc. 24]. The parties
were advised that any objections to the Magistrate Judge’s Memorandum
and Recommendation were to be filed in writing within fourteen (14) days of
service. The Plaintiff timely filed Objections on June 16, 2017. [Doc. 25].
The Defendants filed their Reply to the Plaintiff’s Objections on June 27,
2017. [Doc. 26].
As found by the Magistrate Judge, the Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint
fails to allege specific, plausible facts to establish the Defendants’ deliberate
indifference to the Plaintiff’s medical needs.
Indeed, the Amended
Complaint lacks specific allegations regarding the basic facts necessary to
support his claim. For example, the Amended Complaint alleges that the
Plaintiff was in custody “in January of 2014,” but that “upon information and
belief” he was being held on a civil contempt order entered on December 9,
2013. [Doc. 14 at ¶¶ 6, 7]. From these allegations, it is unclear when the
Plaintiff entered the Defendant’s custody.
It is insufficient to raise an
inference that he was taken into custody immediately after the contempt
order was entered or at some later time in January 2014. The timing of these
events, however, is critical to the question of whether the Plaintiff states a
claim of deliberate indifference, as he contends that he advised jail staff “at
the time [he] was taken into custody” that he required certain medications
and that “[s]hortly after his incarceration” he began to exhibit serious adverse
side effects from the lack of proper medication. [Id. at ¶¶ 7, 8, 9]. Did such
events occur in early December 2013 after the contempt order was entered,
or did they occur shortly before his blood was drawn on January 20, 2014?
The Amended Complaint fails to present sufficient facts for the Court to be
able to tell. The Amended Complaint also fails to present any facts to even
suggest any actual or constructive knowledge on the part of the Defendants
so as to warrant the imposition of supervisory liability. At best, the Amended
Complaint suggests that certain facts may exist to support his cause of
action. Such vague allegations, however, require the stacking of inferences
upon inferences -- or more accurately conjecture upon conjecture -- and are
therefore insufficient to withstand scrutiny under Rule 12(b)(6).
After careful consideration of the Memorandum and Recommendation
and the Plaintiff’s Objections thereto, the Court finds that the Magistrate
Judge’s proposed conclusions of law are correct and consistent with current
case law. Accordingly, the Court hereby overrules the Plaintiff’s Objections
and accepts the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation that the motions to
dismiss should be granted with respect to the Plaintiff’s federal claims
asserted under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and that this Court should decline
exercising supplemental jurisdiction over the Plaintiff’s remaining state law
IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that the Plaintiff’s Objections to the
Memorandum and Recommendation [Doc. 25] are OVERRULED; the
Memorandum and Recommendation [Doc. 24] is ACCEPTED; and the
Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss [Docs. 16, 17, 18] are GRANTED. The
Plaintiff’s claims asserted under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 are DISMISSED WITH
PREJUDICE. In the exercise of its discretion, the Court declines to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over the Plaintiff’s state law claims, and such
claims are therefore DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Signed: January 8, 2018
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