Easley v. Mott et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting 13 MOTION to Dismiss Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6), granting 12 MOTION to Dismiss Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). The 1 Complaint is DISMISSED. (Signed by Judge Kenneth M Hoyt) Parties notified.(sanderson, 4)
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
K. MOTT, et al,
March 06, 2018
David J. Bradley, Clerk
CIVIL ACTION NO. 4:17-CV-520
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff Daryl Easley filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The defendants have now moved to dismiss the
complaint. For the reasons stated below, the defendants’ motions are granted, and plaintiff’s
complaint is dismissed with prejudice.
At all times relevant to this lawsuit, plaintiff was an inmate in the Texas Department of
Criminal Justice (“TDCJ”). Defendant Ernestine Julye is Medical Director. Defendant Khari
Mott is identified in the complaint as the Business Manager of the TDCJ’s Estelle Unit.
Easley alleges that Dr. Julye incorrectly diagnosed him with prostate cancer, leading to
the unnecessary removal of his prostate. He alleges that defendant Mott “answered my Step 1
Grievance.” Complaint at 3. The defendants each filed a motion to dismiss the complaint.
Easley did not respond to either motion.
Standard of Review
In reviewing a motion to dismiss under rule 12(b)(6), the complaint must be liberally
construed in favor of the plaintiff, and all facts pleaded in the complaint must be taken as true.
Campbell v. Wells Fargo Bank, 781 F.2d 440, 442 (5th Cir.1986). The standard of review under
rule 12(b)(6) has been summarized as follows: "The question therefore is whether in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff and with every doubt resolved in his behalf, the complaint states
any valid claim for relief." 5 Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and
Procedure § 1357, at 601 (1969).
Eleventh Amendment Immunity
The defendants argue that Easley’s claims for money damages against them in their
official capacities are barred by the Eleventh Amendment. “[I]n the absence of consent a suit in
which the State or one of its agencies or departments is named as the defendant is proscribed by
the Eleventh Amendment.” Pennhurst State Sch. & Hosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 100
(1984). A suit for damages against a state official in his official capacity is not a suit against the
individual, but against the state. Hafer v. Melo, 502 U.S. 21, 25 (1991). Easley’s official
capacity claims for money damages must be dismissed.
Easley, in essence, alleges that Dr. Julye committed malpractice. For inadequate medical
care rise to the level of a constitutional violation, however, prison officials must exhibit
deliberate indifference to the prisoner’s serious medical needs. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
825, 828 (1994). “Deliberate indifference” is more than mere negligence, Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 104-06 (1976), but “something less than acts or omissions for the very purpose of
causing harm or with knowledge that harm will result.” Farmer, 511 U.S. at 835. Rather,
deliberate indifference requires that the defendant be subjectively aware of a substantial risk of
serious harm to the inmate and recklessly disregard that risk. Id. at 829, 836.
Deliberate indifference is an extremely high standard to meet . . .
[T]he plaintiff must show that the officials “refused to treat him,
ignored his complaints, intentionally treated him incorrectly, or
engaged in any similar conduct that would clearly evince a wanton
disregard for any serious medical needs.”
Domino v. Texas Dep’t of Crim. Justice, 239 F.3d 752, 756 (5th Cir. 2001)(quoting Johnson v.
Treen, 759 F.2d 1236, 1238 (5th Cir. 1985)).
Easley’s only allegation against Dr. Julye is that she incorrectly diagnosed him. He does
not contend that she refused to treat him or deliberately treated him incorrectly. At most, Easley
alleges that Dr. Julye was negligent. Negligence does not constitute deliberate indifference, and
does not violate the Eighth Amendment. Gamble, 429 U.S. at 104-06. Therefore, Easley fails to
state a claim against Dr. Julye.
Easley’s only allegation against defendant Mott is that Mott answered Easley’s Step 1
Grievance. This fails to allege any wrongdoing by Mott, and therefore fails to state a claim
For the foregoing reasons, defendants’ motions to dismiss are granted.
It is ORDERED that:
Defendants’ motions to dismiss (Dkt. Nos. 12 and 13) are GRANTED; and
The Complaint (Docket Entry No. 1) is DISMISSED.
It is so ORDERED.
SIGNED on this 6th day of March, 2018.
Kenneth M. Hoyt
United States District Judge
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