The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Baxter
United States Magistrate Judge Susan Paradise Baxter.
A. Relevant Procedural and Factual History
On December 13, 2011, Plaintiff Steven Bell, a prisoner incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Albion, Pennsylvania (ASCI-Albion@), filed this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ' 1983. Named as Defendants are: John Skendall, SNU Unit Manager at SCI-Albion (ASkendall@); Michael Harlow, Superintendent at SCI-Albion (AHarlow@); Wendell Pazt, SNU Psychiatrist at SCI-Albion (APazt@); and Maxine Overton, Health Care Administrator at SCI-Albion (AOverton@). Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated his rights under the eighth and fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution.*fn1 In particular, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Skendall and Pazt moved him off the Special Needs Unit (ASNU@) despite his need for mental health treatment, Defendant Overton refused him medical care, and Defendant Harlow Aallowed all this to happen....@ (ECF No. 3, Complaint, at Section IV.C.). As relief for his claims, Plaintiff seeks monetary damages.
On March 12, 2012, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss [ECF No. 10], asserting that Plaintiff has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. Plaintiff has since filed a response to Defendant=s motion, which includes a motion for leave to file an amended complaint. [ECF No. 15]. This matter is now ripe for consideration.*fn2
A motion to dismiss filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) must be viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and all the well-pleaded allegations of the complaint must be accepted as true. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007). A complaint must be dismissed pursuant to Rule 12 (b)(6) if it does not allege Aenough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.@ Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)(rejecting the traditional 12 (b)(6) standard set forth in Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957)). See also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) (specifically applying Twombly analysis beyond the context of the Sherman Act).
The Court need not accept inferences drawn by plaintiff if they are unsupported by the facts as set forth in the complaint. See California Pub. Employee Ret. Sys. v. The Chubb Corp., 394 F.3d 126, 143 (3d Cir. 2004) citing Morse v. Lower Merion School Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997). Nor must the court accept legal conclusions set forth as factual allegations. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, citing Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986). AFactual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.@ Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Although the United States Supreme Court does Anot require heightened fact pleading of specifics, [the Court does require] enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.@ Id. at 570.
In other words, at the motion to dismiss stage, a plaintiff is Arequired to make a >showing= rather than a blanket assertion of an entitlement to relief.@ Smith v. Sullivan, 2008 WL 482469, at *1 (D.Del. February 19, 2008) quoting Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 231 (3d Cir. 2008). AThis >does not impose a probability requirement at the pleading stage,= but instead >simply calls for enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of= the necessary element.@ Phillips, 515 F.3d at 234, quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556.
Recently, the Third Circuit Court prescribed the following three-step approach to determine the sufficiency of a complaint under Twombly and Iqbal:
First, the court must >tak[e] note of the elements a plaintiff must plead to state a claim.= Second, the court should identify allegations that, >because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth.= Finally, >where there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement for relief.=
Burtch v. Milberg Factors, Inc., 662 F.3d 212, 221 (3d Cir. 2011), citing Santiago v. Warminster Twp., 629 F.3d 121, 130 (3d Cir. 2010) (quoting Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1947, 1950); see also Great Western Mining & Min. ...