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Naja J. Haymon Peynado v. Debbie Loucks and Brian White

June 12, 2012

NAJA J. HAYMON PEYNADO, PLAINTIFF
v.
DEBBIE LOUCKS AND BRIAN WHITE, DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: William W. Caldwell United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM

I. Introduction

The pro se plaintiff, Naja J. Haymon-Peynado, filed the instant civil rights action arising from an infestation of bed bugs in an apartment she rented from the York Housing Authority. She names as defendants Debbie Loucks, the Authority's Executive Director, and Brian White, the Authority's Housing Manager. We are considering cross motions for summary judgment and Defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.*fn1

II. Background

Plaintiff leased an apartment from the York Housing Authority. She alleges that from January 2011 to April 2011, her apartment was infested with bed bugs. In January 2011, Plaintiff informed White, the property manager, of her complaint. In April 2011, Plaintiff alerted Loucks, the Executive Director, of her continuing infestation issue. On April 8, 2011, Plaintiff was treated at the York County Hospital Emergency Department for bites related to the infestation. Plaintiff asserts that Defendants Loucks and White failed to remedy her situation in violation of her Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Plaintiff's complaint may also be construed to bring a state law negligence claim against White and Loucks.

III. Discussion

A. Standard of Review

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) allows a court to dismiss a complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. When a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) is presented, the plaintiff is required to "convince the court it has jurisdiction." Gould Elecs., Inc. v. United States, 220 F.3d 169, 178 (3d Cir. 2000). Plaintiffs "bear the burden of establishing their standing." Common Cause of Pa. v. Pennsylvania, 558 F.3d 249, 257 (3d Cir. 2009) (citing DaimlerChrysler Corp. v. Cuno, 547 U.S. 332, 342 (2006)).

We will examine the motions for summary judgment under the well-established standard. Lawrence v. City of Philadelphia, 527 F.3d 299, 310 (3d. Cir. 2008) ("Summary judgment is only appropriate if there are no genuine issues of material fact."). We "must view all evidence and draw all inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party" and we will only grant the motion "if no reasonable juror could find for the non-movant." Id."Material facts are those 'that could affect the outcome' of the proceeding, and 'a dispute about a material fact is genuine if the evidence is sufficient to permit a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party.'" Roth v. Norfalco, 651 F.3d 367, 373 (3d Cir. 2011) (citing Lamont v. New Jersey, 637 F.3d 177, 181 (3d Cir. 2011).

B. Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment and Due Process Claims

1. Subject-Matter Jurisdiction

Defendants argue that Plaintiff's complaint must be dismissed due to lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff brings claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for the alleged violation of her Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.*fn2 We have federal question jurisdiction over these claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

2. Merits of Plaintiff's Constitutional Claims

White and Loucks move for summary judgment, asserting that Plaintiff failed to provide sufficient evidence to support a constitutional ...


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