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James R. Malles v. Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell

June 25, 2012

JAMES R. MALLES,
PLAINTIFF
v.
GOVERNOR OF PENNSYLVANIA ED RENDELL, OR HIS SUCCESSOR, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Baxter

District Judge McLaughlin

MAGISTRATE JUDGE=S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

I. RECOMMENDATION

It is respectfully recommended that Defendants= motion to dismiss complaint [ECF No. 11] be granted and that this case be dismissed.

II. REPORT

A. Relevant Procedural and Factual History

On February 23, 2012, Plaintiff James R. Malles filed this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ' 1983. Named as Defendants are: Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell, or his successor (AGovernor@), and Attorney General Thomas Corbett, or his successor (AAttorney General@).

Plaintiff claims that his transfer from a state correctional facility in Pennsylvania to a state correctional facility in Michigan violated his rights under the fifth, sixth and fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution (ECF No. 3, Complaint, at Sections III and IV.C). In particular, Plaintiff challenge his transfer from SCI-Albion to the Muskegon Correctional Facility in Muskegon, Michigan on February 17, 2010, and his subsequent confinement at Muskegon from February 17, 2010 to May 25, 2011, when he was returned to SCI-Albion. The transfer was effectuated pursuant to the Interstate Corrections Compact, 61 Pa.C.S. ' 7101, et seq., which was enacted to allow the transfer of inmates from a Pennsylvania state correctional facility to a correctional facility in another state, on a temporary basis, to help alleviate overcrowding in the Pennsylvania facility. As relief for his claims, Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages and Arelease from custody.@ (Id. at Section VI).

On May 25, 2012, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss complaint [ECF No. 11], asserting that Plaintiff=s claims are barred by the doctrine of collateral estoppel. On June 11, 2012, Plaintiff filed an Aanswer@ to Defendants= motion to dismiss. [ECF No. 14]. This matter is now ripe for consideration.

B. Standards of Review

1. Motion to Dismiss

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 ...


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