Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Jermaine Lofton v. John Wetzel

November 20, 2012

JERMAINE LOFTON,
PLAINTIFF
v.
JOHN WETZEL, ET AL., DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Conner

MEMORANDUM

Plaintiff Jermaine Lofton ("Lofton"), a state inmate presently incarcerated at the State Correctional Institution at Rockview ("SCI-Rockview"), Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, commenced this civil rights action on June 15, 2012, naming the following employees of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections ("DOC") as defendants: John Wetzel ("Wetzel"), Secretary for the Department of Corrections; Marirosa Lamas ("Lamas"), Superintendent for SCI-Rockview; Robert Marsh ("Marsh"), Deputy Secretary for Centralized Services at SCI-Rockview; Ron Schinkle ("Schinkle"), Facility Maintenance Manager; Jeffrey Rackovan ("Rackovan"), Superintendent's Assistant; and, Mr. Wenrick ("Wenrick"), Safety Manager. Presently pending is defendants' motion (Doc. 11) to dismiss Lofton's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons that follow, defendants' motion will be deemed unopposed and granted.

I. Procedural Background

On September 7, 2012, defendants filed a motion (Doc. 11) to dismiss Lofton's complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) or, in the alternative, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(e). On October 15, 2012, defendants' Rule 12(e) motion was granted and Lofton was directed to file an amended complaint. (Doc. 14.) He was also notified that his failure to file an amended complaint would result in the matter proceeding on the original complaint and the court considering defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Id.) Because Lofton has failed to file an amended complaint within the established deadline, defendants' Rule 12(b)(6) motion will be addressed.

II. Standard of Review

Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for the dismissal of complaints that fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6). When ruling on a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the court must "accept as true all [factual] allegations in the complaint and all reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom, and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Kanter v. Barella, 489 F.3d 170, 177 (3d Cir. 2007) (quoting Evancho v. Fisher, 423 F.3d 347, 350 (3d Cir. 2005)). Although the court is generally limited in its review to the facts contained in the complaint, it "may also consider matters of public record, orders, exhibits attached to the complaint and items appearing in the record of the case." Oshiver v. Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman, 38 F.3d 1380, 1384 n.2 (3d Cir. 1994); see also In re Burlington Coat Factory Sec. Litig., 114 F.3d 1410, 1426 (3d Cir. 1997).

Federal notice and pleading rules require the complaint to provide "the defendant notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 232 (3d Cir. 2008) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007)). The plaintiff must present facts that, if true, demonstrate a plausible right to relief. See FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a) (stating that the complaint should include "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief"); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (explaining that Rule 8 requires more than "an unadorned, the-defendant unlawfully-harmed-me accusation"); Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (requiring plaintiffs to allege facts sufficient to "raise a right to relief above the speculative level"). Thus, to prevent a summary dismissal, civil complaints must now allege "sufficient factual matter" to show that a claim is facially plausible. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. at 1949--50; see also Twombly, 505 U.S. at 555, & n. 3; Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009). This then "allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. at 1948.

The Third Circuit now requires that a district court must conduct the two-part analysis set forth in Iqbal when presented with a motion to dismiss:

First, the factual and legal elements of a claim should be separated. The District Court must accept all of the complaint's well-pleaded facts as true, but may disregard any legal conclusions. [Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1949--50]. Second, a District Court must then determine whether the facts alleged in the complaint are sufficient to show that the plaintiff has a "plausible claim for relief." [Id.] In other words, a complaint must do more than allege the plaintiff's entitlement to relief. A complaint has to "show" such an entitlement with its facts. See Phillips, 515 F.3d at 234--35. As the Supreme Court instructed in Iqbal, "[w]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not 'show[n]'-'that the pleader is entitled to relief.' "Iqbal, [129 S.Ct. at 1949--50]. This "plausibility" determination will be "a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id.

Fowler, 578 F.3d at 210--211.

This Court is mindful, however, that the sufficiency of a pro se pleading must be construed liberally in favor of plaintiff, even after Iqbal. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89 (2007). Moreover, a complaint should not be dismissed with prejudice for failure to state a claim without granting leave to amend, unless it finds bad faith, undue delay, prejudice or futility. See Grayson v. Mayview State Hosp., 293 F.3d 103, 110--111 (3d Cir. 2002); Shane v. Fauver, 213 F.3d 113, 117 (3d Cir. 2000).

III. Allegations of Complaint

Plaintiff states that he "brings this action for the constitutional conditions; as S.C.I. Rockview: overcrowded condition exposure to asbestos; exposure to coal ash; discrimination against inmates with disability; lack of ventilation; fire safety violations; and negligence." (Doc. 1, at 2.) He alleges that "each of the defendant [sic] had knowledge of the conditions and purposely refused to correct it, in doing so put the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.