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Jeffrey Lee Bosold v. Warden

January 28, 2013

JEFFREY LEE BOSOLD
v.
WARDEN, SCI-SOMERSET, ET AL.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Padova, J.

MEMORANDUM

Plaintiff Jeffery Lee Bosold brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of his civil rights arising from his incarceration at SCI Somerset after his maximum release date. He asserts claims against the Warden of SCI Somerset, the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, and an unidentified number of John and Jane Does who are employed at SCI Somerset. The Warden of SCI Somerset, the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, and the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole (collectively the "Defendants"), have filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint (the "Complaint") or, in the alternative, for a more definite statement. For the following reasons, the Motion is denied.

I.BACKGROUND

The Complaint alleges the following facts. On December 29, 2005, Plaintiff was convicted of statutory sexual assault in the Berks County Court of Common Pleas and was sentenced to six to twenty-three months of imprisonment, followed by three years of probation. (Compl. ¶ 10.) He was released from prison on June 8, 2006. (Id. ¶ 11.) He violated his probation and was sent back to prison on October 24, 2006. (Id. ¶ 12.) One year later, on October 24, 2007, he was resentenced on the probation violation to one to five years of imprisonment, followed by five years of probation. (Id. ¶ 13.) Plaintiff was again resentenced on the violation on February 25, 2008, and this time his sentence consisted of three years of imprisonment, followed by five years of probation. (Id. ¶¶ 14-15.) He was also given credit for 736 days of time served, leaving only 359 additional days of imprisonment on his three year maximum sentence, which should have resulted in a release date no later than February 19, 2009. (Id. ¶¶ 15-16.)

Plaintiff was not released on February 19, 2009. (Id. ¶ 17.) He subsequently filed at least four inmate communication forms to alert Defendants and Employee Doe(s) that he should have been released on February 19, 2009. (Id. ¶ 18.) Defendants failed to take any action in response to these communications, and Plaintiff was not released until October 25, 2009. (Id. ¶¶ 21, 24-25.) The Complaint asserts one claim against Defendants and Employee Doe(s) in their individual capacities pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violation of Plaintiff's rights under the Eighth Amendment (Count I) and one claim against Defendants and Employee Doe(s) in their individual capacities for violation of his right to procedural due process under the Fourteenth Amendment (Count II).

Plaintiff has filed two previous complaints asserting claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that he was incarcerated past his maximum release date. Plaintiff filed his first complaint pro se on July 13, 2011. He later obtained counsel, who filed an Amended Complaint on his behalf on July 28, 2011. Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3) (lack of venue) and 12(b)(6) (failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted), or, in the alternative, to transfer this action to the Western or Middle District of Pennsylvania. We denied the Motion to Dismiss for improper venue pursuant to Rule 12(b)(3) as well as Defendant's alternate request that venue should be transferred to the Middle or Western District of Pennsylvania. We granted the Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), but also granted Plaintiff leave to file a second amended complaint that alleges facts sufficient to state a plausible § 1983 claim for violation of his Eighth Amendment right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment.

Defendants have filed the instant Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and, in the alternative, for a more definite statement pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(e).

II.LEGAL STANDARD

When considering a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), we "consider only the complaint, exhibits attached to the complaint, [and] matters of public record, as well as undisputedly authentic documents if the complainant's claims are based upon these documents." Mayer v. Belichick, 605 F.3d 223, 230 (3d Cir. 2010) (citing Pension Benefit Guar. Corp. v. White Consol. Indus., Inc., 998 F.2d 1192, 1196 (3d Cir. 1993)). We take the factual allegations of the complaint as true and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff. Phillips v. Cnty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 233 (3d Cir. 2008) (citing Pinker v. Roche Holdings Ltd., 292 F.3d 361, 374 n.7 (3d Cir. 2002)). Legal conclusions, however, receive no deference, and the court is "not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation." Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986) (cited with approval in Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).

A plaintiff's pleading obligation is to set forth "a short and plain statement of the claim," Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2), which gives the defendant "'fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (alteration in original) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). The "complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "The plausibility standard is not akin to a 'probability requirement,' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). In the end, we will dismiss a complaint if the factual allegations in the complaint are not sufficient "to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citing 5 Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1216, at 235-36 (3d ed. 2004)).

III.THE MOTION TO DISMISS

Plaintiff has asserted claims for violation of his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. "Section 1983 provides remedies for deprivations of rights established in the Constitution or federal laws. It does not, by its own terms, create substantive rights." Kaucher v. County of Bucks, 455 F.3d 418, 423 (3d Cir. 2006) (footnote omitted) (citing Baker v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 145 n.3 (1979)). Consequently, in order to state a claim for relief pursuant to § 1983, "a plaintiff must demonstrate the defendant, acting under color of state law, deprived him or her of a right secured by the Constitution or the laws of the United States." Id. (citing Am. Mfrs. Mut. Ins. Co. v. Sullivan, 526 U.S. 40, 49--50 (1999), and Mark v. Borough of Hatboro, 51 F.3d 1137, 1141 (3d Cir. 1995)).

Defendants have moved to dismiss the Complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) on the following grounds: (1) the statute of limitations has run on Plaintiff's claims; (2) the Complaint does not allege that any of the Defendants were personally involved in the alleged violations of Plaintiff's constitutional rights;*fn1 (3) the Complaint does not allege sufficient facts to state a claim for violation of Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights; and (4) the Complaint does not ...


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