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Shaun Rosario v. Washington Memorial Hospital

May 17, 2013

SHAUN ROSARIO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WASHINGTON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, OFFICIAL CAPACITY; MONONGAHELA VALLEY HOSPITAL, OFFICIAL CAPACITY; HENRY HOLETS, JR., MD; OFFICIAL CAPACITY;
OSCAR URREA, MD.; OFFICIAL CAPACITY; NURSE CAROL MAY, INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY;
NURSE STACY HOFFMAN, INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY; UNKNOWN MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF THE MONONGAHELA VALLEY HOSPITAL, INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY; SECURITY OFFICER ROBERT ASHBAUGH, INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY; SECURITY OFFICER WILLIAM SWICK, INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joy Flowers Conti United States District Judge

Judge Joy Flowers Conti/ Magistrate Judge Maureen P. Kelly

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

The above-captioned prisoner civil rights complaint (the "Complaint") filed by plaintiff Shaun Rosario ("Plaintiff") was received by the Clerk of Court on December 10, 2012, and was referred to a United States Magistrate Judge for pretrial proceedings in accordance with the Magistrate Judges Act, 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), and Rule 72 of the Local Rules Of Court, regarding Magistrate Judges.

The magistrate judge in the Report and Recommendation (the "Report"), ECF No. 10, filed on March 6, 2013, recommended that Plaintiff's federal claims in the Complaint be dismissed for failure to state a claim pursuant to the screening provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A; 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(e).

Service was made on Plaintiff at his address of record. On March 20, 2013, Plaintiff filed his objections. ECF No. 11.

When objections are filed to a report and recommendation of a magistrate judge, the district court makes a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objections are made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 674--75 (1980). The court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the magistrate judge's findings or recommendations. Id. Although the standard of review is de novo, 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) permits whatever reliance the district court, in the exercise of sound discretion, chooses to place on a magistrate judge's proposed findings and recommendations. Raddatz, 447 U.S. at 674--75; see Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 275 (1976); Goney v. Clark, 749 F.2d 5, 7 (3d Cir. 1984).

At the outset, Plaintiff's assertion in his objections -- that the correct standard for determining whether a complaint fails to state a claim is the standard that a court may not "dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim unless it appears beyond doubt that plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claims which would entitle him to relief" -- must be rejected. ECF No. 11 at 2. That standard is clearly incorrect. See Broyles v. Texas, 381 F. App'x 370, 373 (5th Cir. 2010) ("Twombly abrogated the 'no set of facts' standard first articulated in Conley v. Gibson"); Fritz v. Charter Tp. of Comstock, 592 F.3d 718, 725 (6th Cir. 2010) ("see Twombly, 550 U.S. at 561-63, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (abrogating the 'no set of facts' minimal standard often cited from Conley by requiring more than a mere possibility of such a 'set of facts')").

I.THE DEFENDANTS DID NOT ACT UNDER COLOR OF LAW

The magistrate judge in the Report noted that, while Plaintiff baldly alleged that the defendants acted under color of state law, he alleged no facts to support that conclusion. ECF No. 10 at 8, 9. In the Report Plaintiff was instructed that he could allege, in his objections, any additional facts that he may possess in order to show that the defendants acted under color of state law. ECF No. 10 at 9 n.1.

Plaintiff did not take the opportunity to allege such facts; rather, the main response of Plaintiff to the finding in the Report that there was no action under color of state law alleged in the Complaint was:

The Plaintiff was under the impression that by being detained by hospital personnel for the specific purpose of turning him over to law enforcement authorities, that he was subjected to an unlawful seizure and unlawful search under the Fourth Amendment. Therefore, plaintiff believed the defendants (Hospitals and its employees) would fall under the states actors' doctrine, which would allow the suit to precede [sic] under 42 U.S.C. 1983 when he wrote the complaint.

ECF No. 11 at 5.

The only allegation in the foregoing quote that comes close to an allegation of fact is that unspecified "hospital personnel" detained Plaintiff for the specific purpose of turning him over to law enforcement authorities. While Plaintiff did not specify to which of the two hospital defendants he was ...


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