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Newsuan v. Colon

United States District Court, Third Circuit

August 2, 2013

MR. MAURICE M.M. NEWSUAN, Plaintiff,
v.
MR. COLON, et al., Defendants.

OPINION

JOEL H. SLOMSKY, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Maurice Newsuan is a state prisoner at the State Correctional Institution ("SCI") in Chester, Pennsylvania.[1] On March 6, 2013, Plaintiff filed an Application to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. (Doc. No.1.) On March 11, 2013, his Application was granted (Doc. No.2) and a Complaint (Doc. No.3) was filed. The Complaint alleges various claims related to prison conditions. It names the following Defendants: Mr. Colon, Medical Nurse Harding, City of Philadelphia, Lt. Mr. Roth, C/O Oterlyn, and C/O Sterling.[2](Doc. No. 3 at 1.)

On May 8, 2013, Defendants Colon, Roth and Sterling filed their Answer. (Doc. No. 13.) On May 10, 2013, Defendant Harding filed a Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. No. 14.) On May 21, 2013, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint.[3] (Doc. No. 18.) In light of the Amended Complaint, the Court dismissed Defendant Harding's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 14) as moot. (Doc. No. 19.)

On June 4, 2013, Defendant Harding filed the instant Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint (Doc. No. 20) and Memorandum of Law in Support (Doc. No. 21). On June 11, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Response in Opposition. (Doc. No. 23.) For reasons that follow, Defendant Harding's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 20) will be granted.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

The motion to dismiss standard under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) is set forth in Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662 (2009). After Iqbal it is clear that "threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements do not suffice" to defeat a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. Id. at 663; see Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544 (2007). Applying the principles of lqbal and Twombly, the Third Circuit in Santiago v. Warminster Township , 629 F.3d 121 (3d Cir. 2010), set forth a three-part analysis that a district court in this Circuit must conduct in evaluating whether allegations in a complaint survive a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss:

First, the court must "tak[e] note of the elements a plaintiff must plead to state a claim." Second, the court should identify allegations that, "because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth." Finally, "where there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement for relief."

Id. at 130 (quoting Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 675, 679). "This means that our inquiry is normally broken into three parts: (1) identifying the elements of the claim, (2) reviewing the complaint to strike conclusory allegations, and then (3) looking at the well-pleaded components of the complaint and evaluating whether all of the elements identified in part one of the inquiry are sufficiently alleged." Malleus v. George , 641 F.3d 560, 563 (3d Cir. 2011).

A complaint must do more than allege a plaintiff's entitlement to relief, it must "show" such an entitlement with its facts. Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside , 578 F.3d 203, 210-11 (citing Phillips v. County of Allegheny , 515 F.3d 224, 234-35 (3d Cir. 2008)). "[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 shown'- that the pleader is entitled to relief.'" Iqbal , 556 U.S. at 679. The "plausibility" determination is a "context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id.

III. ANALYSIS

A. The Amended Complaint Only Alleges Claims Against Defendants Harding And Colon

In the Amended Complaint (Doc. No. 18), Plaintiff breaks his allegations into two sections. The first section has the following heading: Newsuan v. Harding Verified First Amended Complaint. (Id. at 1) (emphasis in original). The paragraph below this heading states: "Plaintiff Maurice Newsuan, pro se files this Verified First Amended Complaint against Nurse Harding only ("collectively") one Defendant, and in support thereof avers as follows [sic]." (Id. (emphasis in original).) After this paragraph are nine paragraphs, numbered one through nine, alleging conduct by Defendant Harding. (Id. at 1-4.)

The second section has the following heading: Newsuan v. Colon Verified Second Amended Complaint. (Id. at 4 (emphasis in original).) The paragraph below this heading states: "Plaintiff Maurice Newsuan, prose files his Second Verified Amended Complaint against c/o Colon only ("collective") one Defendant No. (2), and in support thereof avers as follows [sic]." (Id.) After this paragraph ...


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