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Prater v. Wetzel

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

May 27, 2015

WAYNE PRATER, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN E. WETZEL, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM

C. DARNELL JONES, II, District Judge.

This is a pro se civil rights action filed by Wayne Prater ("Plaintiff"), a state prisoner, against various personnel of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and SCI Graterford (collectively "the Defendants"), for damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff filed this case on June 27, 2014. (Dkt No. 4 [hereinafter Compl.]) On August 20, 2014, Defendants moved to dismiss. (Dkt No. 12 [hereinafter MTD].) On November 19, 2014, Plaintiff moved for leave to file an Amended Complaint. (Dkt No. 13.) On February 27, 2015, with the Court's approval, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. (Dkt No. 18.) Upon review of Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, the Court held that the Amended Complaint stated claims that were wholly distinct from those alleged in the original Complaint. (Dkt No. 19.) The Court vacated the Amended Complaint, and reinstated Defendant's pending Motion to Dismiss the original Complaint. (Dkt No. 19.) Thereafter, Plaintiff filed a Response to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the original Complaint. (Dkt No. 22 [hereinafter Pl. Resp.].) Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is now ripe for the Court's review.

Upon review of Plaintiff's Complaint, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, and Plaintiff's Response, the Court grants the Motion.

I. Standard of Review

In deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), courts must "accept all factual allegations as true, construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and determine whether, under any reasonable reading of the complaint, the plaintiff may be entitled to relief." Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 233 (3d Cir. 2008) (internal quotation and citation omitted). After the Supreme Court's decision in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007), "[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). "A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. at 678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). This standard, which applies to all civil cases, "asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. at 678; accord Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009) ("[A]ll civil complaints must contain more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.") (internal quotation marks omitted).

II. Background

a. The Facts

For the purpose of deciding the instant Motion, the Court must take all alleged facts as true. Phillips, 515 F.3d at 233. At all times relevant to this case, Plaintiff was a prisoner of the state of Pennsylvania. (Compl. ¶ 3.) Plaintiff sued the following personnel from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and State Correctional Institution ("SCI") Graterford in their individual capacities:

• John E. Wetzel, Secretary of Corrections, (Compl. ¶ 4);
• Shirley M. Smeal, Executive Deputy Secretary of Corrections, (Compl. ¶ 5);
• George Ondrejka, Deputy Superintendent of SCI Graterford, (Compl. ¶ 7);
• J. Lane, PRC hearing officer at SCI Graterford, (Compl. ¶ 8);
• Robin M. Lewis, Chief Hearing Examiner of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, (Compl. ¶ 9);
• Defendant Fields, Major at SCI Graterford, (Compl. ¶ 10);
• Defendant Dohman, Major at SCI Graterford, (Compl. ¶ 11);
• D. Brumfield, Captain at SCI Graterford, (Compl. ¶ 12);
• G.S. Robinson, III, Lieutenant at SCI Graterford, (Compl. ¶ 16);
• M. Doyle, Lieutenant at SCI Graterford, (Compl. ¶ 15);
• Wendy Shaylor, Grievance Coordinator, SCI Graterford, ...

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