United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
G. SMITH, J.
action arises from the pro se plaintiff's arrest
after she unsuccessfully attempted to use a hospital's
telephone and obtain additional medical treatment while
there. The plaintiff asserts constitutional claims under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 against the officer that arrested her, the
judge that presided over her guilty plea and sentencing, and
a case manager and physician that interacted with her while
she was incarcerated. As to these defendants, the plaintiff
alleges that (1) the arresting officer failed to provide her
with a Miranda warning and should have allowed her
to seek care at another hospital instead of arresting her,
(2) the state trial judge misrepresented how long she would
remain incarcerated if she pleaded guilty, (3) the case
manager deprived her of access to phone calls and mail, and
prevented her from communicating with the court and her
attorney, and (4) the jail's physician should have
transferred her from the jail to a mental health institution
following his initial meeting with her.
before the court are motions to dismiss separately filed by
the police officer and the case manager. The police officer
moves to dismiss the claims against him for lack of
subject-matter jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim.
The case manager moves to dismiss the claims against her for
failure to exhaust administrative remedies as required by the
Prison Litigation Reform Act, and for failure to state a
claim. As explained below, the court will deny the police
officer's motion to the extent that it seeks dismissal
for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction but grant it for
failure to state a claim, as the plaintiff's claims
arising from her arrest are barred by her subsequent guilty
plea. As for the case manager's motion, because she
relies on matters outside of the pleadings, the court will
convert the motion to dismiss to a motion for summary
judgment and provide the plaintiff with an opportunity to
although the jail's physician has not yet participated in
this litigation, the court has screened the claims against
him as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and determines
that the plaintiff has failed to state a claim. As such, the
court will also dismiss any claims against the physician.
ALLEGATIONS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
April 25, 2015, the pro se plaintiff, Daphne
Rodenbaugh (“Rodenbaugh”) went to the emergency
department at Sacred Heart Hospital (“Sacred
Heart”) to obtain treatment for severe blisters on her
feet. Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”) at 2, Doc.
No. 19. Sacred Heart medical personnel provided her with a
prescription for cream and told her to come back if she had
further problems. Id. Rodenbaugh left Sacred Heart
and attempted to make a phone call, but her cellular phone
did not work, so she returned to Sacred Heart, informed the
staff that she could barely walk, and asked if she could use
the hospital's telephone located in the waiting room.
Id. The staff at Sacred Heart did not permit
Rodenbaugh to use the hospital's telephone, and Sacred
Heart's security called the police. Id.
Jason Adduddell (“Adduddell”), a police officer
for the city of Allentown, arrived and arrested Rodenbaugh,
and did not provide her with Miranda warnings during
the course of her arrest. Id. Rodenbaugh was charged
with violating 18 Pa. C.S. § 3503 (defiant criminal
trespass), and because she was unable to post bail-which was
set at $1500-Rodenbaugh was committed to the Lehigh County
Jail pending arraignment. See Defendant Tracy Boandl
Rule 12(b)(6) Mot. to Dismiss Pl.'s Second Am. Compl.
(“Boandl MTD”) at Ex. 1, Affidavit of Tracy
Boandl (“Boandl Aff.”), at Ex. A, Commitment
Order, Doc. No. 22.
4, 2015, Rodenbaugh appeared before Lehigh County Magisterial
District Judge Rashid Santiago for arraignment. SAC at 7;
Boandl Aff. at Ex. B, Order Imposing Sentence
(“Sentencing Order”). Based on a discussion
between Judge Santiago, the “D.A. and others[, ]”
Rodenbaugh pleaded guilty to defiant criminal trespass
because she believed she would be released in five days if
she pleaded guilty instead of spending three months in jail
awaiting trial if she pleaded not guilty. SAC at 2;
Sentencing Order. Judge Santiago sentenced Rodenbaugh to
“time served to 12 months, parole plan needed, SPORE
supervision, fines suspended, pay costs.” Sentencing
Order. Rodenbaugh's sentence required that she have a
parole plan in place with an address to which the Lehigh
County Jail could release her. Boandl Aff. at ¶ 5.
Rodenbaugh apparently did not have such an address where she
could be released. Id. During her incarceration,
Rodenbaugh interacted with Tracy Boandl
(“Boandl”), a Lehigh County Jail case manager
assigned to her. SAC at 3; Boandl Aff. at ¶ 2.
Rodenbaugh believes that Boandl blocked her access to phone
calls and mail, and prevented her from communicating with her
attorney. SAC at 3. During her incarceration, Rodenbaugh also
interacted with Dr. Alex Thomas, a physician at the Lehigh
County Jail. Id. at 9. On the second day of her
incarceration, Rodenbaugh met with Dr. Thomas and stated,
“I don't belong here.” Id.
Rodenbaugh believes that Thomas should have transferred her
to a mental health institution at that point. Id.
October 23, 2015, Judge Carol K. McGinley of the Court of
Common Pleas of Lehigh County found that Rodenbaugh was
severely mentally disabled and in need of treatment, and
ordered that she be involuntarily treated at the Wernersville
State Hospital. Boandl Aff. at Ex. E, Order for Involuntary
Treatment. On November 23, 2015, Judge James T. Anthony of
the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County ordered that
Rodenbaugh be paroled to the Wernersville State Hospital,
with an effective date of December 1, 2015. Id. at
Ex. F, Order. Rodenbaugh was transferred to the Wernersville
State Hospital on December 1, 2015. Id. at Ex. G,
filed the instant lawsuit, apparently asserting claims under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Judge Santiago, Adduddell,
Boandl, and Dr. Thomas, and an application to proceed in
forma pauperis, on February 17, 2016, in the Middle
District of Pennsylvania. Complaint, Doc. Nos. 1-1, 1-2. On
February 19, 2016, the Honorable Joseph F. Saporito, Jr.
entered an order transferring Rodenbaugh's case to this
court. Order at ECF pp. 3-4, Doc. No. 1.
matter was not assigned to the undersigned until the Clerk of
Court received the original record in this case on May 4,
2016. On May 12, 2016, the court entered an order (1)
granting Rodenbaugh's motion for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis, and (2) providing her with leave to file
an amended complaint to clarify her allegations and to list
all defendants in the caption of the pleading as required by
Rule 10 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Order at 1,
Doc. No. 2. On May 23, 2016, Rodenbaugh separately filed a
motion seeking the appointment of counsel and an amended
complaint in which she once again asserted claims against
Judge Santiago, Adduddell, Boandl, and Dr. Thomas.
court entered an order denying Rodenbaugh's motion for
counsel without prejudice on June 8, 2016. Doc. No. 6. On
June 30, 2016, after screening the amended complaint under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the court entered an order
dismissing the claims against Judge Santiago with prejudice,
and ordering the United States Marshal for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania to serve the summonses and the
amended complaint upon the remaining defendants. Doc. No.
filed motions to dismiss, to strike, and for a more definite
statement on August 25, 2016. Doc. No. 11. Boandl filed a
motion to dismiss the amended complaint on August 31, 2016.
Doc. No. 13. Rodenbaugh filed a response to Adduddell's
and Boandl's motions on September 27, 2016. Doc. No. 16.
The court held oral argument on the motions on October 4,
2016. Doc. No. 18.
October 26, 2016, Rodenbaugh filed a second amended complaint
(“SAC”) against Judge Santiago, Adduddell,
Boandl, and Dr. Thomas. On October 27, 2016, the court
entered an order dismissing the claims in the SAC against
Judge Santiago with prejudice, and denying Adduddell's
and Boandl's motions to dismiss the amended complaint as
moot because of the filing of the SAC. Doc. No. 20. Adduddell
and Boandl separately filed motions to dismiss the SAC on
November 8, 2016 and November 10, 2016, respectively. Doc.
Nos. 21, 22. Rodenbaugh filed responses to the motions to
dismiss on November 21, 2016. Doc. Nos. 24, 25. The motions
are ripe for disposition.
Standards of Review 1.
12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows a
party to move for dismissal of a complaint for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6). A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests
“the sufficiency of the allegations contained in the
complaint.” Kost v. Kozakiewicz, 1 F.3d 176,
183 (3d Cir. 1993) (citation omitted). As the moving party,
“[t]he defendant bears the burden of showing that no
claim has been presented.” Hedges v. United
States, 404 F.3d 744, 750 (3d Cir. 2005) (citation
general, a complaint is legally sufficient if it contains
“a short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2). “The touchstone of [this] pleading standard is
plausibility.” Bistrian v. Levi, 696 F.3d 352,
365 (3d Cir. 2012). Although Rule 8(a)(2) does “not
require heightened fact pleading of specifics, ” it
does require the recitation of “enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). “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.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citation omitted).
to survive dismissal, “a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
This “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. (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 570). Thus, “[a] pleading that offers
‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.'” Id. (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555).
Third Circuit employs a three-step approach to evaluate
whether a complaint ...