Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Berard v. Crawford

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

May 8, 2017

DENNIS BERARD, Plaintiff
v.
TIMOTHY CRAWFORD, ANGELO J. JORDAN, Defendants

          MEMORANDUM

          Robert D. Mariani United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Dennis Berard ("Berard"), an inmate formerly housed at the Satellite Prison Camp at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, commenced this Bivens[1]28 U.S.C. § 1331, civil rights action on December 28, 2016. (Doc. 1). Berard alleges that his due process rights were violated in the context of a prison disciplinary hearing. (Id. at ¶¶ 7-19). Named as Defendants are Timothy Crawford and Angelo Jordan. (Id. at ¶¶ 5-6). Presently pending before the court is Defendants' motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Doc. 8). For the reasons set forth below, the motion will be granted.

         I. Motion to Dismiss Standard of Review

         A complaint must be dismissed under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), if it does not allege "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Beil Atl. Corp. v. Twombiy, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). The plaintiff must aver "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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009).

         "Though a complaint 'does not need detailed factual allegations, ... a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'" DelRio-Mocci v. Connolly Prop. Inc., 672 F.3d 241, 245 (3d Cir. 2012) (citing Twombiy, 550 U.S. at 555). In other words, "[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Covington v. Int'l Ass'n of Approved Basketball Officials, 710 F.3d 114, 118 (3d Cir. 2013) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). A court "take[s] as true all the factual allegations in the Complaint and the reasonable inferences that can be drawn from those facts, but... disregard[s] legal conclusions and threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements." Ethypharm S.A. France v. Abbott Laboratories, 707 F.3d 223, 231, n.14 (3d Cir. 2013) (internal citations and quotation marks omitted).

Twombly and Iqbal require [a district court] to take the following three steps to determine the sufficiency of a complaint: First, the court must take 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.

Connelly v. Steel Valley Sch, Dist, 706 F.3d 209, 212 (3d Cir. 2013).

         "[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 show[n] - that the pleader is entitled to relief." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). This "plausibility" determination will be a "context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id.

         However, even "if a complaint is subject to Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal, a district court must permit a curative amendment unless such an amendment would be inequitable or futile." Phillips v. Cnty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 245 (3d Cir. 2008).

[E]ven when plaintiff does not seek leave to amend his complaint after a defendant moves to dismiss it, unless the district court finds that amendment would be inequitable or futile, the court must inform the plaintiff that he or she has leave to amend the complaint within a set period of time.

id.

         II. Allegations of the Complaint

         In July 2014, Berard was served with incident report number 2597656, charging him with a code 199 violation, most like codes 111, 203, and 204, for engaging in conduct which disrupts the security of a BOP facility, most like introduction, extortion, blackmail, and threatening another with bodily harm.[2] (Doc. 1, ¶¶ 7-8; Doc. 9-1, p. 19, Incident Report).

         On July 3, 2014, Berard appeared before the Unit Discipline Committee ("UDC"). (Doc. 1, ¶ 9; Doc. 9-1, p. 20). The UDC determined that Berard violated codes 199, 203, and 204. (Id.). The UDC referred the incident report to the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.