United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
Cynthia Reed Eddy United States Magistrate Judge
before the Court is the Motion to Dismiss For Failure to
State A Claim, with brief in support thereof, filed by
Defendant Ankram. (ECF Nos. 20 and 21). Plaintiff has not
responded to the motion, and the time for responding has now
passed. Therefore, in the absence of any timely response by
Plaintiff, the Court will deem the motion to dismiss to be
ripe for resolution. For the reasons set forth below, the
motion to dismiss will be denied.
Quintez Talley ("Plaintiff or "Talley") is a
state prisoner in the custody of the Pennsylvania Department
of Corrections currently confined at SCI-Graterford. On or
about July 29, 2016, while incarcerated at SCI-Greene, Talley
filed a civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and
the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") in the
Court of Common Pleas of Greene County, Pennsylvania. (Doc.
No. 1-2). The DOC Defendants removed the case on August 25,
2016. Plaintiffs operative pleading is the Amended Complaint
filed on February 13, 2017. (ECF No. 17).
Amended Complaint separates the defendants into two groups:
the Program Review Committee ("PRC"), a five member
group, and the Psychiatric Review Team ("PRT"), a
three member group of which movant Nurse Practitioner Ankram
was a member. At all relevant times, with the exception of
defendant Ankram, all defendants were employed by the
Department of Corrections at SCI-Greene.
Department of Corrections and the DOC employees have filed
Answers to the Complaint. (ECF Nos. 19 and 27). The instant
motion to dismiss was filed by Defendant Ankram.
to its essence, the Amended Complaint alleges that the PRC
and PRT groups improperly changed Plaintiffs stability code
from a "D" stability code to a "C"
stability code, which resulted in him no longer being
eligible for certain privileges and programs. Plaintiff
alleges the change in classification was in retaliation or
punishment for him filing a grievance, that the members of
the PRC and PRT groups acted in conspiracy to change his
classification, and that his continued placement in the RHU
violated his Eighth Amendment rights.
Ankram seeks dismissal of the Amended Complaint based on
Plaintiffs failure to exhaust his administrative remedies and
on Plaintiffs failure to allege sufficient facts which
establish that Ankram violated any of his rights.
applicable inquiry under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) is well settled. A motion to dismiss pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the legal sufficiency of the
complaint. When reviewing a motion to dismiss, the Court must
accept all well-pleaded facts and allegations, and must draw
all reasonable inferences therefrom in favor of the
plaintiff. Burtch v. Milberg Factors, Inc., 62 F.3d
212, 220 (3d Cir. 2011), cert, denied, __ U.S. __,
131 S.Ct. 1861 (2012) (citing In re Ins. Brokerage
Antitrust Litig. , 618F.3d300, 314(3dCir.2010)).
However, as the Supreme Court of the United States made clear
in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, such
"[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level." 550 U.S. 554,
555 (2007). See also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (holding that, while the Complaint need not
contain detailed factual allegations, it must contain more
than a "formulaic recitation of the elements" of a
constitutional claim and must state a claim that is plausible
on its face) (quoting Twombly, and providing further
guidance on the standard set forth therein).
determine the legal sufficiency of a complaint after
Twombly and Iqbal, the United States Court
of Appeals for the Third Circuit instructs that a district
court must conduct a three-step analysis when considering a
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Santiago
v. Warminster Twp., 629 F.3d 121, 130 n.7 (3d Cir. 2010)
(noting that although Iqbal describes the process as
a "two-pronged approach, " it views the case as
outlining three steps) (citing Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
675). First, "the court must 'tak[e] note of the
elements a plaintiff must plead to state a claim.'"
Id. at 130 (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 675)
(alteration in original). Second, the court "should
identify allegations that, 'because they are no more than
conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of
truth.'" Id. (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
679). Third, '"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. (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
Ankram's arguments will be addressed seriatim.
The Administrative ...