United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
D. Mariani United States District Judge
Sharif Williamson ("Plaintiff'), an inmate currently
confined at the Rockview State Correctional Institution,
Bellefonte, Pennsylvania ("SCI-Rockview"),
commenced this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
(Doc. 1). The matter is proceeding via a second amended
complaint. (Doc. 35). Named as Defendants are the following
employees of SCI-Rockview: Mark Garman, Superintendent;
Nathan Lehman, Lieutenant; and Officers Clark, Leidhecker,
Myers, Phillips, Tubbs, Weaver, and Intallura, (collectively,
"Corrections Defendants"). (Id. at pp.
pending before the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Doc.
36). Despite being directed to file a brief in opposition to
Defendants' motion to dismiss (Doc. 32, ¶ 5),
Plaintiff failed to respond to the motion and the time for
responding has now passed. In the absence of any timely response
by Plaintiff, the motion is deemed ripe for resolution. For
the reasons set forth below, the Court will grant the motion
Standard of Review
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." BellAtl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 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. (qbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129
S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009).
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
Twombly, 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'lAss'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).
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. Conneily v. Steel Valley Sch. D/sf., 706
F.3d 209, 212 (3d Cir. 2013).
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."
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.
Allegations of the Second Amended Complaint
alleges that, on June 8, 2015, he was transferred to the
restricted housing unit (''RHUB'') at
SCI-Rockview and subjected to a strip search. (Doc. 35, p.
3). Upon arrival to the RHU, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant
Lehman directed eight officers to place him on the floor,
(/of.). He claims that the officers cut off his clothes,
placed their weight on his body, spread his buttocks apart,
and visually inspected his body. (Id.). Plaintiff
asserts that the search was conducted in an unprofessional
and illegal manner, and belittled him. (Id. at P-5).
alleges that Defendant Lehman did not comply with the
Department of Corrections policy for strip searches as set
forth in Department of Corrections Administrative Directive
203 ("DC-ADM 203"), by failing to ask Plaintiff to
submit to the strip search. (Id.).
further alleges that Defendant Garman is legally responsible
for the operation of the prison. (Id.).
1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code offers private
citizens a cause of action for violations of federal law by
state officials. See 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The
statute provides, in pertinent part, as follows:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or
the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be
subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person
within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any
rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution
and laws, shall be liable to the ...