United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
TYCAS B. JORDAN, Plaintiff
JOHN A. ROWLEY, ANGELA HOOVER AND LT. MOORE, Defendants
Christopher C. Conner, Chief Judge
Tycas Jordan (“Jordan”), a former inmate housed
at the Clinton County Correctional Facility
(“CCCF”), McElhattan, Pennsylvania, commenced
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1). Named
as defendants are Warden John Rowley, Deputy Warden Angela
Hoover, and Lieutenant Jacqueline Moore. (Id.)
Before the court is defendants' motion (Doc. 16) to
dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
For the reasons set forth below, the motion will be granted.
Allegations of the Complaint
was a state inmate who was temporarily housed at the CCCF for
technical violations. (Doc. 1, at 5). During a period of six
(6) months at the CCCF, Jordan alleges that he was denied
outdoor exercise, recreation, and fresh air. (Id.)
Prison officials allegedly informed Jordan that the prison
yards were closed for security updates. (Id.)
asserts that inmates should be provided at least two (2)
hours of outdoor exercise per day. (Id.) He explains
that the CCCF has an indoor gym with a gate that lifts up as
a window, and has a screen with bars, but he claims that
“it's not enough fresh air at all.”
(Id. at 3, 5). Jordan alleges that the lack of
outdoor exercise and fresh air is “stressing [him] out
physically and mentally.” (Id. at 5).
further alleges that he was placed in the restricted housing
unit (“RHU”) for a period of thirty (30) days.
(Doc. 1, at 6). He asserts that the CCCF Inmate Handbook
provides that an inmate in segregation shall be afforded the
opportunity for outdoor exercise and recreation five (5) days
a week for a one (1) hour period. (Id. at 6-7).
states that he filed grievances pertaining to the lack of an
opportunity for outdoor exercise and fresh air. (Doc. 1, at
8-11). Defendants allegedly denied his grievances.
(Id.) In their responses, defendants informed Jordan
that the CCCF is in full compliance with state requirements,
and the prison yards were closed for security updates.
relief, Jordan seeks compensatory and punitive damages. (Doc.
1, at 9).
Standard of Review
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for
the dismissal of complaints that fail to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). When
ruling on a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the court
must “accept as true all [factual] allegations in the
complaint and all reasonable inferences that can be drawn
therefrom, and view them in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff.” Kanter v. Barella, 489 F.3d 170,
177 (3d Cir. 2007) (quoting Evancho v. Fisher, 423
F.3d 347, 350 (3d Cir. 2005)). Although the court is
generally limited in its review to the facts contained in the
complaint, it “may also consider matters of public
record, orders, exhibits attached to the complaint and items
appearing in the record of the case.” Oshiver v.
Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman, 38 F.3d 1380, 1384
n. 2 (3d Cir. 1994); see also In re Burlington Coat Factory
Sec. Litig., 114 F.3d 1410, 1426 (3d Cir. 1997).
notice and pleading rules require the complaint to provide
“the defendant notice of what the . . . claim is and
the grounds upon which it rests.” Phillips v. Cty.
of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 232 (3d Cir. 2008) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007)). To test the sufficiency of the complaint in the face
of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court must conduct a
three-step inquiry. See Santiago v. Warminster Twp.,
629 F.3d 121, 130-31 (3d Cir. 2010). In the first step, âthe
court must 'tak[e] note of the elements a plaintiff must
plead to state a claim.'” Id. (quoting
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 675 (2009)). Next,
the factual and legal elements of a claim should be
separated; well-pleaded facts must be accepted as true, while
mere legal conclusions may be disregarded. Id.;
see also Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203,
210-11 (3d Cir. 2009). Once the well-pleaded factual
allegations have been isolated, the court must determine
whether they are sufficient to show a “plausible claim
for relief.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (citing Twombly,
550 U.S. at 556); Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (requiring
plaintiffs to allege facts sufficient to “raise a right
to relief above the speculative level”). 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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code offers private
citizens a cause of action for violations of federal law by