United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
H. RAMBO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court for disposition is Defendants' motion to
dismiss Plaintiff's amended complaint. (Doc. No. 20.) For
the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motion will be
December 1, 2017, pro se Plaintiff Cedric Tyrone
Walker, an inmate formerly housed in the Special Management
Unit at the United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg,
Pennsylvania (“USP-Lewisburg”), filed this civil
rights action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. (Doc. No.
1.) Named as Defendants were eight Federal Bureau of
Prisons' employees: Warden David J. Ebbert, Lieutenant
Jason Seeba, and Correctional Officers C. Hughs, M. Hess, J.
Klose, B Melek, B. Mottern, and A. Simmons. (Id.)
Plaintiff alleged that his Eighth Amendment rights were
violated when he was placed in restraints on May 1, 2015
through May 10, 2015. (Id.) He alleged that the
restraints were so tight that they cut off his circulation
and caused wounds on his wrists, for which he was denied
medical care. (Id.) He also claimed that he was
denied food, water, and use of the bathroom. (Id.)
January 30, 2017, Plaintiff filed an amended Complaint. (Doc.
No. 10). In the amended complaint, Plaintiff identifies only
four Federal Bureau of Prisons' employees: Warden David
J. Ebbert, retired BOP Director Charles E. Samuels, Regional
Physician Dr. Kevin Pigos, and Senior Officer Adam Simmonds.
(Id.) Plaintiff's amended complaint re-alleges
the Eighth Amendment claim but adds claims that staff
falsified incident reports against him while he was in
restraints and that he was denied due process during his
disciplinary proceedings. (Id.)
2, 2017, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss (Doc. No. 20)
and a brief in support. (Doc. No. 21.) On June 6, 2017,
Plaintiff filed a brief in opposition (Doc. No. 25), arguing
that the Court should grant a default judgment in his favor
for Defendants' failure to answer his amended complaint.
On July 5, 2017, Plaintiff filed a document that was docketed
as a memorandum of law (Doc. No. 34), in which he argues that
his complaint states a claim under the Eighth Amendment
because he suffers significant and recurrent pain from
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 from them,
viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See
In re Ins. Brokerage Antitrust Litig., 618 F.3d 300, 314
(3d Cir. 2010). The Court's inquiry is guided by the
standards of Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662
(2009). Under Twombly and Iqbal, pleading
requirements have shifted to a “more heightened form of
pleading.” See Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578
F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009). To prevent dismissal, all civil
complaints must set out “sufficient factual
matter” to show that the claim is facially plausible.
Id. The plausibility standard requires more than a
mere possibility that the defendant is liable for the alleged
misconduct. As the Supreme Court instructed in
Iqbal, “where 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 (citing
to determine the sufficiency of a complaint under
Twombly and Iqbal, the United States Court
of Appeals for the Third Circuit has identified the following
steps a district court must take when determining the
sufficiency of a complaint under Rule 12(b)(6): (1) identify
the elements a plaintiff must plead to state a claim; (2)
identify any conclusory allegations contained in the
complaint “not entitled” to the assumption of
truth; and (3) determine whether any “well-pleaded
factual allegations” contained in the complaint
“plausibly give rise to an entitlement to
relief.” See Santiago v. Warminster Twp., 629
F.3d 121, 130 (3d Cir. 2010) (citation and quotation marks
ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to
state a claim, “a court must consider only the
complaint, exhibits attached to the complaint, matters of
public record, as well as undisputedly authentic documents if
the complainant's claims are based upon these
documents.” Mayer v. Belichick, 605 F.3d 223,
230 (3d Cir. 2010) (citing Pension Benefit Guar. Corp. v.
White Consol. Indus., Inc., 998 F.2d 1192, 1196 (3d Cir.
1993)). A court may also consider “any ‘matters
incorporated by reference or integral to the claim, items
subject to judicial notice, matters of public record, orders,
[and] items appearing in the record of the case.'”
Buck v. Hampton Twp. Sch. Dist., 452 F.3d 256, 260
(3d Cir. 2006) (quoting 5B Charles A. Wright & Arthur R.
Miller, Federal Practice & Procedure § 1357 (3d Ed.
conducting its review of a complaint, the court must be
mindful that a document filed pro se is “to be
liberally construed.” Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 106 (1976). A pro se complaint,
“however inartfully pleaded, ” must be held to
“less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted
by lawyers” and can only be dismissed for failure to
state a claim if it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff
can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would
entitle him to relief. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S.
519, 520-21 (1972).
argue that Plaintiff's amended complaint should be
dismissed for failure to allege sufficient personal
involvement on the part of any of the Defendants and that
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), bars
Plaintiff's due process claims.