United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
DARNELL JONES, II JUDGE.
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, state prisoner Marvin Banks brought
this pro se action against various officials of the
Delaware County Prisons' George W. Hill Correctional
Facility, alleging violations of the Eighth and First
Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The Complaint names the
following defendants: Chief Richard Leach, Warden David
Bryne, three correctional officers (Gloria Jenkins,
Christopher Page, and Finet Gilbert), three sergeants (Daniel
Kelly, Geoffrey Baldwin and “Abt”), three nurses
(Susan Kendra, Samantha Izzi, and “Peggy”), and
the Community Education Centers, Inc. (ECF No. 5 at 2-3).
this Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Complaint
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to state a
claim or, in the alternative, for a more definite statement
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e). (ECF No. 13 at 6, 22).
filed the Complaint on January 23, 2017. (ECF No. 1-1). On
April 13, 2017, Defendants filed the Rule 12(b)(6), or 12(e),
Motion that is the subject of this Memorandum. (ECF No. 13).
A few days later, Plaintiff filed a more definite statement
pursuant to Rule 12(e) without leave of court. (ECF No. 14).
Plaintiff has not filed any response with respect to the Rule
12(b)(6) Motion. This Court now resolves Defendants'
unopposed Rule 12(b)(6) Motion.
granting an unopposed Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a district court
should satisfy itself that the complaint does not, in fact,
state a claim. Ray v. Reed, 240 F.App'x 455, 456
(3d Cir. 2007) (citing Stackhouse v. Mazurkiewicz,
951 F.2d 29, 30 (3d Cir. 1991)).
deciding a 12(b)(6) motion, courts must “accept all
factual allegations as true, construe the complaint in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff, and determine whether,
under any reasonable reading of the complaint, the plaintiff
may be entitled to relief.” Phillips v. County of
Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 233 (3d Cir. 2008) (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted). When, as here, the
plaintiff is a pro se litigant, courts “have a
special obligation to construe his complaint
liberally.” Zilich v. Lucht, 981 F.2d 694 (3d
Cir. 1992) (citing to Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S.
519, 520 (1972)). Nevertheless, “[t]hreadbare recitals
of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere
conclusory statements, do not suffice.” Fowler v.
UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009)
(quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
standard, which applies to all civil cases, “asks for
more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
“[A]ll civil complaints must now set out sufficient
factual matter to show that the claim is facially
plausible.” Fowler, 578 F.3d at 210 (internal
quotation marks omitted). “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 (citing Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007)). Courts may
consider documents attached to the complaint in deciding a
12(b)(6) motion. See Huertas v. Galaxy Asset Mgmt.,
641 F.3d 28, 32 (3d Cir. 2011).
to the Complaint, Plaintiff was subjected to inhumane
conditions while unduly confined in administrative
segregation and disciplinary detention in retaliation for
filing grievances at the George W. Hill Correctional
Facility. (ECF No. 5). He claims Defendants denied
him access to grievance procedures and medical treatment,
defamed his character, abused their authority, unnecessarily
used force/authority, acted negligently, and caused him
trauma, emotional distress, and physical injury. Id.
events giving rise to this suit began on November 24, 2016,
when Plaintiff was cited purportedly for fighting another
inmate and attempting to steal that inmate's possessions.
(ECF No. 5 at 24). Plaintiff alleges that this disciplinary
report was “bogus.” Id. Plaintiff
further alleges that he was placed in administrative
segregation, rather than the restricted housing unit, in
retaliation for filing grievances. Id. at 15.
administrative segregation, Plaintiff's cell (10-C-104)
was filled with bed bugs, causing him almost immediately to
break out in hives. Id. at 7. When Plaintiff warned
the entire cell block of the bug infestation, Officer Page
told Plaintiff, “everything will happen on our time,
” “you should have kept your mouth shut, ”
and “you should have never made a statement to the
whole block about the bugs.” Id. at 19.
filed a grievance, complaining about the bed bugs and the
hives. (ECF No. 5 at 7). He also complained that it took
eight hours for prison staff to fulfill his request for bed
sheets. Id. at 7. In response to this grievance,
Chief Leach advised Plaintiff to inform his unit manager
about the conditions of the cell. Id. at 7, 17.
Plaintiff reported the conditions of his cell and his bug
bites to several defendants, including the unit manager, Sgt.
Kelly. Id. at 20-21. Additionally, Plaintiff wrote a