United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
DISMISS (DOCKET NO. 44)
TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN DISTRICT JUDGE.
Lucero (Plaintiff) brought this civil rights action against
Lewis G. Evangelidis, Sheriff of Worcester County, Thomas A.
Turco III, Commissioner of Corrections, and Correct Care
Solutions, the healthcare provider for inmates at Worcester
County Jail and House of Corrections (WCJHOC). Defendant
Turco moves to dismiss the Plaintiff's Complaint on the
grounds that Plaintiff has failed to state a viable
supervisory liability claim upon which relief can be granted.
For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion
(Docket No. 44) is granted.
following facts are taken from Plaintiff's complaint and
are assumed true for the purposes of this motion. Manuel
Lucero was formerly an inmate at Worcester County Jail and
House of Corrections (WCJHOC). During his time there he was
deprived of “the basic necessities of life, including:
warmth, safety, sanitation, and adequate medical care.”
(Docket No. 11 at ¶ 26). Inmates are kept in close
quarters consisting of two-person bunks arranged about four
feet on all sides from another bunk; he was given a dirty
mattress; he was forced to take hot showers; there were
insufficient fire drills; he was given insufficient blankets;
his food was cold and contained bodily fluids; he was
deprived of engaging in consensual sexual intimacy with other
inmates; he was denied adequate medical care; he had
insufficient access to legal resources; and prison officials
retaliated against him for complaints and denied three orders
of Black's Law Dictionary under the false pretense that
they were used when in fact ordered new directly from the
defendant may move to dismiss, based solely on the complaint,
for the plaintiff's “failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). To
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint must
allege “a plausible entitlement to relief.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 559
(2007). Although detailed factual allegations are not
necessary to survive a motion to dismiss, the standard
“requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.” Id. at 555. “The relevant
inquiry focuses on the reasonableness of the inference of
liability that the plaintiff is asking the court to draw from
the facts alleged in the complaint.”
Ocasio-Hernandez v. Fortuno-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 13
(1st Cir. 2011).
evaluating a motion to dismiss, the court must accept all
factual allegations in the complaint as true and draw all
reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor.
Langadinos v. American Airlines, Inc., 199 F.3d 68,
68 (1st Cir. 2000). It is a “context-specific
task” to determine “whether a complaint states a
plausible claim for relief, ” one that “requires
the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and
common sense.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 679 (2009) (internal citations omitted). “[W]here
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.” Id. (quoting
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). On the other hand, a court may not
disregard properly pled factual allegations, “even if
it strikes a savvy judge that actual proof of those facts is
improbable.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556.
Plaintiff appears pro se, we construe his pleadings more
favorably than we would those drafted by an attorney. See
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).
Nevertheless, Plaintiff's pro-se status does not excuse
him from complying with procedural and substantive law.
See Ahmed v. Rosenblatt, 118 F.3d 886, 890 (1st
1983 “creates a remedy for violations of federal rights
committed by persons acting under color of state law.”
Haywood v. Drown, 556 U.S. 729 (20009). It requires
three elements for liability: deprivation of a right, a
causal connection between the actor and the deprivation, and
state action. 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Plaintiff seeks
injunctive relief and damages for the alleged violation of
Standing for Injunctive Relief
petitions the court for an injunction to abolish policies
that violate inmates' federal rights. Defendant Turco
alleges that because Plaintiff is no longer housed at the
Worcester County House of Correction, he no longer has a
legally cognizable interest in the conditions at the facility
thus rendering his claims moot.
equitable remedy is unavailable absent a showing of
irreparable injury, a requirement that cannot be met where
there is no showing of any real or immediate threat that the
plaintiff will be wronged again-‘a likelihood of
substantial and immediate irreparable harm.'”
City of Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 111
(1983) (quoting O'Shea v. Littleton, 414 U.S.
488, 502 (1974)). A court, however, may nonetheless award
injunctive relief if a claim is “capable of repetition,
yet evading review.” S. Pac. Terminal Co. v.
ICC, 219 U.S. 498 (1911). This exception, while
well-established, is construed narrowly. See Redfern v.
Napolitano, 727 F.3d 77, 84 (1st Cir. 2013). According
to the Supreme Court, a party seeking relief under the
exception has the burden of showing that “(1) the
challenged action is in its duration too short to be fully
litigated prior to cessation or expiration; and (2) there is
a reasonable expectation or a demonstrated probability that
the same complaining party will be subject to the same action
again.” FEC v. Wis. Right To Life, Inc., 551
U.S. 449, 462 (2007).
Ford v. Bender, the First Circuit held, in a case
much like the one presented here, that a pretrial detainee
failed to satisfy the second requirement because “there
was no reasonable expectation that he will again be confined
to the DDU as a pretrial detainee.” 768 F.3d 15, 30
(1st Cir. ...