United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
ORDER AND MEMORANDUM ON DEFENDANT McDONALD'S
MOTION TO DISMISS (Docket No. 24)
TIMOTHY S. HILLMAN DISTRICT JUDGE
Brown Madison (“Plaintiff”) asserts several
claims against various Defendants for retaliation after it
was revealed that he worked as an informant for law
enforcement officials. Relevant to this motion, he brings
claims against Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph McDonald
(“Defendant McDonald”) in his official and
individual capacities for violation of his Eighth Amendment
and Fourteenth Amendment rights by failing to provide for
Plaintiff's safety (Count VI), negligent hiring, training,
and supervision (Counts XIX, XXI), vicarious liability for
assault and battery (Count XXV), and intentional and
negligent infliction of emotional distress (Count XXXI).
Defendant McDonald has moved to dismiss all claims pursuant
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). (Docket No. 24). For
the reasons stated below, Defendant's motion is
granted in part and
denied in part.
factual background is taken from Plaintiff's Complaint
(Docket No. 1) and assumed to be true at this stage of the
to 2015, Plaintiff worked as an informant for the Plymouth
County District Attorney's Office (“PCDAO”),
the Massachusetts State Police, and the Brockton Police. On
July 5, 2015, Defendants Bradley and Cruz revealed to the
Boston Globe Plaintiff's identity as an informant and his
activities as such.
the Boston Globe article was published, Plaintiff was a
pretrial detainee at the Essex County Correctional Facility
(“ECCF”). After the article was published, other
inmates continually harassed Plaintiff, threw urine on him,
placed feces in his food, and assaulted him, which resulted
in a black eye and abrasions on his face. Plaintiff was
subsequently placed in solitary confinement and, upon
rejoining the general population, was again assaulted.
Plaintiff was transferred to the Plymouth County Correction
Facility (“PCCF”) where he was again attacked by
other inmates. Plaintiff continues to experience blurred
vision, difficulties concentrating, migraines, insomnia, and
anxiety as a result of the attacks.
McDonald is the Sheriff of Plymouth County. Plaintiff alleges
that Defendant McDonald failed to protect him from other
prisoners while he was in custody at the PCCF.
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1), a defendant may move to dismiss an
action for lack of federal subject matter jurisdiction.
“The party invoking the jurisdiction of a federal court
carries the burden of proving its existence.”
Murphy v. United States, 45 F.3d 520, 522 (1st Cir.
1995). To determine if the burden has been met, a court
“take[s] as true all well-pleaded facts in the
plaintiffs' complaints, scrutinize[s] them in the light
most hospitable to the plaintiffs' theory of liability,
and draw[s] all reasonable inferences therefrom in the
plaintiffs' favor.” Fothergill v. United
States, 566 F.3d 248, 251 (1st Cir.2009).
defendant may also 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, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (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, 127
S.Ct. 1955. “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, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (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, 127 S.Ct. 1955.
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, 127 S.Ct. 2197
(2007). Nevertheless, Plaintiff's pro-se status does not
excuse him from complying with procedural and ...