Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Rychwalski v. Clayton

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

June 14, 2013

LOUIS RYCHWALSKI, JR., #316558 Plaintiff
v.
LT. CLAYTON, et al. Defendants

MEMORANDUM

GEORGE L. RUSSELL, III, District Judge.

Plaintiff Louis Rychwalski, Jr. ("Rychwalski") filed the above-captioned Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. Defendants Warden Green, William Clayton, III, Donald Culotta, and Andrew Miller, by their attorney, filed a Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 17. Plaintiff has responded. ECF Nos. 20 & 22. After review of the papers and applicable law, the Court determines that a hearing is unwarranted. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2011). For the reasons that follow, the dispositive motion will be GRANTED.

Background

Rychwalski, an inmate currently confined at ECI, filed the instant Complaint alleging that on July 19, 2011, Defendants Clayton and Miller administered a drug test which was not performed in accordance with Division of Correction Directives. Thereafter, on August 9, 2011, Defendant Culotta used the "DTX drug test picture" to force Plaintiff to plead guilty to an inmate rule infraction. Plaintiff alleges that Warden Green failed to address the issues regarding his drug testing when he filed an inmate grievance regarding same. Plaintiff claims that Defendants Clayton, Miller and Culotta used falsified disciplinary reports to charge him with an inmate rule infraction. ECF No. 1.

The documentary evidence demonstrates that on July 19, 2011, Lt. W. Clayton, who is certified in inmate drug testing, conducted a urinalysis on Plaintiff. ECF No. 17, Exs. 1 & 2. At the time of Plaintiff's urinalysis, ECI was monitoring Plaintiff's mail in accordance with a program which permits inmates to renounce gang affiliations. Id., Ex. 1. The decision to require Plaintiff to undergo testing was occasioned by Plaintiff's referencing Suboxone, a commonly abused drug, in correspondence to his son. A newly instituted one-step drug test, ("DTX") which exclusively looks for Buprenophrine, an opiate found in Suboxone, was used to test Plaintiff. Id . Plaintiff tested positive for opiate use in the initial testing and again when the sample was retested. Id . During the testing procedure, Plaintiff signed documents acknowledging that the sample collected was his. Id . Based on the test results, Plaintiff was served with a notice of inmate rule infraction and placed on administrative segregation pending an adjustment hearing. Id., Ex. 2.

Plaintiff's adjustment hearing was held on August 9, 2011. Plaintiff pled guilty. The hearing officer accepted Plaintiff's plea, considered the notice of inmate rule violation, and sentenced Plaintiff to 150 days of segregation as well as loss of 120 good conduct credits. Id . Culotta, the staff hearing representative during Plaintiff's disciplinary hearing, avers that he did not threaten or coerce Plaintiff in any way to plead guilty to the rule violation. Id., Ex. 3.

Standard of Review

A. Motion to Dismiss

The purpose of a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b) (6) is to test the sufficiency of the plaintiff's complaint. See Edwards v. City of Goldsboro , 178 F.3d 231, 243 (4th Cir. 1999). The dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted does not require defendant to establish "beyond doubt" that plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 561-62 (2007). Once a claim has been stated adequately, it may be supported by showing any set of facts consistent with the allegations in the complaint. Id. at 562. The court need not, however, accept unsupported legal allegations, see Revene v. Charles County Comm'rs. , 882 F.2d 870, 873 (4th Cir. 1989), legal conclusions couched as factual allegations, see Papasan v. Allain , 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986), or conclusory factual allegations devoid of any reference to actual events, see United Black Firefighters v. Hirst , 604 F.2d 844, 847 (4th Cir. 1979).

In reviewing the complaint in light of a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 12(b)(6) the court accepts all well-pleaded allegations of the complaint as true and construes the facts and reasonable inferences derived therefrom in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Venkatraman v. REI Sys., Inc. , 417 F.3d 418, 420 (4th Cir. 2005); Ibarra v. United States , 120 F.3d 472, 473 (4th Cir. 1997); Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari , 7 F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993). Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires only a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Migdal v. Rowe Price-Fleming Int'l Inc. , 248 F.3d 321, 325-26 (4th Cir. 2001); see also Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A. , 534 U.S. 506, 513 (2002) (stating that a complaint need only satisfy the "simplified pleading standard" of Rule 8(a)).

The Supreme Court of the United States explained a "plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds' of his entitlement to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal citations omitted). Nonetheless, the complaint does not need "detailed factual allegations" to survive a motion to dismiss. Id . Instead, "once a claim has been stated adequately, it may be supported by showing any set of facts consistent with the allegations in the complaint." Id. at 563. Thus, a complaint need only state "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id . 570.

To survive a motion to dismiss, "a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). "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, at 678. "But 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.'" Id. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)).

B. Summary Judgment

Summary Judgment is governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a) ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.