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Hicks v. O'Malley

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

August 26, 2013

JERMAINE HICKS, Plaintiff,
v.
MARTIN O'MALLEY, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

WILLIAM M. NICKERSON, Senior District Judge.

Plaintiff Jermaine Hicks ("Hicks") filed the above-captioned Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. Defendants Commissioner of Correction J. Michael Stouffer, Warden Marion E. Tuthill, Adjustment Hearing Officer David Barthlow, and Correctional Officer Tamika Brown, by their attorneys have filed a Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 11. Plaintiff has not filed a response.[1] After review of the pleadings, and applicable law, the Court determines that a hearing is unwarranted. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2011). For the reasons that follow, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment will be GRANTED.

Background

Hicks, a former detainee at the Baltimore City Detention Center, alleges that on October 15, 2012, he was placed on disciplinary segregation and his right to due process violated when he did not receive a timely hearing as required under the Maryland Code of Regulations. Plaintiff further alleges that the conditions of confinement on disciplinary segregation are "inhumane" and that he has been denied out of cell recreation, legal telephone calls, regular telephone calls, and visits. Additionally, he claims that he has been forced to take cold showers or wash up in a sink or sanitation closet. Plaintiff also claims that his cell is rodent and bug infested, there is mold on the tier, and the cell walls are falling apart. ECF Nos. 1 & 4.

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). To survive such a motion, "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 Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). "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) which provides that:

The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

The Supreme Court has clarified that this does not mean that any factual dispute will defeat the motion:

By its very terms, this standard provides that the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement ...

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