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Shiheed v. Fann

United States District Court, D. Maryland

March 5, 2014

YAHYI SHIHEED, #333292, Plaintiff,
v.
CORRECTIONAL OFFICER B. FANN, et al., Defendants,

MEMORANDUM

GEORGE L. RUSSELL, District Judge.

Plaintiff Yahyi Shiheed filed the above-captioned Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. Defendant M. Metheny ("Medical Defendant") and Defendants B. Fann, D. Gursky, and W. Iser ("Correctional Defendants") have filed Motions to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment. ECF Nos. 21 & 37. Plaintiff has responded. ECF Nos. 17, 23 & 39. 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 motions will be GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

Background

Plaintiff, an inmate currently confined at the North Branch Correctional Institution ("NBCI"), filed the instant Complaint alleging that on August 23, 2012, he was moved to another cell by Correctional Defendants Fann, Gursky, and Iser. Plaintiff states after being placed in a new cell he asked to speak to the lieutenant because he believed the move was unnecessary but his request was refused by Gursky. Plaintiff states that he "rotated the cuffs in front of me." Fann and Iser approached his cell door and called to have the cell door opened, without using the proper procedures. When the door opened Iser began yanking Plaintiff's cuff in an effort to pull them off Plaintiff's wrists. Plaintiff states that he and Iser began tugging on the cuffs and Iser "slung" [Plaintiff] on the floor of the tier and Fann and Iser tried to throw Plaintiff back into his cell. When he was back in his cell Correctional Defendants began punching, hitting, and kicking Plaintiff's body and head while calling him "nigger." Plaintiff states that Correctional Defendants then strapped a tether to his cuffs and pulled his wrist through the open metal slot in his door so the cuffs could be removed. Plaintiff states that after the cuffs were removed Defendants forcefully and purposefully shut the metal slot on his arm. Plaintiff states that blood shot out of his arm and his skin was hanging off his arm. Plaintiff indicates that Correctional Defendants left saying that they hoped he died and he was left in his cell with puddles of blood. ECF Nos. 1, 4 & 5.

Officers from other tiers came and took Plaintiff to the medical department to see Medical Defendant Monica Metheny who "said [he] was fine." Plaintiff states she "did what she could and she was ordered to send me out to an outside hospital." Plaintiff was transported to the emergency room where he received 38 stiches in his arm. He was returned to NBCI and placed back in his cell without a mattress. He was not taken to the infirmary for further treatment. Plaintiff states that his mattress was taken by the Correctional Defendants so that he could be in more pain and suffering when he slept. Plaintiff also alleges that he received a ticket on August 25, 2012, and Correctional Defendants lied about the incident.[1] Id.

Standard of Review

A. Motion to Dismiss

The purpose of a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 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 Atl. 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 Cnty. 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 Rule 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 at 555 (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 . at 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 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 Rule 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 ...


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