United States District Court, D. Maryland
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER RE: DISMISSAL
J. Garbis United States District Judge.
Court has before it Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [ECF
No. 8] and the materials submitted relating thereto. The
Court finds a hearing unnecessary.
Jesse York (“York”) and his former wife
(“Krista”) are the parents of KY and EY
Allegany County Department of Social Services Child
Protective Services (“Protective Services”)
provides protective services for children who are believed to
be neglected or abused. Defendants Christopher Offutt,
Richard Paulman, Pamela Rice, and John Sangiovanni
(collectively, “the Employees”) are employees of
Complaint [ECF No. 1] presents claims in two Counts:
FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF - 42 U.S.C. § 1983 - in violation
of the Fourteenth Amendments (sic) (Against
Defendant Allegany County Department of Social Services,
Child Protective Services)
SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF - Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983
- Deliberately Indifferent Policies, Practices, Customs,
Training, and Supervision in violation of the Fourth,
Fourteenth, and First Amendments and in violation of 42
U.S.C. § 1981 (Against Defendant Allegany County
Department of Social Services, Child Protective Services)
[ECF No. 1 at 8, 10].
instant motion, Defendants seek dismissal of all claims
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil
motion to dismiss filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of a
complaint. A complaint need only contain “‘a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief, ' in order to ‘give
the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'” Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (alteration in
original) (citations omitted). When evaluating a 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss, a Plaintiff's well-pleaded allegations
are accepted as true and the complaint is viewed in the light
most favorable to Plaintiff. However, conclusory statements
or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause
of action will not [suffice].” Id. A complaint
must allege sufficient facts “to cross ‘the line
between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to
relief.'” Francis v. Giacomelli, 588 F.3d
186, 193 (4th Cir. 2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S.
into whether a complaint states a plausible claim is
“‘a context-specific task that requires the
reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common
sense.'” Id. (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 557). Thus, if “the well-pleaded facts
[contained within a complaint] 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 Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 679 (2009) (alteration in original)).
unspecified date, York and Krista were married. The couple
had two sons, EY born in 1998 and KY born in 2006. On a date not
specified, York and Krista were divorced. In 2010, Krista
married a man who became the Children's stepfather
August 3, 2011, the Circuit Court for Howard County, Maryland
entered a consent order giving Krista and York “joint
legal custody and shared physical custody with a specific
parent schedule.” ¶ 13.
Complaint includes a series of allegations about actions by
the Employees on which the claims presented are based. These,
include allegations that:
• On October 24, 2011, Offut screamed at York and
accused him of lying when York reported abuse of the Children
when under the care of Krista and the Stepfather. ¶ 15.
• On some unspecified date, York reported to Protective
Services that the Children reported being struck by Krista
and the Stepfather on different occasions, that there were
certain fights, that the Stepfather drinks in the house, and
that there are drugs in the house. ¶ 16.
• Offut “continually lied” to York about the
Children. ¶ 17.
• “On or about during (sic) April/May
2013 bruising was seen on the other child (sic) but
ignored by defendant Pam Rice, defendant Sangiovanni and
Offut” and the Children suffered bruising from an
“abusive male” in Krista's house. ¶ 18.
• The Children were “under state care and or
supervision” and “the supervisor” and Offut
ignored the harm. Also Offut, Paulman, Rice, and Sangiovanni
conspired to violate ...