United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. RUSSELL, III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
response to the above-entitled civil rights complaint,
Defendants State of Maryland (the “State”),
Division of Correction (“DOC”) and James Dipino,
Acting Director of Procurement for the Department of Public
Safety and Correctional Services (“DPSCS”), filed
a Motion to Dismiss and/or for Summary Judgment. (ECF No.
12). The Motion remains unopposed. No hearing is necessary.
See Local Rule 105.6 (D.Md. 2016). For the reasons
that follow, Defendants' Motion, construed as a Motion to
Dismiss, will be granted.
filed his Complaint on September 23, 2016, Plaintiff Benjamin
Waters was a pretrial detainee awaiting trial in the Circuit
Court for Baltimore City, Maryland on charges of first and
second-degree assault and use of a deadly weapon with intent
to injure. (See ECF 12-3). Waters initially was
confined on “5 North” at the Baltimore City
Booking and Intake Center (“BCBIC”). Defendants
note that from July through September, 2016, “5
North” was the Inmate Mental Health Unit. (ECF No. 12-1
at 2 n.1).
alleges that while on “5 North, ” he was deprived
of meals on seven separate occasions by Correctional Officers
(“COs”) J. Francis, T. Brown, D. Williams, and M.
Fortcham. (ECF No. 3). He also claims that he was struck in
the upper body by CO P. Jackson on August 3, 2016, and that
Jackson pulled him from his bunk and onto the floor of his
cell on August 8, 2016. (Id.). Waters also alleges
that on September 2 and 20, 2016, a female officer, CO N.
Mars, inappropriately searched him on the stairway near
BCBIC's gym. Id. The Complaint makes no
allegations of any wrongdoing by DiPino.
relief, Waters seeks employee discipline, a written apology,
the installation of cameras on 5 North of BCBIC, an end to
the alleged sexual abuse by “female officers, ”
and damages in the amount of $20, 000. (ECF No. 3). On
December 16, 2016, Waters notified the Clerk that he was held
at the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center
(“Perkins”) prior to trial. (ECF No. 8).
criminal charges were nolle prossed on February 10, 2017, and
Waters was released from detention. He now resides in
Standard of Review
Defendants caption their Motion in the alternative for
summary judgment, they rely on minimal, if any,
extra-pleading material. The Court, therefore, will construe
the Motion as a Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss.
purpose of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is to test the sufficiency
of a complaint, ” not to “resolve contests
surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the
applicability of defenses.” Edwards v. City of
Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243-44 (4th Cir. 1999) (quoting
Republican Party v. Martin, 980 F.2d 943, 952 (4th
Cir. 1992)). A complaint fails to state a claim if it does
not contain “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), or does not “state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face, ” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is
facially plausible “when the plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550
U.S. at 556). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a
cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do
not suffice.” Id. (citing Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555). Though the plaintiff is not required to
forecast evidence to prove the elements of the claim, the
complaint must allege sufficient facts to establish each
element. Goss v. Bank of Am., N.A., 917 F.Supp.2d
445, 449 (D.Md. 2013) (quoting Walters v. McMahen,
684 F.3d 435, 439 (4th Cir. 2012)), aff'd sub
nom., Goss v. Bank of Am., NA, 546 F.App'x
165 (4th Cir. 2013).
considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a court must examine the
complaint as a whole, consider the factual allegations in the
complaint as true, and construe the factual allegations in
the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Albright v.
Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 268 (1994); Lambeth v. Bd. of
Comm'rs of Davidson Cty., 407 F.3d 266, 268 (4th
Cir. 2005) (citing Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232,
236 (1974)). But, the court need not accept unsupported or
conclusory factual allegations devoid of any reference to
actual events, United Black Firefighters v. Hirst,
604 F.2d 844, 847 (4th Cir. 1979), or legal conclusions
couched as factual allegations, Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
“where the allegations of the complaint give rise to an
affirmative defense, the defense may be raised under Rule
12(b)(6), but only if it clearly appears on the face of the
complaint” Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac
R. Co. v. Forst, 4 F.3d 244, 250 (4th Cir. 1993).