United States District Court, D. Maryland
CATHERINE C. BLACK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Kevin Horsey filed the above-captioned civil rights action
alleging that he was injured by a misplaced power tool while
he was a pretrial detainee at defendant Chesapeake Detention
Facility ("CDF"). Defendant has filed a Motion to
Dismiss. ECF No. 10. Although Plaintiff was informed of his
right to file a response, ECF No. 11, he has not filed a
response. The matter is now ripe for review. The court finds
a hearing in these matters is unnecessary. See Local
Rule 105.6. For the reasons that follow, defendant's
Motion to Dismiss is GRANTED.
Kevin Horsey filed this complaint on September 24, 2018,
while he was a pretrial detainee. Horsey states that, on or
about June 10, 2018, he was transferred from his cell for
several days while air conditioning was installed. ECF No. 1
at pp. 2-3. Upon Horsey's return to his cell on June 15,
2018, he tried to place his television "on the top shelf
but faced physical resistance; "not thinking what could
be up there[, Horsey] began to push harder and before [he]
knew it a powertool came off the shelf knocking [him] to the
floor in and out of consciousness]." Id. at p.
3. He alleges that he was dizzy and unable to see clearly and
could barely walk. Id.
states that officers took. him to the medical department,
where he was examined. Id. at pp. 3-4. At the
medical department, Horsey was informed that he "needed
to be approved for further medical treatment" and then
he was "return[ed] back to the Ches[a]peake Detention
Facility without any medication to cope with [the]
pain." Id. at p. 4. Later, a doctor at CDF
recommended that Horsey undergo a CT scan, which Horsey
states that he continues to suffer from problems arising out
of the injury, including headaches, mood swings, and
occasional hand tremors, and also states that his
"speech [is] off," though he does not further
specify the speech problem. Id. He reports that he
has filed numerous inmate grievances and has not received an
answer concerning his "issue." Id. Horsey
seeks monetary damages "for suffering from high levels
of physical and psychological stress, health issues, falsely
accused, medical bills, pain and suffering, neglect,"
and loss of wages. Id.
reviewing the complaint in light of a motion to dismiss
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 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., 477 F.3d 418, 420
(4th Cir. 2005) (internal citation omitted). 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."
Supreme Court of the United States has explained that a
"plaintiffs obligation to provide the 'grounds'
of his 'entitle[ment] 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. at 555 (internal citation omitted).
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
(internal citations omitted). 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, 556 U.S. at
678 (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). "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)).
does not articulate the nature of his claims or otherwise
specify a federal cause of action. As a result, the Court
will construe the complaint as presenting claims that
defendant violated his constitutional rights pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Asuitunder§ 1983 allows "a
party who has been deprived of a federal right under the
color of state law to seek relief[.]" City of
Monterey v. Del Monte Dimes at Monterey, Ltd., 526 U.S.
687; 707 (1999). To state a claim under § 1983, a
plaintiff must allege that: (1) a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and
(2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person
acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
correctly notes, it is not a "person" subject to
suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Moreover, as an arm of the
State, CDF is immune from suit under the Eleventh Amendment
to the United States Constitution. Pursuant to the Eleventh
Amendment, a state, its agencies and departments are immune
from suits in federal court brought by its citizens or the
citizens of another state, unless it consents. Petmhurst
State Sch. And Hosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 100
(1984) (internal citations omitted). "It is clear, of
course, that in the absence of consent a suit in which the
State or one of its agencies or -departments is named as the
defendant is proscribed by the Eleventh Amendment."
Id. (internal citations omitted). While the State of
Maryland has waived its sovereign immunity for certain types
of cases brought in state courts, see Md. Code Ann.,
State Gov't § 12-202(a), it has not waived its
immunity under the Eleventh Amendment to suit in federal
court. Thus, Horsey's complaint against CDF, an arm of
the State* is barred by the Eleventh Amendment.
even if Horsey had named a person as a defendant, his
allegations fail to state a claim. The Eighth Amendment
prohibits "unnecessary and wanton infliction of
pain" by virtue of its guarantee against cruel and
unusual punishment. Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153,
173 (1976) (internal citations omitted); see also King v.
Rubenstein, 825 F.3d 206, 218 (4th Cir. 2016) (internal
citation omitted). It protects the rights of postconviction
detainees. See Brown v. Harris, 240 F.3d 383, 388
(4th Cir. 2001). However, the Due Process Clause of the
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
protects the rights of pretrial detainees like Horsey.
Hill v. Nicodenms, 979 F.2d 987, 990-91 (4th Cir.
1992) (internal citations omitted). "Due process rights
of a pretrial detainee are at least as great as the
eighth amendment protections available to the convicted
prisoner." Id. at 991 (4th Cir. 1992) (internal
citation and quotation marks omitted) (emphasis in original).
The question is whether the conditions amount to punishment
of the pretrial detainee, because due process proscribes
punishment of a detainee before proper adjudication of guilt.
Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535 (1979) (internal
citations omitted). However, "not every inconvenience
that is encountered during pre-trial detention amounts to
'punishment' in the constitutional sense."
Martin v. Gentile, 849 F.2d 863, 870 (4th Ci.r.
1988) (internal citation omitted).
that "deprive inmates of the minimal civilized measure
of life's necessities" may amount to cruel and
unusual punishment. Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337,
347 (1981). To establish a claim for cruel and unusual
punishment due to conditions of confinement, a plaintiff must
allege facts sufficient to show (1) an objectively serious
deprivation of a basic human need causing serious physical or
emotional injury, and (2) that prison officials were
deliberately indifferent to that need. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994) (internal citations
the first prong, a plaintiff must allege facts showing that
the condition complained of caused a "sufficiently
serious" deprivation of a basic human need. Id.
. "Only extreme deprivations are adequate to
satisfy the objective component of an Eighth Amendment claim
regarding conditions of confinement." De'Lonta
v,Angelone,330 F.3d 630, 634 (4th Cir. 2003)
(internal citation omitted). Demonstration of an extreme
deprivation proscribed by the Eighth Amendment requires proof
of "a serious or significant physical or emotional
injury resulting from the challenged conditions or
demonstrat[ion of] a substantial risk of such serious harm
resulting from the prisoner's exposure to the challenged
conditions." Odom v. S.C Dep't of Con:, 349
F.3d 765, 770 (4th Cir. 2003). A plaintiff bears the burden
of alleging facts sufficient to show that the conditions of
his confinement were so grave that they violated contemporary
standards of decency ...