United States District Court, D. New Jersey
IVAN G. McKINNEY, Plaintiff,
DR. HEMSLEY, et al., Defendants.
MCNLLTY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, Ivan G. McKinney, is proceeding pro se
with a civil rights complaint filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Presently pending before this Court is the
motion of defendants Davies, Bigott, Pickel, and Pawson to
dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), or for a more
definite statement pursuant Rule 12(e). For the following
reasons, the motion to dismiss will be granted. Mr.
McKinney's federal claims against these four defendants
will be dismissed without prejudice and this Court will
decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Mr.
McKinney's state law claims. Mr. McKinney's request
for default judgment against Davies will also be denied, as
will his request for an emergency injunction.
this Court severed claims from Mr. McKinney's complaint
into separate actions. The severed allegations in this action
arise from Mr. McKinney's prior incarceration at the
Bergen County Jail (he was subsequently transferred to New
Jersey State Prison). This Court initially permitted claims
against Davies, Bigott, Pickel and Pawson to proceed past
screening. Mr. McKinney alleges, inter alia, that
the defendants failed to respond to his grievances with
respect to denial of medical care, and specifically that
Pawson failed to respond to his letter complaining about
being refused a medical appointment by Dr.
complaint alleges that, while incarcerated at the Bergen
County Jail, McKinney was suffering from a tear in his left
knee meniscus, lower back bulge, herniated neck discs, and a
hernia. Before his incarceration, in 2010, Mr. McKinney
received a prescription to have hernia surgery. His
incarceration began in February 2011 without the surgery
having occurred. Dr. Hemsley (not part of this motion this
dismiss) allegedly refused to authorize surgery. On September
9, 2012, McKinney wrote a letter to Pawson to complain about
Pawson is alleged to be in charge of the medical department
at the Bergen County Jail. Mr. McKinney states that Pawson
has never responded to his medical grievances. Mr. McKinney
also alleges that Pawson did nothing about the condition of
his mattress or the fact that he was confined to his cell for
21 hours per day.. (See Dkt. No. 4 at p. 16)
Pickel, too, allegedly failed to respond to McKinney's
grievances, except one the he was being double-charged for an
"entrance fee of $55.00." (Id. at p. 17)
Bigott was the warden of the Bergen County Jail when Mr.
McKinney made the complaints described above. McKinney states
that he sent Bigott a request regarding his medical issues,
but that Warden Bigott chose to "turn his head"
from his medical department. (See id.) Mr. McKinney
also appears to raise allegations regarding his thin mattress
and his 21-hour lockdown, stating that Bigott did nothing
Mr. McKinney alleges that defendant Davies placed him in
21-hour lockdown. He claims that Davies never came to where
Mr. McKinney was incarcerated. (See Id. at p. 18)
Mr. McKinney states that he has written Davies on several
occasions to no avail.
McKinney seeks monetary damages in his complaint.
STANDARD OF REVIEW ON RULE 12(B)(6) MOTION TO
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for the dismissal
of a complaint, in whole or in part, if it fails to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted. The moving party
bears the burden of showing that no claim has been stated.
See Hedges v. United States, 404 F.3d 744, 750 (3d
Cir. 2005). In deciding a motion to dismiss, a court must
take all allegations in the complaint as true and view them
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Worth
v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 501 (1975); Trump Hotels
& Casino Resorts, Inc. v. Mirage Resorts Inc., 140
F.3d 478, 483 (3d Cir. 1998); see also Phillips v. County
of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 231 (3d Cir. 2008)
("reasonable inferences" principle not undermined
by later Supreme Court Twombly case, infra).
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) does not require that a
complaint contain detailed factual allegations. Nevertheless,
"a plaintiffs obligation to provide the
'grounds' of his "entitlement to relief requires
more than labels and conclusions, and formulaic recitation of
the elements of a cause of action will not do." Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Thus,
the factual allegations must be sufficient to raise a
plaintiffs right to relief above a speculative level, such
that it is "plausible on its face." See
Id. at 570; see also Umland v. PLANCO Fin. Serv.,
Inc., 542 F.3d 59, 64 (3d Cir. 2008). 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." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). While
"[t]he plausibility standard is not akin to a
'probability requirement' ... it asks for more than a
sheer possibility." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678
McKinney is proceeding pro se, the complaint is
"to be liberally construed, " and, "however
inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson
v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007). Nevertheless, it
must meet some minimal standard. "While a litigant's
pro se status requires a court to construe the allegations in
the complaint liberally, a litigant is not absolved from
complying with Twombly and the federal pleading
requirements merely because s/he proceeds pro se."
Thakar v. Tan, 372 F.App'x 325, 328 (3d Cir.
2010) (citation omitted).
Captain Davies ...