United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division
A. Gibney, Jr. United States District Judge
James, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se and
in forma pauperis, filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983
action. The matter is before the Court on the
Motion to Dismiss filed by Defendants M. Bailey, S. Cain, J.
Lewis, and Harold Clarke. (ECF No. 12.) James has submitted a
Memorandum in Support of Plaintiff s Opposition Reply to
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss ("Response, " ECF
No. 19). For the reasons stated below, the Court will GRANT
the Motion to Dismiss.
STANDARD FOR MOTION TO DISMISS
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the sufficiency
of a complaint; importantly, it does not resolve contests
surrounding the facts, the merits of a claim, or the
applicability of defenses." Republican Party of N.C
v. Martin, 980 F.2d 943, 952 (4th Cir. 1992) (citing 5A
Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal
Practice and Procedure § 1356 (1990)). In
considering a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
a plaintiffs well-pleaded allegations are taken as true and
the complaint is viewed in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff. Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7 F.3d
1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993); see also Martin, 980
F.2d at 952. This principle applies only to factual
allegations, however, and "a court considering a motion
to dismiss can choose to begin by identifying pleadings that,
because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled
to the assumption of truth." Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure "require[ ] only '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) (second alteration
in original) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41,
47 (1957)). Plaintiffs cannot satisfy this standard with
complaints containing only "labels and conclusions"
or a "formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action." Id. (citations omitted). Instead, a
plaintiff must allege facts sufficient "to raise a right
to relief above the speculative level, " id.
(citation omitted), stating a claim that is "plausible
on its face, " id. at 570, rather than merely
"conceivable." Id. "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 Bell Atl.
Corp., 550 U.S. at 556). In order for a claim or
complaint to survive dismissal for failure to state a claim,
therefore, the plaintiff must "allege facts sufficient
to state all the elements of [his or] her claim."
Bass v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 324 F.3d
761, 765 (4th Cir. 2003) (citing Dickson v.
Microsoft Corp., 309 F.3d 193, 213 (4th Cir.
2002); Iodice v. United States, 289 F.3d 270, 281
(4th Cir. 2002)). Lastly, while the Court liberally construes
pro se complaints, Gordon v. Leeke, 51A
F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978), it does not act as the
inmate's advocate, sua sponte developing
statutory and constitutional claims the inmate failed to
clearly raise on the face of his complaint. See Brock v.
Carroll, 107 F.3d 241, 243 (4th Cir. 1997) (Luttig, J.,
concurring); Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d
1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).
SUMMARY OF PLAINTIFF'S ALLEGATIONS
Complaint, James raises claims concerning his placement in
ambulatory restraints and the decision to replace his meals
with diet loaf for a seven-day period. James alleges that on
October 15, 2014, at approximately 12:27 p.m., "an
alleged incident occurred . . . wherein Plaintiff was accused
of dousing a security staff with liquid substances."
(Compl. ¶ 2, ECF No. I.) Afterwards, "[e]ven though
Plaintiff was secured in his cell posing no form of threat to
himself, security staff or others . . ., Defendant Cain
contacted Defendant Bailey and obtained his authorization
to place Plaintiff in bodily/ambulatory restraints."
p.m., Defendant Lewis entered James's cell and placed
James in the ambulatory restraints "as Defendant Cain,
Lieutenant Walker and Sergeant Carver stood by
watching." (Id. ¶ 3.) Defendant Lewis
"secured Plaintiffs wrists in handcuffs and a lock box
then placed shackles on his ankles." (Id.)
Defendant Lewis then connected the shackles to the lock box
with a chain and lock. (Id.) James's property
was removed from his cell, and he "was stripped of his
uniform/jumpsuit." (Id. ¶ 4.) James
remained in the ambulatory restraints for ten hours and 45
next day, October 16, 2014, Defendant Bailey ordered that
James be "placed on a loaf diet consisting of vegetables
and beans baked into a dough." (Id. ¶ 5.)
James received the diet loaf "twice a day for the 7 days
following his release from bodily restraints."
(Id. ¶ 6.)
Court construes James's Complaint to raise the following
claims for relief:
Claim One: Defendants Bailey, Cain, and Lewis violated
James's (a) rights under the Eighth
Amendment and (b) due process rights under the
Fourteenth Amendment by placing him in ambulatory restraints
for ten hours and 45 minutes. (Id. ¶¶
Claim Two: Defendant Bailey violated James's (a) rights
under the Eighth Amendment and (b) due process rights under
the Fourteenth Amendment by ordering that James receive diet
loaf for his meals for seven days following James's
removal from the ambulatory restraints. (Id.
Claim Three: Defendant Clarke violated James's rights
because "subordinate staff to Defendant Clarke"
unconstitutionally placed James in ambulatory restraints for
ten hours and 45 minutes and restricted him to "diet
loaf for seven days. (Id. ¶ 7.)
state an Eighth Amendment claim, an inmate must allege facts
that indicate (1) that objectively the deprivation suffered
or harm inflicted "was 'sufficiently serious, '
and (2) that subjectively the prison officials acted with a
'sufficiently culpable state of mind.'"
Johnson v. Quinones, 145 F.3d 164, 167 (4th Cir.
1998) (quoting Wilson v. Setter, 501 U.S. 294, 298
(1991)). "These requirements spring from the text of the
amendment itself; absent intentionality, a condition imposed
on an inmate cannot properly be called 'punishment, '
and absent severity, such punishment cannot be called
'cruel and unusual.'" Iko v. Shreve,
535 F.3d 225, 238 (4th Cir. 2008) (citing Wilson v.
Seller, 501 U.S. 294, 298-300 (1991)). "What must
be [alleged] with regard to each component Varies according
to the nature of the alleged constitutional
violation.'" Williams v. Benjamin, 77 F.3d
756, 761 (4th Cir. 1996) (quoting Hudson v.
McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 5(1992)).
inmate challenges his conditions of confinement, he must
allege "(1) a serious deprivation of a basic human need;
and (2) deliberate indifference to prison conditions on the
part of prison officials." Williams v. Griffin,
952 F.2d 820, 824 (4th Cir. 1991) (internal citation omitted)
(citing Wilson, 501 U.S. at 301-03). Deliberate
indifference requires the plaintiff to allege facts
suggesting that a particular defendant actually knew of and
disregarded a substantial risk of serious harm to the
plaintiffs person. See Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
825, 837 (1994). "Deliberate indifference is a very high
standard-a showing of mere negligence will not meet it."
Grayson v. Peed, 195 F.3d 692, 695 (4th Cir. 1999)
(citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97,
[A] prison official cannot be found liable under the Eighth
Amendment for denying an inmate humane conditions of
confinement unless the official knows of and disregards an
excessive risk to inmate health or safety; the official must
both be aware of facts from which the inference could be
drawn that a substantial risk of serious harm exists, and he
must also draw the inference.
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837. Farmer teaches
"that general knowledge of facts creating a substantial
risk of harm is not enough. The prison official must also
draw the inference between those general facts and the
specific risk of harm confronting the inmate."
Quinones, 145 F.3d at 168 (citing Farmer,
511 U.S. at 837); see Rich v. Bruce,129 F.3d 336,
338 (4th Cir. 1997) (stating same). Thus, to survive a motion
to dismiss, the deliberate indifference standard requires a
plaintiff to assert facts sufficient to form an inference
that "the official in question subjectively recognized a
substantial risk of harm" and "that the official in
question subjectively recognized that his actions were