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Kimbrough v. Woodbury County Jail

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Western Division

February 20, 2014

WILLIE KIMBROUGH, Plaintiff,
v.
WOODBURY COUNTY JAIL, Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

LEONARD T. STRAND, Magistrate Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Defendant's motion to dismiss (Doc. No. 10) has been referred to me pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) for the filing of a report and recommended disposition. See Doc. No. 12. Plaintiff has not filed a resistance. The government did not request oral argument, and, in any event I find that oral argument is not necessary. The motion is fully submitted.

II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On January 7, 2013, the plaintiff submitted a complaint, which the clerk's office filed on September 9, 2013. In his complaint, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant violated his constitutional rights while he was confined at the Woodbury County Jail. Specifically, he contends that: (1) he was strip searched; (2) he was required to wait in a holding cell for twenty-four hours and asked to sleep on the floor if it was crowded; (3) he was required to remove his clothes again and sprayed with a delousing chemical when they moved him to his Pod; (4) he was required to remain inside the building unless he had a proceeding in court and did not receive fresh air; and (5) he did not have access to a Koran or Muslim services from May of 2012 to October of 2012. As relief, the plaintiff states that he would like the court to award him $1, 000, 000.00.

In its motion to dismiss, the defendant maintains that dismissal is proper for the following reasons: (1) the Woodbury County Jail is not a legal entity that is amenable to suit; (2) the plaintiff never exhausted his administrative remedies; and (3) the plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

III. MOTION TO DISMISS STANDARD

Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for dismissal on the basis of "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). In determining whether a plaintiff has stated a claim sufficient to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the court must accept all of the plaintiff's factual allegations as true. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 696 (2009). With respect to the facts, "[t]he court may consider the pleadings themselves, materials embraced by the pleadings, exhibits attached to the pleadings, and matters of public record.'" Illig v. Union Electric Co., 652 F.3d 971, 976 (8th Cir. 2011) (quoting Mills v. City of Grand Forks, 614 F.3d 495, 498 (8th Cir. 2010)); accord Mulvenon v. Greenwood, 643 F.3d 653, 656-57 (8th Cir. 2011); Porous Media Corp. v. Pall Corp., 186 F.3d 1077, 1079 (8th Cir. 1999).

"To survive a [Rule 12(b)(6)] motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter... to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)); accord B & B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Indus., Inc., 569 F.3d 383, 387 (8th Cir. 2009). A claim satisfies the plausibility standard "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., 550 U.S. at 556). "The plausibility standard is not akin to a probability requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Id. (quoting Bell Atl., 550 U.S. at 556); see also Parkhurst v. Tabor, 569 F.3d 861, 865 (8th Cir. 2009) ("[A] complaint must contain factual allegations sufficient to raise a right to relief above the speculative level....'" (quoting Bell Atl., 550 U.S. at 555)); Killingsworth v. HSBC Bank Nev., N.A., 507 F.3d 614, 618 (8th Cir. 2007) (examining federal pleading standards).

Although a plaintiff need not provide "detailed" facts in support of his or her allegations, the "short and plain statement" requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) "demands more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation." Id. at 677-78 (citing Bell Atl., 550 U.S. at 555); see also Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) ("Specific facts are not necessary [under Rule 8(a)(2)]."). "A pleading that offers labels and conclusions' or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'" Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Bell Atl., 550 U.S. at 555). And, "[w]here the allegations show on the face of the complaint [that] there is some insuperable bar to relief, dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) is appropriate." Benton v. Merrill Lynch & Co., 524 F.3d 866, 870 (8th Cir. 2008) (citing Parnes v. Gateway 2000, Inc., 122 F.3d 539, 546 (8th Cir. 1997)).

IV. ANALYSIS

A. Overview of Civil Rights Claims Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983

Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983 provides, in relevant part:

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regu-lation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory... subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the ...

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