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Plante v. The Weld County Jail

United States District Court, D. Colorado

February 11, 2016

JAMES EUGENE PLANTE, Plaintiff,
v.
THE WELD COUNTY JAIL, and CORRECT CARE SOLUTIONS, Defendants.

          RECOMMENDATION OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          KATHLEEN M. TAFOYA, Magistrate Judge.

         This case comes before the court on "Defendant Correct Care Solutions' Motion to Dismiss in Lieu of An Answer" (Doc. No. 48 [Correct Care's Mot.], filed April 20, 2015) and "Defendant Weld County's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint" (Doc. No. 51 [Weld Cnty.'s Mot.], filed April 24, 2015). Plaintiff did not file a response to either motion.

         STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, asserts claims for deliberate indifference to his medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment. ( See Doc. No. 26 [Compl.], filed March 5, 2015). Specifically, Plaintiff alleges Defendant Weld County Jail[1] and Defendant Correct Care Solutions ("CCS"), the jail's medical service provider, have failed to give him medication and proper medical treatment since January 28, 2014. ( Id. at 3.) Plaintiff alleges he was "left in extream [sic] pain, misdiagnosed, denied medication and medical care until 4-17-14 where [he] went to N.C. M.C." ( Id. ) Plaintiff also alleges he has waited for over one year for treatment for his right eye, he has waited for a CT scan for over one year, and he has been "waiting for cysts on both legs now for 1 ½ months." ( Id. at 4.)

         Both defendants move to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint in its entirety.

         STANDARDS OF REVIEW

          A. Pro Se Plaintiff

         Plaintiff is proceeding pro se. The court, therefore, "review[s] his pleadings and other papers liberally and hold[s] them to a less stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys." Trackwell v. United States, 472 F.3d 1242, 1243 (10th Cir. 2007) (citations omitted). See also Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972) (holding allegations of a pro se complaint "to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers"). However, a pro se litigant's "conclusory allegations without supporting factual averments are insufficient to state a claim upon which relief can be based." Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991). A court may not assume that a plaintiff can prove facts that have not been alleged, or that a defendant has violated laws in ways that a plaintiff has not alleged. Associated Gen. Contractors of Cal., Inc. v. Cal. State Council of Carpenters, 459 U.S. 519, 526 (1983). See also Whitney v. New Mexico, 113 F.3d 1170, 1173-74 (10th Cir. 1997) (court may not "supply additional factual allegations to round out a plaintiff's complaint"); Drake v. City of Fort Collins, 927 F.2d 1156, 1159 (10th Cir. 1991) (the court may not "construct arguments or theories for the plaintiff in the absence of any discussion of those issues"). The plaintiff's pro se status does not entitle him to application of different rules. See Montoya v. Chao, 296 F.3d 952, 957 (10th Cir. 2002).

          B. Failure to State a Claim Upon Which Relief Can Be Granted

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides that a defendant may move to dismiss a claim for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) (2007). "The court's function on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is not to weigh potential evidence that the parties might present at trial, but to assess whether the plaintiff's complaint alone is legally sufficient to state a claim for which relief may be granted." Dubbs v. Head Start, Inc., 336 F.3d 1194, 1201 (10th Cir. 2003) (citations and quotation marks omitted).

         "A court reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint presumes all of plaintiff's factual allegations are true and construes them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1198 (10th Cir. 1991). "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) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). Plausibility, in the context of a motion to dismiss, means that the plaintiff pleaded facts which allow "the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. The Iqbal evaluation requires two prongs of analysis. First, the court identifies "the allegations in the complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of truth, " that is, those allegations which are legal conclusion, bare assertions, or merely conclusory. Id. at 679-81. Second, the Court considers the factual allegations "to determine if they plausibly suggest an entitlement to relief." Id. at 681. If the allegations state a plausible claim for relief, such claim survives the motion to dismiss. Id. at 679.

         Notwithstanding, the court need not accept conclusory allegations without supporting factual averments. Southern Disposal, Inc., v. Texas Waste, 161 F.3d 1259, 1262 (10th Cir. 1998). "[T]he tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Moreover, "[a] pleading that offers labels and conclusions' or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.' Nor does the complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertion[s]' devoid of further factual enhancement.'" Id. (citation omitted). "Where a complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with' a defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief.'" Id. (citation omitted).

         ANALYSIS

         Both defendants argue Plaintiff's claims against them should be dismissed because Plaintiff fails to plead any basis for imposition ...


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