United States District Court, D. Colorado
CRAIG S. ROBLEDO-VALDEZ, Plaintiff,
ROBERT DICK, et al.; JEFF LONG; MR. PETERSON; MR. BILDERAYA; HENRY HIGGINS; JANE DOE, Officer; JOHN DOE, Lieutenant; OFFICER CURRY; JOHN DOE, Officer; JOHN DOE, Sergeant; STEPHANIE STEPHENSON; DAN KATZENBERG; and JOHN DOE, Officer #2, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING IN PART AND REJECTING IN
PART RECOMMENDATION AND GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
MOTION TO DISMISS
S. Krieger Chief United States District Judge.
MATTER comes before the Court pursuant to the Plaintiff's
Objection (# 38) to the Magistrate Judge's February 27,
2017 Recommendation (# 38) that the Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss the Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (# 29) be
granted in part and denied in part.
Court exercises jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1331.
Plaintiff, Mr. Robledo, who appears pro se,
an inmate at the Sterling Correctional Facility
(“SCF”). The Defendants are employees of the
Colorado Department of Corrections (“CDOC”).
Robledo's claims arise primarily from three separate
incidents when other inmates at SCF assaulted him in
mid-2014. Mr. Robledo alleges that the first assault occurred
on March 30, 2014. At dinnertime, two inmates attacked him.
He defended himself and then submitted to prison officers. He
alleges that although he was not the aggressor and remained
calm, the officers charged him with a disciplinary violation
for fighting. He contested that violation, but the Hearing
Officer found that he was the aggressor during the fight and
sentenced him to spend twenty days in disciplinary
segregation. While in segregation, Mr. Robeldo alleges that
he spoke to Mr. Dick, a case manager, and Mr. Long, a prison
investigator, because prisoners told him that he “would
have to fight again” upon his release from segregation.
Mr. Robeldo also “informed staff” that he would
be attacked again if he was returned to the unit where he was
about this same time, Mr. Dick provided Mr. Robledo's
parole action sheet to another inmates. That sheet revealed
that Mr. Robledo had been convicted of a sex offense against
a child, a fact that, the Court assumes, Mr. Robledo was not
previously known in the prison. Mr. Robledo alleges - albeit
in a conclusory fashion - that Mr. Dick acted purposefully,
with the intention that the inmate who received the sheet
disseminate further the facts about Mr. Robledo's
convictions. Mr. Robledo alleges that disclosure of these
facts made him a target for violence from other prisoners.
Mr. Robledo's warnings, Mr. Dick and Mr. Long decided to
return Mr. Robledo to his prior unit. On April 23, 2014, two
prisoners attacked him. The assault lasted for only six
seconds because prison staff was approaching. The assailants
warned that “they would strike again” and
“put [him] in a coffin.”
Robledo alleges that the third assault occurred a few months
later. His friends told him that inmates were planning to
hospitalize him. He asked prison staff for protection but
those staff members stated that he was faking his fears of
future attacks in an attempt to be assigned to a new prison.
On June 11, 2014, the same prisoners who assaulted him on
April 23 attacked him again, stabbing him repeatedly with an
eight-inch shank and beating him with a padlock inside a
sock. The attack lasted for four minutes until prison
additional assaults occurred before Mr. Robledo was placed on
parole and released from SCF on August 13, 2014. However, he
alleges that Mr. Dick discriminated against him prior to his
release by failing to file an application that would have
allowed him to be paroled to Texas (where he is from and his
family resides). Mr. Robledo alleges that Mr. Dick did so out
of animus against Mr. Robledo's race (Hispanic),
sexuality (bisexual), and his status as a sex offender. Mr.
Robledo further alleges that Mr. Katzenberg discriminated
against him based on his sex offense and race by refusing to
help him obtain housing and transportation immediately after
January 25, 2016, Mr. Robledo filed his Complaint (# 1),
asserting a broad range of claims against a wide array of
Defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Mr.
Robledo's lengthy Amended Complaint (# 13) asserted
eleven claims for relief under § 1983, but the Court
summarily dismissed what he labeled as his third, fifth, ninth,
tenth, and eleventh claims (# 15).
Defendants jointly filed a motion to dismiss (# 29) Mr.
Robledo's first, fourth, sixth, seventh, and eighth
claims on the grounds of Eleventh Amendment
immunity and qualified immunity. The Court referred the
Motion to Dismiss to the Magistrate Judge. The Magistrate
Judge issued a Recommendation (# 38) that the motion be
granted in part and denied in part. Specifically, the
Magistrate Judge recommended: (i) Mr. Robledo's claims
for damages against the Defendants in their official
capacities be dismissed without prejudice for lack of
subject-matter jurisdiction; (ii) Mr. Robledo's Sixth
Amendment claims alleged in Claim Six and Claim Seven be
dismissed with prejudice for failure to state a claim; (iii)
Mr. Robledo's Eighth Amendment claim, alleged in Claim
Four as to the April 23, 2014 assault, be dismissed in that
Mr. Robledo failed to allege facts showing that the
Defendants disregarded an obvious risk of harm before that
incident; (iv) the Eighth Amendment claim alleged in Claim
Six be dismissed for failure to state a claim, in that Mr.
Robledo failed to plead facts showing that Mr. Dick was
subjectively aware of a risk of harm to Mr. Robledo when he
provided Mr. Robledo's parole sheet to the other inmate;
(v) the Equal Protection claims alleged in Claim Seven and
Claim Eight, due to insufficient pleading. The Recommendation
declined to dismiss: (i) Mr. Robledo's Eighth Amendment
claims in Claim One against Ms. Stephenson, Officer Curry,
Officer Jane Doe, and Officer John Doe #2 for prospective
injunctive and declaratory relief in their individual and
official capacities; (ii) the Eighth Amendment claims in
Claim One against Ms. Stephenson, Officer Curry, Officer Jane
Doe, and Officer John Doe #2 for monetary relief in their
individual capacities; (iii) the Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendment claims alleged in Claim Two against Lieutenant John
Doe; (iv) the Eighth Amendment claims alleged in Claim Four
as to the June 11, 2014 assault against Mr. Long, Mr.
Peterson, Mr. Bilderaya, Mr. Higgins, Ms. Stephenson, Officer
Curry, and Mr. Dick; (v) the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment
Claims alleged in Claim Six against Mr. Dick; and (vi) the
Eighth Amendment claim alleged in Claim Eight against Mr.
Robledo timely filed an Objection to the Recommendation (#
40). He objects to the dismissal of the Sixth Amendment
Claims alleged in Claim Six and Claim Seven, the Eighth
Amendment claim alleged in Claim Four as to the April 23,
2014 assault, the Eighth Amendment claim alleged in Claim
Six, and the Fourteenth Amendment claims alleged in Claim
Seven and Claim Eight. His specific objections will be
addressed in turn.
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b), the Court reviews the objected-to
portions of the Recommendation de novo.
considering a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6),
the Court accepts all well-pleaded allegations in the
Complaint as true and views those allegations in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party. Stidham v. Peace
Officer Standards & Training, 265 F.3d 1144, 1149
(10th Cir. 2001) (quoting Sutton v. Utah State Sch. for
the Deaf & Blind, 173 F.3d 1226, 1236 (10th Cir.
1999)). The Court limits its consideration to the four
corners of the Complaint, any documents attached thereto, and
any external documents that are referenced in the Complaint
and whose accuracy is not in dispute. Oxendine v.
Kaplan, 241 F.3d 1272, 1275 (10th Cir. 2001);
Jacobsen v. Deseret Book Co., 287 F.3d 936, 941
(10th Cir. 2002); Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc. v.
Howsam, 261 F.3d 956, 961 (10th Cir. 2001).
is subject to dismissal unless it is “plausible on its
face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). To make such an assessment, the Court first discards
those averments in the Complaint that are merely legal
conclusions or “threadbare recitals of the elements of
a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements.” Id. at 678-79. The Court takes
the remaining, well-pleaded factual contentions, treats them
as true, and ascertains whether those facts (coupled, of
course, with the law establishing the requisite elements of
the claim) support a claim that is “plausible” as
compared to merely being “conceivable” or
“possible”. What is required to reach the level
of “plausibility” varies from context to context,