United States District Court, D. Colorado
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS AND DENYING DEFENDANTS'
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Brooke Jackson United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on defendants' motion to
dismiss and motion for summary judgment. ECF Nos. 131, 132.
For the reasons explained below, the motion to dismiss is
granted in part and denied in part, and the motion for
summary judgment is denied.
Hall is an inmate at the United States Penitentiary
Administrative Maximum Facility (“ADX”). Mr. Hall
filed this case pro se against the Federal Bureau of Prisons
(“BOP”) and several BOP personnel in September
2015, and he filed amended complaints in November 2015 and
March 2016. ECF Nos. 1, 14, 40. The Court later granted Mr.
Hall's motion to appoint pro bono counsel, and counsel
entered an appearance in December 2016. ECF Nos. 99, 105.
Through his attorney, Mr. Hall filed his Third Amended
Complaint on March 6, 2017. ECF No. 123.
Third Amended Complaint alleges that Mr. Hall suffers from
mental illness, yet defendants have placed him in
near-solitary confinement with deliberate indifference to his
mental health. He also asserts that defendants provide
medically unnecessary antipsychotic drugs as a reward for
good behavior, and they withhold the drugs as punishment. Mr.
Hall alleges that this placement in ADX and inappropriate
psychological care have exacerbated his mental health issues.
He raises two claims for injunctive and declaratory relief:
(1) an Eighth Amendment claim for failure to provide adequate
mental health care, and (2) a First Amendment claim for
keeping him in solitary confinement at ADX.
have filed a motion to dismiss both claims and a motion for
summary judgment on the First Amendment claim. ECF No. 131,
132. The motions have been fully briefed. See ECF
Nos. 136, 137, 138, 140.
survive a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the complaint must
contain “enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). While the Court must
accept the well-pleaded allegations of the complaint as true
and construe them in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff, Robbins v. Wilkie, 300 F.3d 1208, 1210
(10th Cir. 2002), purely conclusory allegations are not
entitled to be presumed true, Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 681 (2009). However, so long as the plaintiff
offers sufficient factual allegations such that the right to
relief is raised above the speculative level, he has met the
threshold pleading standard. See Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 556. “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.”
Miller v. Glanz, 948 F.2d 1562, 1565 (10th Cir.
Court may grant summary judgment if “there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(a). The moving party has the burden to show that there is
an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's
case. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325
(1986). The nonmoving party must “designate specific
facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.”
Id. at 324. A fact is material “if under the
substantive law it is essential to the proper disposition of
the claim.” Adler v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.,
144 F.3d 664, 670 (10th Cir. 1998). A material fact is
genuine if “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury
could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). The Court will examine the factual record and make
reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the
party opposing summary judgment. Concrete Works of Colo.,
Inc. v. City & Cnty. of Denver, 36 F.3d 1513, 1517
(10th Cir. 1994).
argue that Mr. Hall's Eighth Amendment claim has been
released by the class action settlement in another case, and
that Mr. Hall has not pled a plausible First Amendment claim
or exhausted his administrative remedies before bringing this
lawsuit. The Court will address each of these arguments in
Cunningham v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, several
inmates at ADX sued the BOP on the grounds that its
inadequate diagnosis and treatment of their mental illnesses
violated the Eighth Amendment. No. 12-cv-01570-RPM (D. Colo.
June 15, 2015), ECF No. 274. Late last year the parties
negotiated a settlement agreement requiring the BOP to change
some of its mental health policies. No. 12-cv-01570-RPM (D.
Colo. Nov. 16, 2016), ECF No. 382. Judge Matsch certified two
settlement classes under Rule 23(b)(2) of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure: a “Screening Class, ”
consisting of all inmates confined at ADX between January 17,
2017 and the end of the agreement's compliance period,
and a “Treatment Subclass, ” covering all members
of the Screening Class who have specified mental illnesses.
No. 12-cv-01570-RPM (D. Colo. Jan. 17, 2017), ECF No. 398 at
¶ 4. These classes were informed of the material aspects
of the case and the proposed settlement in a court-approved
notice. Id. at ¶ 2. After conducting a fairness
hearing and reviewing objections from class members, Judge
Matsch approved the settlement agreement. No. 12-cv-01570-RPM
(D. Colo. Dec. 29, 2016), ECF No. 391 at 5-8.
exchange for the BOP's policy changes, the settlement
agreement required class members to release related claims
that they ...