JOEL H. SLOMSKY, District Judge.
Plaintiff Ronald Goode, proceeding pro se, brings this suit against Former Mayor Michael Nutter, Former Commissioner Louis Giorla, Former Warden John Delaney, and Former Warden Michele Farrell (collectively "Defendants") for alleged violations of his constitutional rights stemming from the conditions of his pretrial confinement at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility ("CFCF") in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Doc. No. 32.) Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the claims against them under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), which is now before the Court for a disposition. (
Plaintiff Ronald Goode alleges that he suffered federal civil rights violations due to the overcrowded conditions at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility ("CFCF") in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he was incarcerated as a pretrial detainee at the time he instituted this action. In the Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff asserts that Defendants' failure to address overcrowding amounted to a constitutional violation, triggering civil liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (commonly referred to as "Section 1983"). (Doc. No. 32.) Plaintiff claims that the overcrowded conditions of pretrial confinement violated his due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. He alleges that he was placed in a "triple-cell," a two person cell with a plastic boat on the floor for a third inmate. (Doc. No. 30 at 1). Plaintiff also alleges that the overcrowded conditions included: "inadequate laundry access and medical care; unsanitary food handling; insufficient recreational space; [and] rodent infestations."
On October 13, 2011, Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, initiated this action against Defendants. (Doc. No. 1.) On November 24, 2014, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. (Doc. No. 21.) On September 18, 2015, the Honorable Norma Shapiro of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued an Opinion and an Order dismissing the Amended Complaint and granting Plaintiff leave to amend. (Doc. Nos. 30-31.) In response, on October 1, 2015, Plaintiff filed the Second Amended Complaint against Defendants. (Doc. No. 32.) On March 8, 2017, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint for Failure to State a Claim. (Doc. No. 42.) This Motion is presently before this Court for a decision.
III. STANDARD OF REVIEW
The motion to dismiss standard under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) is set forth in
A complaint must do more than allege a plaintiff's entitlement to relief, it must "show" such an entitlement with its facts.
When determining a motion to dismiss, the court must "accept all factual allegations in the complaint as true and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff."
The Second Amended Complaint raises a claim against Former Mayor Michael Nutter, Former Commissioner Louis Giorla, Former Warden John Delaney, and Former Warden Michele Farrell ("Defendants") pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983"). (Doc. No. 32.) Plaintiff challenges his conditions of confinement and contends that the overcrowded conditions at CFCF amount to a violation of his due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. (
A. Plaintiff Has Failed to State an Underlying Constitutional Violation
Plaintiff contends that he was incarcerated at CFCF in overcrowded conditions, which constituted a violation of his due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. (Doc. No. 32.) To state a Section 1983 claim, a plaintiff must allege the violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States and must show that the alleged deprivation was committed or caused by a person acting under color of state law.
Challenges to the constitutionality of pretrial confinement are evaluated under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Here, Plaintiff alleges that he was "unlawfully housed" in three-person and four-person prison cells, but does not elaborate further about the impact of the allegedly overcrowded cells in the Second Amended Complaint. (Doc. No. 32 at 1-3.) Previously, in his Amended Complaint, Plaintiff claimed that the overcrowded conditions caused denial of assistance for serious medical needs, constant "lock-downs," and "fear . . . caused by violence over the shortage of phones, showers, recreation activity." (Doc. No. 21 at 3-4.) Plaintiff also explained that he was housed in a 7' x 10' cell with two other inmates. (
A plaintiff who fails to provide sufficient information to establish that he suffered "genuine privations and hardship over an extended period of time," will be unable to demonstrate that his due process rights were violated.
Viewing the facts in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, he has not provided the Court with sufficient facts to plausibly allege a violation of his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process. In his Second Amended Complaint, Plaintiff did not provide information concerning the size of the cell, the number of persons the cell was designed for, the type of beds Plaintiff slept in, or the duration of this condition. He did not explain how his conditions of confinement amounted to punishment in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Plaintiff has submitted insufficient information to demonstrate "genuine privations and hardship over an extended period of time."
B. Plaintiff Has Not Plausibly Alleged Facts Showing Each Defendant's Personal Involvement in the Alleged Wrongdoing
Defendants argue that Plaintiff failed to allege that they had any personal involvement in creating the overcrowded conditions at CFCF. (Doc. No. 42.)
To state a Section 1983 claim, a plaintiff must allege that a defendant had "personal involvement in the alleged wrongdoing."
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants were vicariously liable for the overcrowded conditions at CFCF.
Plaintiff did not articulate any specific conduct by the Defendants which led to the conditions of which he complained.
For the foregoing reasons, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 42) will be granted. An appropriate Order follows.
After reviewing the procedural history of this case, it is clear that allowing Plaintiff to amend his pleadings once again would be futile. More than five years ago, on October 13, 2011, Plaintiff initiated this action. (Doc. No. 1.) He filed an Amended Complaint on November 24, 2014. (Doc. No. 21.) Thereafter, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss. (Doc. No. 23.) On March 19, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Response in Opposition to the Motion. (Doc. Nos. 27-28.) On September 18, 2015, the Honorable Norma Shapiro of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued an Opinion and Order dismissing the Amended Complaint and granting Plaintiff leave to amend. (Doc. Nos. 30-31.) In response, Plaintiff filed the Second Amended Complaint. (Doc. No. 32.)
On March 8, 2017, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss the Second Amended Complaint. (Doc. No. 42.) Subsequently, the Court ordered Plaintiff to respond to the Motion on or before April 19, 2017. (Doc. No. 43.) The Court extended Plaintiff's deadline to respond to May 4, 2017. (Doc. No. 46.) Thereafter, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Enlargement of Time to Respond. (Doc. No. 47.) On May 11, 2017, the Court granted Plaintiff's Motion for Enlargement of Time and ordered Plaintiff to respond by May 31, 2017. (Doc. No. 49.) To date, Plaintiff has not filed a response to the Motion to Dismiss.
Thus, at this point, there has been not one, but two rounds of motions practice on Defendants' Motions to Dismiss. Plaintiff has filed three different complaints in this action, and has had two opportunities to amend the Complaint over the course of more than five years of litigation. Further amendment will not cure the defects in the claims raised. Consequently, amending the Second Amended Complaint would be futile and leave to amend will not be granted.