United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
ED HENRY LOYDE, Plaintiff.
DAVID REICHERT, Director of Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute, et al., Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
JOHN S. BRYANT, Magistrate Judge.
TO: THE HONORABLE ALETA A. TRAUGER
Defendant David Reichert (spelled "Ryker" in the complaint) has filed his motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted (Docket Entry No. 23). Plaintiff Loyde, a prisoner proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, has failed to respond in opposition.
For the reasons stated below, the undersigned Magistrate Judge recommends that Defendant Reichert's motion to dismiss be GRANTED.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
Plaintiff Loyde has filed his civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the Defendants were willfully indifferent to a known risk of serious injury to him when they failed to protect him from assault by a fellow prisoner. Loyde has named as Defendant Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute ("MTMHI"), Defendant Reichert, who is identified as Director of MTMHI, and two techs, Charles and Fisher.
Defendant Reichert has filed his motion to dismiss.
SUMMARY OF FACTS FROM THE COMPLAINT
Plaintiff Loyde alleges that on March 18, 2013, he was transferred from the Shelby County Jail to MTMHI in Nashville for a court-ordered mental evaluation. On March 30, 2013, while at MTMHI, Loyde was verbally threatened with physical violence by a fellow prisoner, Thomas Johnson. Loyde alleges that he informed two techs, Defendants Charles and Fisher, of Johnson's threat of violence toward Loyde. Loyde claims that immediately thereafter Johnson assaulted him by knocking him to the floor, jumping on top of him, and biting his hand repeatedly, breaking the skin and causing his hand to bleed. Techs intervened, broke up the assault, and removed Johnson from the area. Loyde claims that he was later informed that Johnson suffered from "full-blown AIDS, " and that Loyde would be required to "take a lot of pills" in order to reduce the chance that he would be infected with AIDS as a result of this assault. Loyde alleges that the staff at MTMHI did nothing to protect him from physical assault by Johnson despite being informed beforehand that Johnson had threatened him with physical violence.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
In deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the court must view the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, accepting all well-pleaded factual allegations as true. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949-50 (2009). This requirement of accepting the truth of the complaint's factual allegations does not apply to legal conclusions, however, even where such conclusions are couched as factual allegations. Id. Although Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires merely "a short and plain statement of the claim, " the plaintiff must allege enough facts to make the claim plausible. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007). He must plead well enough so that his complaint is more than "a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action." Id. at 555. "The factual allegations, assumed to be true, must do more than create speculation or suspicion of a legally cognizable cause of action; they must show entitlement to relief." League of United Latin American Citizens v. Bredesen, 500 F.3d 523, 527 (6th Cir. 2007).
While a pro se complaint is "to be liberally construed" and "must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, " Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)), "basic pleading essentials" still apply. See Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1990). Moreover, "[d]istrict courts are not required to conjure up questions never squarely presented to them or to construct full blown claims from sentence fragments. To do so would require... [the courts] to explore exhaustively all potential claims of a pro se plaintiff, ... [and] would... transform the district court from its legitimate advisory role to the improper role of advocate seeking out the strongest arguments and most successful strategies for a party.'" Dixie v. Ohio, 2008 WL 2185487, at *1 (N.D. Ohio May 23, 2008) (quoting Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985)).
A district court cannot grant a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) in favor of a movant simply because the adverse party has not responded. The court is required, at a minimum, to examine the movant's motion to ensure that he has discharged ...