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Koester v. Ryan

United States District Court, D. Delaware

November 5, 2018

MARK RICHARD KOESTER, Plaintiff.
v.
MARION RYAN, et al., Defendants.

          Mark Richard Koester, Sussex Correctional Institution, Georgetown, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.

          Marion Ryan, Pro Se Defendant.

          Nicholas Robert Wynn, Esquire, White & Williams, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for Defendant Connections Community Service Group.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          NOREIKA U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Mark Richard Koester ("Koester"), an inmate at Sussex Correctional Institution ("SCI") in Georgetown, Delaware, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983.[1] (D.I. 1). He also raises supplemental state claims. Plaintiff appears pro se and has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (D.I. 7). Before the Court is Connections Community Support Programs, Inc.'s and the unidentified medical staffs (collectively, the "Medical Defendants'7) motion to dismiss[2] and Plaintiffs request for counsel. (D.I. 15, 25). Plaintiff opposes the motion to dismiss. (D.I. 19).

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Court screened the Complaint on May 18, 2017, identified cognizable and non-frivolous clams, and issued a service order. (D.I. 10). Named Defendants include Marion Ryan ("Ryan"), Connections Community Service Group ("Connections"), and unnamed medical providers and nurses from December 2013 through April 2016. (D.I. 1). The Medical Defendants move for dismissal on the grounds that the Complaint: (1) fails to satisfy the pleading requirements of Twombly and Iqbal; (2) fails to state a claim of deliberate indifferent to serious medical needs; (3) fails to plead that Connections maintained a policy, practice or custom that caused the alleged deliberate indifference to a serious medical need; and (4) Plaintiff failed to submit an affidavit to support the medical negligence claim.

         Connections initially stated that it had no record of an employee or former employee named Marion Ryan. (D.I. 15 at 1). However, after reviewing submissions by Plaintiff and further investigation, Connections determined that Marion Ryan is Louise Marion Ryan. Medical Defendants move for Ryan's dismissal on the grounds that the Complaint fails to state a claim against her and she was not properly served. (D.I. 20).

         II. LEGAL STANDARDS

         In reviewing a motion filed under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the court must accept all factual allegations in a complaint as true and take them in the light most favorable to plaintiff. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Because Plaintiff proceeds pro se, his pleading is liberally construed and his complaint, "however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94. A court may consider the pleadings, public record, orders, exhibits attached to the complaint, and documents incorporated into the complaint by reference. Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd., 551 U.S. 308, 322 (2007). A Rule 12(b)(6) motion may be granted only if, accepting the well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and viewing them in the light most favorable to the complainant, a court concludes that those allegations "could not raise a claim of entitlement to relief." Bell Atl Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 558 (2007).

         "Though 'detailed factual allegations' are not required, a complaint must do more than simply provide 'labels and conclusions' or 'a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.'" Davis v. Abington Mem'l Hosp., 765 F.3d 236, 241 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). The Court is "not required to credit bald assertions or legal conclusions improperly alleged in the complaint." In re Rockefeller Ctr. Props., Inc. Sec. Litig., 311 F.3d 198, 216 (3d Cir. 2002). A complaint may not be dismissed, however, "for imperfect statement of the legal theory supporting the claim asserted." Johnson v. City of Shelby, 135 S.Ct. 346, 346 (2014).

         A complainant must plead facts sufficient to show that a claim has "substantive plausibility." Id. at 347. That plausibility must be found on the face of the complaint. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). "A claim has facial plausibility when the [complainant] pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the [accused] is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id. Deciding whether a claim is plausible will be a "context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id. at 679.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. ...


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