United States District Court, D. Delaware
Jonathan Bryant, Wilmington, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.
Spring Monzo, Esquire, and Karine Sarkisian, Esquire, White
and Williams LLP, Wilmington, Delaware. Counsel for
ANDREWS U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jonathan Bryant was incarcerated when he commenced this
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He has since been
released. He proceeds pro se and has been granted
leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Before the Court
is a motion to dismiss filed by Defendant Connections
Community Support Programs, Inc. (improperly named as
Connections Community Service Provider of Delaware),
Plaintiff's opposition, and Plaintiff's motion for
leave to amend. (D.I. 66, 74). Briefing is complete.
Amended Complaint alleges that during his incarceration
Plaintiff was administered forced medication and he now
suffers from numerous side effects as a result of the
medication. (D.I. 16). The Court observes that the original
complaint contained a prayer for relief, but the Amended
Complaint does not. Defendant moves to dismiss pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6) on the grounds that the Amended Complaint: (1)
fails to state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. §
1983; and (2) fails to state a claim for medical negligence.
(D.I. 66). Plaintiff opposes the motion to dismiss and moves
to amend. (D.I. 74).
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).
'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.'" Daw's v.
Abington Mem'l Hosp., 765 F.3d 236, 241 (3d Cir.
2014) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). I am
"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, 574 U.S. 10 (2014).
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
U.S.C. § 1983.
alleges that Defendant violated his constitutional rights.
When bringing a § 1983 claim, a plaintiff must allege
that some person has deprived him of a federal right, and
that the person who caused the deprivation acted under color
of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48
(1988). As Defendant correctly notes, Plaintiff seeks to hold
it liable based upon respondeat superior. It is clear from
the Amended Complaint's allegations that Plaintiff
contends Defendant should be liable for the alleged acts and
omissions of its employees. Indeed, in opposing the motion to
dismiss Plaintiff states, "Connections needs to own
responsibility for the actions of its employees." (D.I.
69 at 3).
plaintiff relies upon a theory of respondeat superior to hold
a corporation liable, he must allege a policy or custom that
demonstrates such deliberate indifference. Sample v.
Diecks,885 F.2d 1099, 1110 (3d Cir. 1989); Miller
v. Correctional Med. Sys., Inc.,802 F.Supp. 1126, 1132
(D. Del. 1992). In order to establish that Defendant is
directly liable for the alleged constitutional violations,
plaintiff "must provide evidence that there was a
relevant [Connections] policy or custom, and that the policy
caused the constitutional violation[s] [plaintiff]
allege[s]." Natale v. Camden Cty. Corn
Facility,318 F.3d 575, 584 (3d Cir. 2003) (because
respondeat superior or vicarious liability cannot be a ...