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Fulson v. Anderson

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division

August 11, 2017

ANDRE L. FULSON, Plaintiff,
v.
TAMARA ANDERSON,, Defendants,

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          CATHERINE D. PERRY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before me on defendants James Hurley and Terrie Chenoweth's motions to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The motions are granted.

         Background

         Plaintiff brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and state law against several prison officials and medical personnel at the Northeast Correctional Center (“NECC”). At all times relevant to the complaint, James Hurley was the Warden of NECC and Terrie Chenoweth was a Correctional Officer.

         When plaintiff arrived at NECC in 2013, the prison doctor assessed him and gave him a diagnosis of inflammatory myopathy. The doctor prescribed a physical therapy regimen, which included walking outside, weight lifting, and use of both a treadmill and an elliptical machine. He was allowed to follow the regimen for two years.

         In early 2015, Hurley said the prescription violated the Missouri Department of Corrections' (“MoDOC”) policy.

         When Chenoweth learned about plaintiff's exercise regimen, she ordered plaintiff to produce the medical documentation. She also spoke to the medical defendants several times about plaintiff's treatment program, suggesting that it be modified to comply with policy. Plaintiff says she “was allowed by [plaintiff's doctor and nurses] to have [his] medical treatment plan altered, modified, changed, reduced and ultimately discontinued.” Plaintiff claims defendants violated the ADA because they had a policy that all inmates should be employed. And he says the policy did not contain a provision for disability accommodations as required by the ADA.

         Plaintiff alleges he was placed in administrative segregation for six months in retaliation for filing grievances against a nurse. He does not allege, however, that either of the defendants were responsible for the placement.

         Standard

         To state a claim under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). “To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A pleading need not include “detailed factual allegations, ” but it is not sufficient to tender “naked assertion[s]” that are “devoid of further factual enhancement.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). A complaint must do more than allege “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.” Id. Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief is a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense. Id. at 679.

         Discussion

         Defendants move to dismiss on the grounds that (1) all of the the claims are moot, (2) the deliberate indifference claims fail to state a plausible claim for relief, (3) that they are entitled to qualified immunity, and (4) the ADA claims are conclusory. In his response brief, plaintiff did not respond to defendants' arguments. Instead, he resubmitted portions of his complaint and attached some grievance records.

         1. Mootness

         Defendants argue that plaintiff's causes of action are moot because he has been moved to a different facility, and therefore, there is no longer any “live controversy” to decide. They are incorrect. “[B]y definition claims for past damages cannot be deemed moot.” Taxpayers for the Animas-La PlataRefer ...


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