United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Central Division
NANETTE K. LAUGHREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is Defendants Jane Spalding, Cheryl Scherer,
Douglas Prudden, and Alan Earls' Motion to Dismiss, Doc.
8. For the following reasons, the motion is granted.
October 2013 until December 2016, Plaintiff Jonathan Nathan
Brock was an inmate at Tipton Correctional Center. During
that time, he was continuously subjected to secondhand smoke
from fellow inmates using tobacco. As a result, he suffered
from extreme stress, anxiety, and fear, and attempted to
eliminate the sale of tobacco products at TCC, transfer out
of TCC, or create a separate non-smoking dormitory. Each of
the Defendants worked at TCC, and were aware of
Plaintiff's experiences and his attempts to find a
solution, but refused to provide relief. In February 2018,
after he was released, Plaintiff filed suit against the
Defendants, alleging Eighth Amendment deliberate
indifference. The only relief that Plaintiff seeks is
filed the present motion to dismiss on March 28, 2018.
Plaintiff's opposition brief was due on April 11, 2018.
When no opposition was filed, the Court ordered Plaintiff to
show cause why the Defendants' motion should not be
granted, on or before May 4, 2018. The Court also explained
to Plaintiff that if he failed to comply, his complaint may
be dismissed without further notice. The Court's Order
was sent to Plaintiff via regular and certified mail, and a
green card showing that Plaintiff received the Order was
docketed on ECF on April 27, 2018.Plaintiff failed to respond.
move to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. “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.” Zink v.
Lombardi, 783 F.3d 1089, 1098 (8th Cir. 2015) (quoting
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)). A
claim has facial plausibility when its allegations rise above
the “speculative” or “conceivable, ”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)), and where “the plaintiff pleads factual
content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Such a
complaint will be liberally construed in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff. Eckert v. Titan Tire
Corp., 514 F.3d 801, 806 (8th Cir. 2008).
argue that Plaintiff's claims are barred by the Eleventh
Amendment, which prevents damages claims against state
officials in their official capacity. Kentucky v.
Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 169 (1985) (“[T]he Eleventh
Amendment bars a damages action against a State in federal
court. . . . This bar remains in effect when State officials
are sued for damages in their official capacity.”).
Although the Eleventh Amendment does not prevent damages
claims against state officials in their personal capacity,
“absent a clear statement that officials are being sued
in their personal capacities, ” courts must
“interpret the complaint as including only
official-capacity claims.” Murphy v. State of
Ark., 127 F.3d 750, 754 (8th Cir. 1997) (quoting
Egerdahl v. Hibbing Cmty. Coll., 72 F.3d 615, 619
(8th Cir. 1995)).
brings only one claim against each of the four Defendants:
Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference. He fails to specify
whether his claims are brought against the Defendants in
their personal capacities or their official capacities, and
therefore the Court must treat them all as official capacity
claims. Accordingly, because the only relief that
Plaintiff seeks is damages, all of his claims are barred by
the Eleventh Amendment. See Graham, 473 U.S. at 169
(finding that “an official-capacity action for damages
could not have been maintained against [the state official]
in federal court”). As Plaintiff's claims are
barred, the Motion to Dismiss must be granted, and the Court
need not decide whether the Plaintiff sufficiently pleaded
reasons set forth above, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss,
Doc. 8, is granted.
 The facts are found in Plaintiff's
Complaint. Doc. 4. For purposes of deciding the Motion to
Dismiss, the Court accepts Plaintiff's factual
allegations as true and construes them in the light most
favorable to Plaintiff. See Stodghill v. ...