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Smith v. Green

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

June 19, 2018

CHRISTOPHER GERALD SMITH, Plaintiff,
v.
NICOLE GREEN, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          CHARLES A. SHAW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on the Motion to Dismiss filed by defendant Ashley Grisham (“defendant”). Plaintiff has not responded to the motion, and the time for doing so has passed. For the reasons discussed below, the motion will be denied.

         I. Background

         At all times relevant to the instant case, plaintiff Christopher Gerald Smith (“plaintiff”) was a pretrial detainee at the Dunklin County Justice Center. The instant motion is directed to plaintiff's second amended complaint, which he filed on January 29, 2018. In sections I and II of the second amended complaint, plaintiff sets forth the bases for jurisdiction and venue, and identifies the parties to the action. In section III, plaintiff sets forth the facts giving rise to the action, and in section IV he sets forth his legal claims.

         The facts relevant to plaintiff's claims against defendant are as follows. Plaintiff requires access to a handicap-accessible shower. He filed grievances concerning, among other things, the lack of such access. In retaliation, defendant and others placed plaintiff in medical isolation, and repeatedly moved him back and forth to different areas of the facility. Defendant has filed the instant motion pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

         II. Legal Standard

         The purpose of a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim is to test the legal sufficiency of the complaint. To survive a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, “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 Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim for relief “must include sufficient factual information to provide the ‘grounds' on which the claim rests, and to raise a right to relief above a speculative level.” Schaaf v. Residential Funding Corp., 517 F.3d 544, 549 (8th Cir. 2008) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 & n.3). This obligation requires a plaintiff to plead “more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

         When considering a motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint, even if it appears that “actual proof of those facts is improbable, ” id. at 556, and reviews the complaint to determine whether its allegations show that the pleader is entitled to relief. Id. at 555-56; Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The principle that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint does not apply to legal conclusions, however. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice”). In addition, all reasonable inferences from the complaint must be drawn in favor of the nonmoving party. Young v. City of St. Charles, Mo., 244 F.3d 623, 627 (8th Cir. 2001).

         III. Discussion

         In the instant motion to dismiss, counsel for defendant, J. Thaddeus Eckenrode, argues that defendant should be dismissed from this action because the second amended complaint refers to Ashley Green. Counsel also suggests that the Court erroneously construed the second amended complaint as filed against Ashley Grisham, and wrongfully issued service of process as to Ashley Grisham. Counsel writes:

Contrary to this Court's Memorandum and Order (Doc. 10), Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint was filed against Ashley Green, the named defendant, who was terminated from this action. (See Doc. 8 and court file dismissing Ashley Green). Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint does not mention Ashley Grisham, even though Ashley Grisham was served with the summons issued in this matter. (Doc. 8).
Plaintiff's lawsuit against Ashley Green has been terminated by this court and there are no allegations in Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint against Ashley Grisham.

(Doc. 20 at 3, 5).

         The Court is troubled by counsel's contention that Ashley Grisham should be dismissed from this action because plaintiff referred to her as Ashley Green, as counsel has previously acknowledged in other ...


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