United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
D. Whitney, Chief United States District Judge.
MATTER is before the Court on Defendant Regina S.
Hooks' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint. [Doc. 54].
Plaintiff Robert Ballard (“Plaintiff”) is a North
Carolina prisoner who filed this action on July 7, 2017,
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on events alleged to
have occurred while Plaintiff was incarcerated at Lanesboro
Correctional Institution in Polkton, North
Carolina.Pursuant to an order from the Court,
Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on March 2, 2018, naming
the following persons as Defendants: (1) Mr. Herring,
Superintendent, Lanesboro Correctional; (2) J. Bennett,
Assistant Superintendent, Lanesboro Correctional; (3) Mr.
Thompson, Nurse Supervisor, Lanesboro Correctional; (4) Mr.
Rogers, Assistant Superintendent, Lanesboro Correctional; (5)
Mr. D. Hatley, Unit Manager, Lanesboro Correctional; (6)
Capt. Aaron, Captain, Lanesboro Correctional; (7) Sergeant
Simmons, Sergeant, Lanesboro Correctional; (8) Nurse Parks,
Nurse, Lanesboro Correctional; and (9) First Shift Nurses,
Lanesboro Correctional. Plaintiff alleges that, while he was
incarcerated at Lanesboro, Defendants violated his
constitutional rights by deliberately ignoring his serious
medical needs and by subjecting him to unconstitutional
conditions of confinement.
Plaintiff alleges that he was transferred to Lanesboro on May
9, 2017. [Doc. 12 at 8]. Plaintiff alleges that he is
confined to a wheelchair and needs a handicapped cell but was
transferred to Lanesboro even though it is not a medical
hospital. [Id. at 5, 7]. Plaintiff alleges that he
should be classified as acuity level A-3, “medical
unstable chronic disease requiring a chronic CARE unit same
as plaintiff has been housed since 2012.” [Id.
at 5]. Plaintiff alleges that level A-1 represents someone in
good health. [Id. at 7]. Plaintiff alleges that
Lanesboro is for prisoners classified as A-1 and A-2 only.
alleges that for numerous days he was denied the use of a
shower, hot water, and lights in his cell; that various
Defendants denied him needed medications; he was denied clean
clothing and underwear, pants, shirts, and bedding for nine
days; he was chained (by Defendants Aaron, Simmons, and three
other officers) with a waist chain and handcuffs (black box);
and his leg was cut in response to him knocking on his cell
door to receive medical assistance when having chest pains,
and he was forced to use the bathroom on the floor. Plaintiff
alleges that he wrote a letter to Defendant Rogers, Assistant
Superintendent, about not receiving a shower or clean
clothes. Defendant Rogers told Plaintiff he could receive a
shower and clean clothes, but it did not happen.
the first shift nurses, Plaintiff specifically alleges that:
Plaintiff has heart meds, blood thinners, blood pressure, and
several other medications that are due at 7 AM (scheduled)[.]
Medical nursing staff on 1st shift is less than 25 ft. from
Plaintiff; took anywhere from 9 AM to as late as 630 PM to
bring plaintiff his medications - less than 25 ft. away from
[Doc. 12 at 6]. Plaintiff also alleges that he was
“housed in a cell in medical for 21 days.”
[Id. at 4]. Plaintiff filed grievances with
Defendant Herring, Superintendent of Lanesboro, about his
medications not being given to him. He also alleges that
Defendant Thompson changed Plaintiff's acuity level from
A-3 to A-1. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendant Hatley
has denied Plaintiff a handicap cell while at Lanesboro.
Finally, Plaintiff alleges that “each and every named
Defendant has personal knowledge and involvement in the above
actions, decisions.” [Doc. 12 at 7]. Plaintiff does not
provide a timeline of all the alleged conduct, although it is
apparent that Plaintiff's complaints span from on or
around May 9, 2017, when he arrived at Lanesboro, to July 7,
2017, when Plaintiff filed his original Complaint in this
matter. For relief, Plaintiff states that he seeks injunctive
relief and compensatory and punitive damages. [Id.
August 2, 2018, the Court conducted a frivolity review of
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint and allowed Plaintiff's
Eighth Amendment claims against various Defendants to
proceed. [Doc. 13]. The Court directed the Plaintiff that the
“First Shift Nurses” could not be personally
served unless and until the Plaintiff identifies them.
[Id. at 5]. On September 10, 2018, Plaintiff moved
to substitute party names, identifying the First Shift Nurse
Defendants. Defendant Hooks was among those identified. [Doc.
16]. On November 20, 2018, the Court granted Plaintiff's
motion file a second amended complaint. [Doc. 23]. Plaintiff,
however, has not filed a second amended complaint. The
parties are currently in discovery, with dispositive motions
due on December 6, 2019. [Docs. 36, 62].
Hooks, a nurse at Lanesboro at all relevant times, has now
filed the pending motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, arguing that Plaintiff
has not sufficiently stated a claim for deliberate
indifference to serious medical needs against her. On July
25, 2019, this Court entered an order giving Plaintiff notice
of his right to respond to the motion to dismiss. [Doc. 59].
On August 20, 2019, the Court granted Plaintiff's motion
for additional time to respond, making Plaintiff's
response to Defendant Hooks' motion to dismiss due on
October 8, 2019. The time for Plaintiff to respond has
passed, Plaintiff has not responded, and this motion is now
ripe for adjudication.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the Court
must accept the factual allegations of the claim as true and
construe them in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party. Coleman v. Maryland Ct. of Appeals, 626 F.3d
187, 189 (4th Cir. 2010). To survive the motion, the
“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)). To be
“plausible on its face, ” a plaintiff must
demonstrate more than “a sheer possibility that a
defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id. A
plaintiff therefore must “articulate facts, when
accepted as true, that ‘show' that the plaintiff
has stated a claim entitling [it] to relief, i.e.,
the ‘plausibility of entitlement to relief.'”
Francis v. Giacomelli, 588 F.3d 186, 193 (4th Cir.
2009) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 at 678).