United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
this Court is a motion to dismiss  for failure to state a
claim filed by Defendant CoreCivic, which was formerly known
as Corrections Corporation of America. Having considered the
motion, the Court finds it should be granted.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility ("TCCF")
is a Mississippi correctional facility managed by CoreCivic
under a contract with the Mississippi Department of
Corrections. PI. Comp. ¶ 4. Plaintiff Landon Martinez
alleges that while incarcerated at TCCF, a CoreCivic employee
struck him on the back of the head with a two-inch thick
book. Id. ¶ 15. As a result he suffered, and
continues to suffer, dizziness, migraines, memory loss,
shortness of breath, anxiety attacks, swelling, pain, and
other injuries. Id. ¶ 16.
claims that after reporting the incident, he did not receive
medical care, nor did CoreCivic employees document or
otherwise investigate the incident. Id. ¶¶
18-22. Martinez also claims that after reporting the
incident, the special dietary restrictions he follows as a
religious practice "became interfered with or otherwise
completely denied." Id. ¶¶ 23-25.
21, 2016, Martinez filed this suit in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi
against CoreCivic, then known as Correction Corporation of
America, and a number of individual employees that worked at
the TCCF. Both CoreCivic and the individual employees filed
motions to dismiss in the Southern District. That court found
venue was proper in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Mississippi, and the case was
transferred to this Court on December 12, 2016. Following the
transfer, both CoreCivic and the individual defendants
renewed their respective motions.
October 25, 2017, this Court found that Martinez had failed
to properly serve the individual defendants, and gave
Martinez until December 24th, 2017, to serve those defendants
and notify the Court that he had done so. Martinez failed to
do so, and the individual defendants were dismissed.
to the present motion, CoreCivic renewed its motion to
dismiss in this court on December 22, 2016. Martinez has not
yet filed a response to the motion. The time to do so has
passed. The matter is ripe for review.
STANDARD FOR DISMISSAL UNDER 12(b)(6)
to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) "are viewed with
disfavor and are rarely granted." Kocurek v.
CunaMut. Ins. Soc'y, 459 Fed.Appx. 371, 373 (5thCir.
2012) (citing Gregson v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co., 322
F.3d 883, 885 (5th Cir. 2003)). When deciding a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss, the Court is limited to the allegations
set forth in the complaint and any documents attached to the
complaint. Walker v. Webco Indus., Inc., 562
Fed.Appx. 215, 216-17 (5th Cir. 2014) (per curiam) (citing
Kennedy v. Chase Manhattan Bank USA, NA, 369 F.3d
833, 839 (5th Cir. 2004)).
plaintiffs] complaint therefore 'must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to "state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face."' "
Phillips v. City of Dallas, Tex., 781 F.3d 772,
775-76 (5th Cir. 2015) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009)
(quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007))). A claim is
facially plausible when the pleaded factual content
"allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."
Iqbal 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556, 127 S.Ct. 1955).
"[P]laintiffs must allege facts that support the
elements of the cause of action in order to make out a valid
claim." Webb v. Morella, 522 Fed.Appx. 238, 241
(5th Cir. 2013) (per curiam) (quoting City of Clinton,
Ark v. Pilgrim 's Pride Corp., 632 F.3d 148, 152-53
(5th Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks omitted)).
"[C]onclusory allegations or legal conclusions
masquerading as factual conclusions will not suffice to
prevent a motion to dismiss." Id. (quoting
Fernandez-Montes v. Allied Pilots Ass'n, 987
F.2d 278, 284 (5th Cir. 1993) (internal quotation marks
omitted)). "Dismissal is appropriate when the plaintiff
has not alleged 'enough facts to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face' and has failed to
'raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.' " Emesowum v. Hous. Police
Dep't, 561 Fed.Appx. 372, 372 (5th Cir. 2014) (per
curiam) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 570, 127
arguments for why Martinez's claims against it should be
dismissed can be divided into two parts. First, CoreCivic
argues that Martinez has failed to state a § 1983 claim
against it because Martinez has not established a direct
claim against CoreCivic because any constitutional violations
the individual defendants may have committed cannot be
attributed to Core-Civic. Second, CoreCivic argues that
Martinez has failed to allege sufficient facts showing that
any defendant was negligent, and thus the negligence-based
claims (negligence, gross negligence, negligent hiring and
supervision, professional malpractice, and respondeat
superior) should be dismissed.
§ 1983 Claims
claims that constitutional violations occurred when a
CoreCivic employee struck him with a book, when employees
denied him access to medical care, when employees ignored his
report of his assault, and ...