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Hunter v. Corrections Corp. of America

July 28, 2006

MARCUS HUNTER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA, PATSEY ABNEY, MOMODU U. MOSUA, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, GERALD BOWSER, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ricardo M. Urbina United States District Judge

Document Nos.: 48

MEMORANDUM OPINION

GRANTING DEFENDANT DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA'S MOTION TO DISMISS

I. INTRODUCTION

The plaintiff, a former inmate of the Correctional Treatment Facility in Washington, D.C., brings suit alleging negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress, as well as violations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983. The plaintiff claims that the defendants negligently released him, while he was still a minor, into the adult population of the prison where he was sexually assaulted by an adult inmate. The plaintiff brings suit against the Corrections Corporation of America ("CCA"), which operates and manages the Correctional Treatment Facility ("CTF"), two of its employees, Patsey Abney ("Abney") and Momodu Musa ("Musa"), the District of Columbia, and Gerald Bowser ("Bowser"), an employee of the District of Columbia's Department of Corrections. Because the plaintiff has not provided proper notice to the District of Columbia pursuant to D.C. Code §12-309, and because the plaintiff has failed to demonstrate that he has pursued certain administrative remedies as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act, ("PLRA"), 42 U.S.C. §1997e, et seq., the court grants defendant District of Columbia's motion to dismiss.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

In 2001, the plaintiff was arrested and charged with armed robbery. Am. Compl. ¶ 16. He was 16 years old. Id. ¶ 17. The plaintiff was first held at the District of Columbia's Youth Detention facility and, once his criminal case was transferred to the Criminal Division of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, was moved to the juvenile block of the D.C. Jail for pre-trial detention. Id. ¶¶ 18-20. On January 25, 2002, the plaintiff was transferred to the CTF and, because he was a minor, was separated from the general population in "protective custody." Id. ¶¶ 21-22. On May 7, 2002, the plaintiff's 17th birthday, he was transferred into the adult population of the CTF. Id. ¶ 23; Def. District of Columbia's Mot. to Dismiss ("Def.'s Mot.") at 2. The plaintiff alleges that an adult inmate sexually assaulted him on or around October 25, 2002. Am. Compl. ¶ 25. The plaintiff reported the assault to his case manager and he was returned into protective custody. Id. ¶ 26.

B. Procedural History

On April 8, 2004, the plaintiff filed suit in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia against defendants CCA, Abney, and Musa. Compl. at 1. These defendants then removed the case to federal court on May 14, 2004. Def.'s Mot. at 1. The plaintiff sought leave to amend his complaint to join the District of Columbia as a defendant, which the court granted on March 22, 2006. Id. at 1. On June 6, 2006, the District of Columbia filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff's claims against it pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Id. at 1. The court now addresses the District of Columbia's motion to dismiss.

III. ANALYSIS

The District of Columbia argues that the court should dismiss the plaintiff's claims of negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress because the plaintiff failed to serve notice to the District of Columbia pursuant to D.C. Code § 12-309. Def.'s Mot. at 3. Furthermore, the District of Columbia argues that the court should dismiss the plaintiff's constitutional claims because the plaintiff has not exhausted all administrative remedies before filing his §1983 claim as required by the PLRA. Id. at 5. The plaintiff does not dispute that he did not file timely notice with the Mayor's office. Pl.'s Opp'n at 6. Nonetheless, the plaintiff vaguely argues that the court should not dismiss his common law claims merely because "there is no indication" that he served the Mayor's office with timely notice. Id. With respect to his constitutional claims, the plaintiff argues that he does not know whether he exhausted the CCA's administrative remedies before filing this suit and requests the opportunity to conduct discovery on this matter. Id. at 7.

A. Legal Standard for Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss

A Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss tests the legal sufficiency of a complaint. Browning v. Clinton, 292 F.3d 235, 242 (D.C. Cir. 2002). The complaint need only set forth a short and plain statement of the claim, giving the defendant fair notice of the claim and the grounds upon which it rests. Kingman Park Civic Ass'n v. Williams, 348 F.3d 1033, 1040(D.C. Cir. 2003) (citing FED. R. CIV. P. 8(a)(2) and Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). "Such simplified notice pleading is made possible by the liberal opportunity for discovery and the other pre-trial procedures established by the Rules to disclose more precisely the basis of both claim and defense to define more narrowly the disputed facts and issues." Conley, 355 U.S. at 47-48 (internal quotation marks omitted). It is not necessary for the plaintiff to plead all elements of his prima facie case in the complaint, ...


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