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Robinson v. District of Columbia

July 2, 2007

ROBIN ROBINSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Henry H. Kennedy, Jr. United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that his constitutional right were violated while he was incarcerated at the District of Columbia's Central Detention Facility ("CTF"). Before the court is defendant's motion to dismiss. Upon consideration of the motion and the record of this case, the court concludes that the motion will be granted.

I.

In the Fall of 2003, plaintiff was incarcerated at the CTF. Am. Compl. ¶ 4. During that time period, another inmate, Shawn Gray smuggled a gun into the jail. Id. ¶ 8. Gray and three other inmates -- Leonard Johnson, Frederick Robinson and Jamal Jefferson -- each agreed to pretend to be victims of a shooting inside the jail for the purpose of suing the District of Columbia. Id. The four agreed that they would shoot each other and thereafter would lie to investigators by saying that an unknown gunman had shot them. Id. Each planned to file a lawsuit based on that fraudulent version of the shooting. Id.

On December 20, 2003, the four inmates gathered inside a cell. Id. ¶ 9. They stuffed towels and other items in the small opening in the door to muffle the noise of the gunshots. Id.

Gray then retrieved the smuggled handgun from under a mattress in the cell. Id. Pursuant to their prior agreement, Johnson and Robinson allowed Gray to shoot each of them once, Johnson in the upper right shoulder area and Robinson in the upper right arm. Id. ¶ 10. Gray also shot himself in the right calf and Jefferson in the right knee. Id.

The four inmates reported the shooting to jail guards, who then locked down facility. Id. ¶ 11. The inmates were transported to the infirmary and eventually the hospital for treatment. Id.

Plaintiff alleges that during this incident he was intimidated and assaulted by fellow inmates. Id. ¶¶ 21, 26, 27, 31. As a result, he suffered injuries to his head, ear, and eye. Id. ¶¶ 18, 20, 32. He also claims he continues to suffer from emotional distress due to the incident. Id. ¶ 18. Plaintiff brings claims for assault and battery, and a violation of his constitutional rights, claiming that the District of Columbia did not ensure his security and safety at the CTF. Id. ¶¶ 16-21, 25-36. Plaintiff seeks compensatory and exemplary damages. Id. ¶ 37.

II.

Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, defendant moves to dismiss because plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and has not exhausted administrative remedies.

The court may dismiss a claim under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) only if it appears, assuming the alleged facts to be true and drawing all inferences in plaintiff's favor, that plaintiff cannot establish "any set of facts consistent with the allegations in the complaint." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1969 (2007); Kowal v. MCI Communications Corp., 16 F.3d 1271, 1276 (D.C. Cir. 1994). "While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations ... a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitle[ment] to relief requires more than labels and conclusions ... Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Bell Atl. Corp., 127 S.Ct. at 1964-65 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). Thus, the Court need not "accept inferences drawn by plaintiffs if such inferences are unsupported by the facts set out in the complaint. Nor must the court accept legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations." Kowal, 16 F.3d at 1276.

Sufficiency of Amended Complaint

Defendant moves to dismiss the amended complaint on the ground that it does not satisfy the requirements of Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. That Rule requires only "a short and plain statementof the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). "Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need only give the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Erickson v. Pardus, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 2200 (2007) (citations and internal quotations omitted).

The amended complaint complies with Rule 8. It contains sufficient factual allegations and clearly delineates the nature of plaintiff's legal claims. Consequently, the court ...


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