United States District Court, District of Columbia
OMARI H. PATTON, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA et al ., Defendants.
BERMAN JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
is a federal prisoner incarcerated at the Federal
Correctional Institution in Bruceton Mills, West
Virginia. He claims that the Bureau of Prisons has
failed to correct inaccuracies in his Presentence
Investigation Report maintained in his prison file and that
failure has had adverse consequences. Plaintiff seeks
correction of the report and $500, 000 in monetary damages.
See generally Compl. [Dkt. # 1].
move to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted and for summary judgment under Rule 56
[Dkt. # 14]. Plaintiff has filed an opposition [Dkt. # 23],
and defendants have filed a reply [Dkt. # 21]. Since
BOP’s inmate files are exempt from the Privacy
Act’s accuracy and amendment requirements, the Court
will grant defendants’ motion to dismiss in accordance
with well-settled precedent.
evaluating a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the court
must “treat the complaint's factual allegations as
true . . . and must grant plaintiff ‘the benefit of all
inferences that can be derived from the facts alleged.’
” Sparrow v. United Air Lines, Inc., 216 F.3d
1111, 1113 (D.C. Cir. 2000), quoting Schuler v. United
States, 617 F.2d 605, 608 (D.C. Cir. 1979) (citations
omitted). Nevertheless, the court need not accept inferences
drawn by the plaintiff if those inferences are unsupported by
facts alleged in the complaint, nor must the court accept
plaintiff's legal conclusions. Browning v.
Clinton, 292 F.3d 235, 242 (D.C. Cir. 2002); see
Warren v. District of Columbia, 353 F.3d 36, 39-40 (D.C.
Cir. 2004) (differentiating unacceptable conclusions of law
from acceptable conclusions of fact).
survive a [Rule 12(b)((6)] motion to dismiss, a complaint
must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face . . . .
A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted);
see Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
555 (2007) (a plaintiff’s “[f]actual allegations
must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level . . . .”) (citations omitted). While
“[a] pro se complaint . . . must be held to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers
. . . even a pro se complaint must plead factual matter that
permits the court to infer more than the mere possibility of
misconduct.” Atherton v. District of Columbia Off.
of Mayor, 567 F.3d 672, 681-82 (D.C. Cir. 2009)
(internal quotations marks and citations omitted).
Court of Appeals has explained with regard to BOP records:
Privacy Act § 552a(e)(5) requires agencies to ensure
that any records used in “making any determination
about any individual” are “maintain[ed] . . .
with such accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and completeness
as is reasonably necessary to assure fairness to the
individual in the determination.” . . . Section 552a(d)
requires agencies to entertain requests for amendment of
records that are not “accurate, relevant, timely, or
complete.” . . . If an agency rejects a request for
amendment, the subject of the contested record can bring suit
in federal court and obtain de novo consideration of whether
amendment is warranted. . . . If the court so finds, it
“may order the agency to amend the individual's
record.” . . .
But the Privacy Act also permits agencies to exempt certain
of their systems of records from many of the obligations it
imposes. 5 U.S.C. § 552a(j). In 1976, BOP exempted its
Inmate Central Records System from § 552a(d)'s
amendment provision. . . . See 28 C.F.R. §
1.97(a) . . . . As the district court found, as our
precedents make clear, and as amicus acknowledged at oral
argument, that exemption prevents us from ordering the
amendment of an inmate’s records.
Skinner v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice & Bureau of
Prisons, 584 F.3d 1093, 1096 (D.C. Cir. 2009) (citations
omitted); see accord Lane v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons,
442 F.App'x 578 (D.C. Cir. 2011) (per curiam), citing
Martinez v. Bureau of Prisons, 444 F.3d 620, 624
(D.C. Cir. 2006) (per curiam); White v. United States
Probation Office, 148 F.3d 1124, 1125 (D.C. Cir. 1998)
(per curiam)). In addition, plaintiff’s damages claim
fails because it is premised on violations of the exempting
regulations. Donelson v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, No.
15-5136, 2015 WL 9309944, at *1 (D.C. Cir. Dec. 7, 2015);
see Conklin v. U.S. Bureau of Prisons, 514 F.Supp.2d
1, 6 (D.D.C. 2007) (explaining that the regulations exempting
filing systems from § 552a(e)(5)
“effectively” bar a plaintiff “from
obtaining any remedy, including damages, under subsection
(g), for the [agency’s] alleged failure to maintain
records pertaining to him with the mandated level of
accuracy”) (citing cases)).
foregoing reasons, defendants’ motion to dismiss is
granted. A separate order ...