United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
A. DOUGHTY JUDGE
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. HAYES JUDGE
the undersigned magistrate judge, on reference from the
District Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), is
a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted [doc. # 34], Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6),
filed by defendants, Warden Kevin Wyles, Butch Hatten, Teresa
Corley, and Lt. Conner. For reasons stated below, it is
recommended that the motion be GRANTED, and that
plaintiff's claims against said defendants, plus Stacy
Karderka, be DISMISSED, without prejudice.
March 17, 2017, Keith Rogers, an inmate in the custody of
Louisiana's Department of Public Safety and Corrections
(“LDOC”), who, at the time suit was filed, was
housed at the Caldwell Correctional Center
(“CCC”) and then later transferred to other
facilities,  filed the instant pro se civil rights
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against various
officers at the CCC because he was denied a religious
vegetarian diet and did not receive appropriate medical care
stemming from the denial of his vegetarian diet. [doc. #s 1
& 4]. In response to court order, Rogers amended his
complaint, and added a claim under the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C.
§2000cc et seq. [doc. # s 17-18]. He also
explained that he had been transferred to Richland Parish
Detention Center, then to LaSalle Correctional Center, and,
on June 20, 2017, back to CCC. [doc. # 18]. Plaintiff prayed for
injunctive relief requiring defendants to provide him with a
nutritionally adequate diet in compliance with his religious
beliefs, an examination by an “outside”
physician, or alternatively, a transfer to the Louisiana
State Penitentiary at Angola. Id. He also requested
“nominal” damages of $1, 800, plus $5, 000 in
compensatory damages and $10, 000 in punitive damages against
each defendant. Id.
September 1, 2017, the court completed its initial screening
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915 and 1915A, and
ordered service on Kevin Wyles, Butch Hatten, Stacy Karderka,
Teresa Corley, and Lt. Conner. (Sept. 1, 2017, Mem. Order
[doc. # 22]). On October 19, 2017, summonses were returned
“executed” as to all defendants, save for Stacy
Karderka whose summons was returned “un-executed,
” with the notation that she no longer worked at CCC.
[doc. #s 31-32].
November 2, 2017, the four served defendants - Warden Kevin
Wyles, Butch Hatten, Teresa Corley, and Lt. Conner - filed
the instant motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted on the grounds that
plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative remedies prior to
suit. In response to the motion, plaintiff filed a request
for assistance of counsel because during his transfer from
facility to facility, all of his legal materials were
confiscated or lost.
37]. Moreover, plaintiff filed a motion to compel defendants
to provide him with all of his medical records, warden's
unusual occurrence reports, and all documents pertinent to
issues in the case. [doc. # 40]. More recently, plaintiff
filed a motion to supplement his complaint to add additional
parties. [doc.# 49]. Plaintiff also submitted various letters,
declarations, and discovery requests. See e.g., doc.
#s 38-39, 43-46.
short, after delays for briefing, the matter is now before
the court. See Notice of Motion Setting [doc. # 35].
Standard of Review
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure sanction dismissal where the
plaintiff fails “to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A pleading states a
claim for relief, inter alia, when it contains a
“short and plain statement . . . showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief . . .” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2). Circumstances constituting fraud or mistake,
however, must be alleged with particularity. Fed.R.Civ.P.
withstand a 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.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129
S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955 (2007)). A claim
is facially plausible when it contains sufficient factual
content for the court “to draw the reasonable inference
that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Id. Plausibility does not
equate to possibility or probability; it
lies somewhere in between. See Iqbal,
supra. Plausibility simply calls for enough factual
allegations to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery
will reveal evidence to support the elements of the claim.
See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556, 127 S.Ct. at 1965.
Although the court must accept as true all factual
allegations set forth in the complaint, the same presumption
does not extend to legal conclusions. Iqbal, supra.
A pleading comprised of “labels and conclusions”
or “a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause
of action” does not satisfy Rule 8. Id.
“[P]laintiffs must allege facts that support the
elements of the cause of action in order to make out a valid
claim.” City of Clinton, Ark, supra.
whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief is a
“context-specific task that requires the reviewing
court to draw on its judicial experience and common
sense.” Id. (citation omitted). A well-pleaded
complaint may proceed even if it strikes the court that
actual proof of the asserted facts is improbable, and that
recovery is unlikely. Twombly, supra. Nevertheless,
a court is compelled to dismiss an otherwise ...