United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Macon Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTIONS TO DISMISS
E. SELF, III, JUDGE
before the Court are Defendants Conley, Barrow, and
Harmon's Motion to Dismiss [Doc. 44]; Defendant
Fleming's Motion to Dismiss [Doc. 49]; and Defendants
Rogers and Jackson's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
[Doc. 58]. For the following reasons, these motions are all
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
who is currently incarcerated at Johnson State Prison in
Wrightsville, Georgia, alleges that he was denied medical
treatment, retaliated against, denied access to the courts,
and denied water and outside time by prison officials while
he was incarcerated at Washington State Prison in Davisboro,
Georgia. See generally [Doc. 8]. At this stage, only
the following claims remain: (1) Eighth Amendment claims for
deliberate indifference to a serious medical need against
Defendants Rogers and Fleming; (2) Eighth Amendment
conditions-of-confinement claims against Defendants Conley,
Fleming, Jackson, and Harmon; and (3) retaliation claims
against Defendants Rogers, Barrow, Jackson, Conley, and
Harmon. See [Docs. 9, 20].
Defendants now move to dismiss the claims alleged against
them on the grounds that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his
administrative remedies at Washington State Prison before
filing this lawsuit, that Plaintiff's claims for monetary
relief against the Defendants in their official capacities
are barred by Eleventh Amendment immunity, and that
Plaintiff's claims for injunctive relief became moot when
he was transferred out of Washington State Prison. See
generally [Docs. 44-1, 49-1, 58-1]. Plaintiff responded
to the motions to dismiss, [Doc. 62], [1" name="FN1" id="FN1">1] and the motions
are now ripe for the Court's review.
Standards of Review
Motion to Dismiss
ruling on a 12(b)(6) motion, the Court must accept the facts
set forth in the complaint as true. Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 572 (2007). A complaint survives
a motion to dismiss only if the plaintiff alleges sufficient
factual matter to state a claim for relief that is plausible
on its face, and he must state more than “unadorned,
McCullough v. Finley, 1324');">907 F.3d 1324, 1333 (11th Cir.
2018) (citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678-79 (2009)). He must also “plead more than labels
and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of
a cause of action, ” id., such that the
factual allegations contained in the complaint are
“enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level, ” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
assessing a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
the Court employs a two-step framework. McCullough,
907 F.3d at 1333. First, the Court identifies and disregards
allegations that are “no more than mere conclusions,
” since “[c]onclusory allegations are not
entitled to the assumption of truth.” Id.
(quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679). Second, the Court
“assume[s] any remaining factual allegations are true
and determine[s] whether those factual allegations
‘plausibly give rise to an entitlement to
relief.'” Id. (quoting Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 679).
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “[a]fter the
pleadings are closed-but early enough not to delay trial-a
party may move for judgment on the pleadings.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). “Judgment on the pleadings is
appropriate when there are no material facts in dispute and
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Douglas Asphalt Co. v. Qore, Inc., 541
F.3d 1269, 1273 (11th Cir. 2008) (citing Cannon v. City
of W. Palm Beach, 1299');">250 F.3d 1299, 1301 (11th Cir. 2001)).
“A motion for judgment on the pleadings is subject to
the same standard as is a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss.” Provident Mut. Life Ins. Co. of Phila. v.
City of Atlanta, 1274');">864 F.Supp. 1274, 1278 (N.D.Ga. 1994).
Failure to Exhaust
the Prison Litigation Reform Act, “[n]o action shall be
brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983
of this title, or any other Federal law, by a prisoner
confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility
until such administrative remedies as are available are
exhausted.” 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). This provision
requires “proper exhaustion, ” which
“demands compliance with an agency's deadlines and
other critical procedural rules.” Woodford v.
Ngo, 1');">548 U.S. 81, 91, 93 (2006). Prisoners must also
complete “each step within the administrative process,
” which includes filing a timely appeal if an initial