United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Macon Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTIONS TO DISMISS
E. SELF, III, JUDGE.
plaintiffs filed virtually identical complaints following an
incident involving the June 13, 2017, murder of two Georgia
Department of Corrections officers, Sgt. Christopher Monica
and Sgt. Curtis Billue. [Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 3, 6, 34].
Plaintiff Timothy Elijah Faison filed the eighth of those
nine cases, and it is now before the Court on Defendants'
Motions to Dismiss [Docs. 32, 33]. The Georgia Department of
Corrections (“GDC”) filed the first dismissal motion,
and the individual GDC employees Plaintiff named in his
Complaint, [Doc. 1], filed the second. As explained below,
the Court GRANTS both Motions.
facts of this case are simple. Plaintiff was one of many GDC
inmates allegedly injured on a prison transport bus when Sgt.
Monica and Sgt. Billue were overpowered and shot with their
own weapons by inmates Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose. [Doc. 1
at ¶¶ 2, 6-7]. Rowe and Dubose subsequently fled
the scene and escaped. [Id. at ¶¶ 7, 34].
Plaintiff's Complaint alleges injuries to his head and
face when the prison bus “jarred abruptly and slammed
him to the floor as he attempted to run to the rear of the
bus.” [Id. at ¶ 6]. Plaintiff also claims
that he “suffered Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and
other psychiatric maladies yet to be identified” as a
result of the incident itself and his subsequent
“unlawful . . . solitary confinement” “in
deplorable conditions” for 120 days. [Id. at
¶¶ 6, 45].
speaking, Plaintiff casts his factual allegations as
violations of the Eighth Amendment of the United States
Constitution, Georgia law, and GDC rules and regulations.
[Doc. 1 at ¶ 45]. However, after a broad reading of
Plaintiff's Complaint, Defendants refined Plaintiff's
claims as state-law tort claims and claims under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, and Plaintiff never contends otherwise. [Doc.
32-1 at p. 2]; [Doc. 33-1 at p. 2]. Based on his purported
injuries, Plaintiff seeks at least $250, 000 in damages for
negligence, deliberate indifference, and Defendants'
alleged failure to follow GDC rules and regulations. [Doc. 1
at ¶ 45]; see also [id. at p. 27].
Standard of Review
seek dismissal of Plaintiff's claims pursuant to Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and (6). With regard to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) jurisdictional
motions, attacks on subject-matter jurisdiction come in two
forms, “facial” and “factual”
attacks. Lawrence v. Dunbar, 919 F.2d 1525, 1528-29
(11th Cir. 1990). Facial attacks challenge subject-matter
jurisdiction based on the allegations in a complaint.
Id. at 1529. District courts take those allegations
as true in deciding whether to grant motions based on a lack
of subject-matter jurisdiction. Id. Factual attacks
challenge subject-matter jurisdiction in fact, irrespective
of the pleadings. Id. In resolving a factual attack,
courts may consider extrinsic evidence such as testimony and
affidavits. Id. Defendants' Motions under Rule
12(b)(1) are based upon a lack of subject-matter
jurisdiction, and Defendants argue that they are entitled to
immunity under the Eleventh Amendment and Georgia law.
deciding a 12(b)(6)-based motion, district courts must accept
the facts set forth in a complaint as true. Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (2007). A complaint
survives a motion to dismiss only if it alleges sufficient
factual matter (accepted as true) that states a claim for
relief that is plausible on its face. McCullough v.
Finley, 907 F.3d 1324, 1333 (11th Cir. 2018) (citing
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009)).
Although Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 does not require
detailed factual allegations, it does require “more
than [ ] unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation[s].” McCullough, 907 F.3d at 1333
the issue to be decided when considering a motion to dismiss
is not whether the claimant will ultimately prevail, but
“whether the claimant is entitled to offer evidence to
support the claims.” Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416
U.S. 232, 236 (1974), overruled on other grounds by Davis
v. Scheuer, 468 U.S. 183 (1984). A complaint tendering
“‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of
‘further factual enhancement'” will not
survive against a motion to dismiss; it must allege enough
facts “to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery
will reveal evidence” supporting a claim.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 557) (alteration in original); see also
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556. Finally, “if [a]
complaint contains a claim that is facially subject to an
affirmative defense, that claim may be dismissed under Rule
12(b)(6). LeFrere v. Quezada, 582 F.3d 1260, 1263
(11th Cir. 2009). In applying the foregoing standard, and
taking the facts asserted in Plaintiff's Complaint as
true, the Court rules on Defendants' Motions to Dismiss.
GDC's Motion to Dismiss
previously stated, Defendant GDC sets forth two main bases
for dismissal: (1) that it is immune from suit in this Court
under both the United States and Georgia Constitutions, and
(2) that Plaintiff's state-law claims are further barred
by the Georgia Tort Claims Act (“GTCA”). [Doc.
32-1 at pp. 4-13]. Given that GDC is undeniably immune from
suit on Plaintiff's claims the Court need not discuss
GDC's procedural-related arguments under the GTCA.
than address GDC's specific arguments related to its
immunity, Plaintiff argued that he should be permitted to
take 90-150 days for discovery, the results of which, he
asserts, would enable him “to substantiate his claims,
” to determine “the real party of interest,
” and “to properly present his position [in]
response to [Defendants'] Motion to Dismiss.” [Doc.
39 at pp. 4-5]. Plaintiff's argument that GDC “has
offered no evidence as to the real party of interest, ”
appears to reference the Eleventh Amendment's bar to
suits where the state is “the real party in interest or
when any monetary recovery would be paid from state
funds.” [Doc. 41 at p. 2 (quoting Kentucky v.
Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 169 (1985))]; [Doc. 39 at p. 5].
Interpreted broadly, Plaintiff's argument is perhaps an
assertion that discovery would determine whether the State of
Georgia is the real party in interest regarding suits against
as GDC states, that question is “well-settled in this
circuit.” [Doc. 41 at p. 2]. In Stevens v.
Gay, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals unequivocally
determined that Section 1983 claims cannot proceed against
GDC. 864 F.2d 113, 115 (11th Cir. 1989) (finding in a Section
1983 lawsuit that “[t]he Eleventh Amendment bars this
action against the Georgia ...