United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Huntington Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
C. CHAMBERS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is West Virginia Regional Jail and
Correctional Facility Authority's Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff's Complaint (ECF No. 13). For reasons specified
herein, the Court GRANTS the motion and
DISMISSES West Virginia Regional Jail and
Correctional Facility Authority as a defendant in this case.
filed the present Complaint on February 17, 2017 (ECF No. 1).
Plaintiff alleges, among other things, that he was sexually
assaulted while incarcerated in the Western Regional Jail and
that the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional
Facility Authority (“WVRJCFA”) failed to maintain
“appropriate policies and procedures” to prevent
the alleged sexual assault (ECF No. 1 at 10).
filed a Motion to Dismiss and a Memorandum in Support on June
5, 2017 (ECF Nos. 13 and 14). In its Memorandum in Support,
WVRJCFA asserts that “Plaintiff is no longer housed in
any West Virginia correctional facility and currently resides
in Point Pleasant, W.V. according to his parole
officer” (ECF No. 31 at 3). The memorandum continues,
“[A]s Plaintiff is no longer subject to the challenged
policy, practice, or conditions, Plaintiff's claim for
injunctive relief is moot” (ECF No. 31 at 4).
response, Plaintiff contends that WVRJCFA has failed to offer
evidence to support its claim that Plaintiff is no longer
incarcerated at the Western Regional Jail (ECF No. 15 at 6).
Plaintiff further argues that, even if he is no longer
incarcerated at the Western Regional Jail and his claim is
moot as a result, his claim is excepted from the mootness
doctrine because it is capable of repetition, yet evades
review (ECF No. 15 at 6).
consideration of these arguments, the Court conducted inquiry
into public records regarding Plaintiff's incarceration
status. As a result of that inquiry, the Court learned that
Plaintiff was paroled on March 28, 2017, several months
before he filed his response to WVRJCFA's motion to
Standard of Review
ruling on a motion to dismiss, “a judge must accept as
true all of the factual allegations contained in the
complaint.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89,
94 (2007). To survive a motion to dismiss, however, a
plaintiff must allege facts sufficient to “state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). “Dismissal . . . is appropriate when the face
of the complaint clearly reveals the existence of a
meritorious affirmative defense.” Brooks v. City of
Winston-Salem, 85 F.3d 178, 181 (4th Cir. 1996).
Mootness is one such affirmative defense.
reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal, [the Court] may properly
take judicial notice of matters of public record.”
Philips v. Pitt Cty. Mem'l Hosp., 572 F.3d 176,
180 (4th Cir. 2009). Additionally, the Court's decision
to take judicial notice of matters of public record does not
automatically require that the Court then treat a motion to
dismiss as a motion for summary judgment. Corbett v.
Duerring, 780 F.Supp. 486, 492 (S.D.W.Va. 2011). The
Court may properly consider a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss
in the context of relevant matters of public record.
defendant's incarceration and parole status are matters
of public record. As discussed above, the Court's review
of relevant public records in this case revealed that
Plaintiff was paroled earlier this year. Accordingly, the
Court TAKES JUDICIAL NOTICE that Plaintiff
no longer resides at the Western Regional Jail.
Complaint, Plaintiff objects to WVRJCFA's allegedly
insufficient policies and procedures regarding prisoner
admission and housing assignments (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff asks
the Court to grant him equitable relief in the form of
requiring WVRJCFA to reform those policies and procedures and
to enforce them against its employees (ECF No. 1). Defendant
WVRJCFA argues that Plaintiff's request for equitable
relief is moot as he is no longer housed in any of the
Authority's facilities (ECF No. 31).
doctrine of mootness constitutes a part of the constitutional
limits of federal court jurisdiction.” Brooks v.
Vassar, 462 F.3d 341, 348 (4th Cir. 2006). Accordingly,
“a present, live controversy . . . must exist”
for the Court to properly hear a claimant's case.
Hall v. Beals, 396 U.S. 45, 48 (1969). In prisoner
cases, specifically, this rule requires that a prisoner
challenging a specified prison policy have a ...