United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CROW U.S. SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendants' motion to
dismiss (Doc. 25). Plaintiff has filed no response to the
motion. For the reasons described herein, Defendants'
motion to dismiss is granted.
Collins served as a confidential source in a wide-spread
corruption investigation at the Lansing Correctional Facility
in Lansing, Kansas (“LCF”) which occurred in
2015. Doc. 1-1 at 16. He was transferred away from LCF on
October 8, 2015. See KASPER Profile for Plaintiff,
Doc. 21-1 at 3. Then, at some point, his identity as a
confidential informant was leaked by an unidentified KDOC
employee to security threat groups (“STGs”) at
LCF implicated in the corruption investigation and was
revealed in a LCF employee's civil service appeal of
administrative action taken based on the investigation. Doc.
1 at 2. Mr. Collins was transferred back to LCF on August 22,
2017. See KASPER Profile for Plaintiff, Doc. 21-1 at
3. The next day, he met with Ron Erwin, Special Agent
Supervisor for the Enforcement, Apprehension and
Investigative Unit at LCF, and reported he had been labeled a
snitch by his fellow inmates and “green lighted”
for attack by the STGs. Doc. 1-1 at 16. On August 24, 2017,
Mr. Erwin prepared an Administrative Segregation Report
recommending restrictive housing for Mr. Collins until he
could be approved for transfer out of state pursuant to
interstate compact. Id. Plaintiff subsequently made
repeated requests for the out of state transfer, but he had
not received a response to his requests at the time he filed
this lawsuit on October 30, 2017. Doc. 1-1 at 2-4, 6, 9,
11-14. Plaintiff was transferred to a detention facility in
Missouri on November 15, 2017. See KASPER Profile,
Doc. 21-1 at 3.
complaint alleged that Defendants violated his Eighth
Amendment rights by failing to respond appropriately to the
leaking of his identity as a confidential informant. Mr.
Collins alleged he was not safe in long term protective
custody and furthermore should not be required to spend the
remainder of his confinement (approximately three more years)
in segregation. He sought injunctive relief in the form of an
order directing his transfer to an out of state prison, as
well as punitive damages in the amount of $1 million.
Motion to Dismiss
their motion to dismiss (Doc. 25) and memorandum in support
(Doc. 26), Defendants argue Plaintiff's complaint should
be dismissed for a number of reasons. First, they point out
that Plaintiff received the primary relief he was requesting,
transfer out of state, thus making his complaint moot and
depriving the Court of jurisdiction. They also argue the
Eleventh Amendment bars claims against Defendants in their
official capacities, and that Defendants are entitled to
qualified immunity as well because Plaintiff has not
demonstrated that any defendant acted with deliberate
indifference. Last, Defendants claim the lack of personal
participation by the named defendants in the alleged
constitutional violation requires dismissal.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) allows dismissal of a
complaint where the facts alleged fail to state a claim to
relief “that is plausible on its face.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
“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.” Id. at 678. All
well-pleaded factual allegations in the complaint are
accepted as true and viewed in the light most favorable to
the plaintiff for purposes of determining whether the
complaint states a plausible claim for relief. Id.;
Smith v. United States, 561 F.3d 1090, 1098
(10th Cir. 2009). The Court's job is to assess
whether the plaintiff's complaint, along with any
attached exhibits, is legally sufficient to state a claim for
which relief may be granted. Smith, 561 F.2d at
case, the Court ordered the Kansas Department of Corrections
to file a Martinez report. For purposes of a motion
to dismiss, any factual allegations contained in the
Martinez report that conflict with Plaintiff's
factual allegations cannot be considered by the Court.
Mootness of claim for injunctive relief
argue that the primary relief Plaintiff requested in his
complaint was an injunction ordering his transfer to an out
of state prison. Since Plaintiff has received the requested
transfer, his claim is moot. The Court agrees.
Plaintiff's claim for injunctive relief became moot when
he was transferred to a facility in Missouri, and that claim
must be dismissed. See ...