Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Parker v. United States

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

June 4, 2018

EARNEST PARKER, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          ENTRY DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS AND DIRECTING FURTHER PROCEEDINGS

          HON. WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on the United States' motion to dismiss Plaintiff Earnest Parker's amended complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is denied.

         I. Standard of Review

         The United States moves to dismiss the amended complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), arguing that the amended complaint fails to state a claim for which relief can be granted. In reviewing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court “must accept all well pled facts as true and draw all permissible inferences in favor of the plaintiff.” Agnew v. National Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 683 F.3d 328, 334 (7th Cir. 2012). For a claim to survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, it must provide the defendant with “fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009) (quoting Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007)) (omission in original). A complaint must “contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Agnew, 638 F.3d at 334 (citations omitted). A complaint's factual allegations are plausible if they “raise the right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atlantic Corp v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007).

         Critical to the Court's review of the instant motion, “the pleading standards for pro se plaintiffs are considerably relaxed.” Luevano v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 722 F.3d 1014, 1027 (7th Cir. 2013). This means that complaints drafted by pro se litigants are construed liberally and held to a less stringent standard than those drafted by lawyers. Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 751 (7th Cir. 2011).

         II. Factual and Procedural Background

         The following factual allegations are not necessarily true, but the Court accepts them as true and draws all permissible inferences in Mr. Parker's favor as the non-movant as required in reviewing a motion to dismiss. See Agnew, 683 F.3d at 334.

         Mr. Parker is an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Milan, Michigan. Previously, Mr. Parker was confined at the Federal Correctional Institution in Terre Haute, Indiana (FCI-Terre Haute). Both institutions are operated by the United States Bureau of Prisons (BOP).

         The amended complaint alleges that the BOP maintained records about Mr. Parker in a Central File. Mr. Parker determined that certain records in his Central File would assist him in challenging his conviction, so he requested copies of them from the BOP. When he did so, the BOP reported that those records had been destroyed.

         The amended complaint alleges that the BOP negligently destroyed the records and seeks relief through the Federal Tort Claims Act, which requires an aggrieved party to pursue an administrative claim with the offending agency before filing suit in federal court. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 2672, 2675. Mr. Parker filed this action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, which found that he failed to exhaust his administrative remedies for all claims except those alleging negligence by BOP personnel at FCI-Terre Haute. Accordingly, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan dismissed all claims except those based on the allegation that Mr. Parker's records were negligently destroyed by BOP personnel at FCI-Terre Haute and transferred those claims for adjudication by this Court.

         III. The FTCA and Indiana Tort Law

         The FTCA is a limited waiver of the United States' sovereign immunity and provides a remedy for losses of property caused by the negligent acts of federal government employees acting within the scope of their employment. 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b)(1). The FTCA allows the United States to be liable for negligent acts to the same extent a private individual would be liable under the law of the state in which the negligent act occurred. 28 U.S.C. § 2674.

         To achieve relief on a negligence claim under Indiana law,

a plaintiff must establish the following: (1) defendant's duty to conform his conduct to a standard of care arising from his relationship with the plaintiff, (2) a failure of the defendant to conform his conduct to that standard of care, and (3) ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.