United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
P. Rodovich United States Magistrate Judge
matter is before the court on the Motion for Partial Judgment
on the Pleadings [DE 22] filed by the defendant, Quality
Correctional Care, LLC, on March 7, 2018. For the following
reasons, the motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in
plaintiff, Amy Bacewic, initiated this matter on January 11,
2018, in the Marshall Superior Court alleging the following
claims: Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; the
Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; §
504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794(a); Title
II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §
12132 (ADA); Title III of the Americans with Disabilities
Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12181; and Indiana state law for false
imprisonment, negligence, and negligent infliction of
emotional distress. This matter was removed to this court by
the defendants, Sheriff Matthew Hassel and Captain Daniel
Butt, on January 19, 2018. Bacewic has named Hassel, Butt,
and Quality Correctional Care, LLC (Quality) as defendants in
this matter. Quality was an entity that contracted with
Hassel to provide medical care to pretrial detainees in the
Marshall County Jail.
complaint has alleged that on November 16, 2016, Bacewic was
taken into custody by the Marshall County Jail as a pretrial
detainee. Upon arrival at the jail, she notified the
defendants of her medical conditions and disabilities,
including her advanced stage-chronic kidney disease. Bacewic
received dialysis while detained at the jail, which
subsequently led to an infection. She notified the defendants
of the infection and requested immediate care and emergency
assistance. However, she has alleged that the defendants, in
response to her continuous requests for assistance,
retaliated against her by locking her in solitary confinement
for approximately 28 days. After her release from solitary
confinement, she was rushed to the hospital because of the
severity of her illness.
has alleged that she is a qualified individual within the
meaning of § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and under
Titles II and III of the ADA due to her physical impairments
that limit the operation of her urinary system, endocrine
functions, and major life activities including caring for
herself, performing manual tasks, and working. Bacewic
asserts that if provided with reasonable accommodations, she
met the requirements for the receipt of relevant benefits and
was eligible for participation in programs or activities
provided to non-disabled individuals pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§§ 12102(2), 12131(2). Bacewic contends that
Quality violated her rights to due process and equal
protection, as well as her right to be free from
discrimination under § 504 and Titles II and III of the
ADA. She also has alleged that she was falsely imprisoned and
suffered emotional distress pursuant to Indiana law.
now moves to dismiss Bacewic's claims under the Equal
Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, § 504 of
the Rehabilitation Act, Title II of the ADA, Title III of the
ADA, and the Indiana state law claims for false imprisonment
and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Quality has
not challenged Bacewic's claim under the Due Process
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment or the negligence claim.
Bacewic filed a response in opposition on March 8, 2018, and
Quality filed a reply on March 14, 2018.
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) provides that a party may move
for judgment on the pleadings after the complaint and answer
have been filed. See Supreme Laundry Serv., LLC v.
Hartford Cas. Ins. Co., 521 F.3d 743, 746 (7th Cir.
2008). Rule 12(c) motions are evaluated under the same
standard as a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), which tests the sufficiency of the
complaint and not the merits of the suit. See Gibson v.
City of Chi., 910 F.2d 1510, 1520 (7th Cir. 1990).
ruling on a 12(b)(6) motion, the court accepts as true all of
the well-pleaded facts alleged by the plaintiff and all
reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom. See
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56
(2007); see also Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d
1074, 1082 (7th Cir. 2008). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) allows for a complaint to be dismissed if it fails
to “state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” Allegations other than those of fraud and
mistake are governed by the pleading standard outlined in
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), which requires a
“short and plain statement” to show that a
pleader is entitled to relief. See Cincinnati Life Ins.
Co. v. Beyrer, 722 F.3d 939, 946 (7th Cir. 2013). The
Supreme Court clarified its interpretation of the Rule
8(a)(2) pleading standard in a decision issued in May 2009.
While Rule 8(a)(2) does not require the pleading of detailed
allegations, it nevertheless demands something more
“than an un-adorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). In order
to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a complaint “must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570,
127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)); Cincinnati Life
Ins., 722 F.3d at 946 (“The primary purpose of
[Fed.R.Civ.P. 8 and 10(b)] is to give defendants fair notice
of the claims against them and the grounds supporting the
claims.”) (quoting Stanard v. Nygren, 658 F.3d
792, 797 (7th Cir. 2011)); Peele v. Clifford Burch,
722 F.3d 956, 959 (7th Cir. 2013) (explaining that one
sentence of facts combined with boilerplate language did not
satisfy the requirements of Rule 8); Joren v.
Napolitano, 633 F.3d. 1144, 1146 (7th Cir. 2011). This
pleading standard applies to all civil matters.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 684.
decision in Iqbal discussed two principles that
underscored the Rule 8(a)(2) pleading standard announced by
Twombly. See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555
(discussing Rule 8(a)(2)'s requirement that factual
allegations in a complaint must “raise a right to
relief above the speculative level”). First, a court
must accept as true only factual allegations pled in
a complaint-“[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a
cause of action” that amount to “legal
conclusions” are insufficient. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678. Next, only complaints that state
“plausible” claims for relief will survive a
motion to dismiss. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. If the
pleaded facts do not permit the inference of more than a
“mere possibility of misconduct, ” then the
complaint has not met the pleading standard outlined in Rule
8(a)(2). Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; see Brown v.
JP Morgan Chase Bank, 2009 WL 1761101, at *1 (7th Cir.
June 23, 2009) (defining “facially plausible”
claim as a set of facts that allows for a reasonable
inference of liability). The Supreme Court has suggested a
two-step process for a court to follow when considering a
motion to dismiss. First, any “well-pleaded factual
allegations” should be assumed to be true by the court.
Next, these allegations can be reviewed to determine if they
“plausibly” give rise to a claim that would
entitle the complainant to relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678-79; Bonte v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 624 F.3d 461,
465 (7th Cir. 2010). Reasonable inferences from well-pled
facts must be construed in favor of the plaintiff. Murphy
v. Walker, 51 F.3d 714, 717 (7th Cir. 1995); Maxie
v. Wal-Mart Store, 2009 WL 1766686, at *2 (N.D. Ind.
June 19, 2009) (same); Banks v. Montgomery, 2009 WL
1657465, at *1 (N.D. Ind. June 11, 2009) (same).
complaint that lacks organization and coherence so that it is
too confusing to understand the factual basis of the wrongful
conduct also is subject to dismissal. Cincinnati Life
Ins., 722 F.3d at 946. The court assesses this by
considering whether it can make out the essence of the
claims. Cincinnati Life Ins., 722 F.3d at 946. A
complaint is not unintelligible simply because it contains
repetitive and irrelevant matter. Cincinnati Life
Ins., 722 F.3d at 946. “Rather, we have found
complaints wanting when they present a ‘vague,
confusing, and conclusory articulation of the factual and
legal basis for the claim and [take] a general “kitchen
sink” approach to pleading the case.' . . .
[D]ismissal is the appropriate remedy for district courts
presented with ‘a bucket of mud.'”
Cincinnati Life Ins., 722 F.3d at 946-47 (quoting
Stanard, 658 F.3d at 798).
has argued that Bacewic has failed to state a claim for
relief under the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment. The Equal Protection clause forbids a state to
“deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal
protection of the laws.” U.S. CONST. amend. XIV, §
1. Bacewic, in her response, asserted an equal protection
claim brought by a class of one. An equal-protection claim
brought by a “class of one” can succeed only if
the plaintiff proves that she has been intentionally treated
differently from others similarly situated and that there is
no rational basis for the different treatment. Engquist
v. Or. Dep't of Agric., 553 U.S. 591, 601, 128 S.Ct.
2146, 170 L.Ed.2d 975 (2008); Vill. of Willowbrook v.
Olech, 528 U.S. 562, 564, 120 S.Ct. 1073, 145 L.Ed.2d
1060 (2000). A similarly situated individual is one who is
"prima facie identical in all relevant respects."
Racine Charter One, Inc. V. Racine Unified School
District, 424 F.3d 677, 680 (7th Cir. 2005) (quoting
Purze v. Village of Winthrop Harbor, 286 F.3d 452,
455-56 (7th Cir. 2004)).
has not alleged in her complaint that her treatment as a
pretrial detainee was different than other pretrial detainees
who were similarly situated. See Tasby v. Heimlick,
2011 WL 663080, at *2 (N.D. Ind. 2011) (plaintiff's equal
protection claim dismissed because he did not allege that he
was being treated worse than similarly situated inmates). The
complaint is devoid of any factual allegations regarding
similarly situated detainees. Rather, the complaint states,
“[u]nder the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment, Defendants may not discriminate against disabled
detainees without a reason rationally related to a legitimate
governmental interest.” The plaintiff must plead some
factual content that allows the court to draw reasonable
inferences that the defendant is ...