United States District Court, D. South Carolina
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
J. GOSSETT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
plaintiff, Julian Rex Hall, a self-represented federal
prisoner, filed this civil rights and federal tort action
against the defendants. This matter is before the court
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule
73.02(B)(2) (D.S.C.) for a Report and Recommendation on the
defendants' motion to dismiss. (ECF No. 24.) Pursuant to
Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975),
the court advised Hall of the summary judgment and dismissal
procedures and the possible consequences if he failed to
respond adequately to the defendants' motion. (ECF No.
27.) Hall filed a response to the defendants' motion.
(ECF No. 34.) Having reviewed the record presented and the
applicable law, the court finds the defendants' motion
should be granted.
a federal prisoner who filed his Complaint concerning events
that occurred while he was housed in Federal Correctional
Institution (“FCI”) Edgefield in South Carolina.
In his Complaint, Hall alleges that in July 2016, he
sustained a head injury when he got out of his bunk bed,
passed out, and fell to the floor. (Compl., ECF No. 1 at 5.)
Hall alleges that this occurred due to his being prescribed
blood pressure medications without proper monitoring.
(Id. at 10-11.) Hall further alleges that, as a
result of this incident, he suffers from vision loss,
migraine headaches, and memory loss. (Id. at 8.)
Hall seeks monetary damages. The court construed Hall's
Complaint as purporting to raise a claim of deliberate
indifference to medical needs in violation of the Eighth
Amendment pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents
of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), and
a claim of medical malpractice pursuant to the Federal Tort
Claims Act (“FTCA”), 28 U.S.C. §§
2671-2680, 1346(b). (ECF No. 11.)
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) examines
whether the complaint fails to state facts upon which
jurisdiction can be founded. It is the plaintiff's burden
to prove jurisdiction, and the court is to “regard the
pleadings' allegations as mere evidence on the issue, and
may consider evidence outside the pleadings without
converting the proceeding to one for summary judgment.”
Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac R.R. Co. v. United
States, 945 F.2d 765, 768 (4th Cir. 1991).
resolve a jurisdictional challenge under Rule 12(b)(1), the
court may consider undisputed facts and any jurisdictional
facts that it determines. The court may dismiss a case for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction on any of the following
bases: “(1) the complaint alone; (2) the complaint
supplemented by undisputed facts evidenced in the record; or
(3) the complaint supplemented by undisputed facts plus the
court's resolution of disputed facts.” Johnson
v. United States, 534 F.3d 958, 962 (8th Cir. 2008)
(quoting Williamson v. Tucker, 645 F.2d 404, 413
(5th Cir. 1981)).
motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) examines the legal sufficiency of the facts alleged
on the face of the complaint. Edwards v. City of
Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243 (4th Cir. 1999). To survive
a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, “[f]actual allegations must be
enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007). The “complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.' ”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). A claim is facially
plausible when the factual content allows the court to
reasonably infer that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged. Id. When considering a motion to
dismiss, the court must accept as true all of the factual
allegations contained in the complaint. Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). The court “may
also consider documents attached to the complaint,
see Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(c), as well as those attached to
the motion to dismiss, so long as they are integral to the
complaint and authentic.” Philips v. Pitt Cty.
Mem'l Hosp., 572 F.3d 176, 180 (4th Cir. 2009)
(citing Blankenship v. Manchin, 471 F.3d 523, 526
n.1 (4th Cir. 2006)).
while the federal court is charged with liberally construing
a complaint filed by a pro se litigant to allow the
development of a potentially meritorious case, see,
e.g., Erickson, 551 U.S. 89, the
requirement of liberal construction does not mean that the
court can ignore a clear failure in the pleadings to allege
facts which set forth a federal claim, nor can the court
assume the existence of a genuine issue of material fact
where none exists. Weller v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990).
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
defendants first argue that any claims Hall raises pursuant
to Bivens should be dismissed, as Hall specifically
checked the box on his Complaint form indicating that he is
suing the defendants only in their official capacities.
(Compl., ECF No. 2-3.) In Bivens, the United States
Supreme Court established a remedy for plaintiffs alleging
certain constitutional violations by federal officials to
obtain monetary damages in suits against federal officials in
their individual capacities. Bivens v. Six Unkown Agents
of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). Based
on Bivens, courts have recognized that neither
federal agencies nor federal officials in their official
capacities can be sued for monetary damages in a
Bivens action. F.D.I.C. v. Meyer, 510 U.S.
471 (1994) (holding that a Bivens action cannot lie
against a federal agency); Doe v. Chao, 306 F.3d
170, 184 (4th Cir. 2002) (observing that “a
Bivens action does not lie against either agencies
or officials in their official capacity”); Randall
v. United States, 95 F.3d 339, 345 (4th Cir. 1996)
(“Any remedy under Bivens is against federal
officials individually, not the federal government.”).
Thus, a Bivens action is only cognizable against
federal officials in their personal or individual capacities.
response to the defendants' motion, Hall argues that he
is suing the defendants in both their individual and official
capacities. (Pl.'s Resp. Opp'n Mot. Dismiss, ECF No.
34 at 1.) However, Hall is silent as to the defendants'
additional argument that he ...