The opinion of the court was delivered by: Seybert, District Judge.
This action arises from the filing of three separate complaints
by plaintiffs pro se Simon Newman and Demark Dixon. By separate
but virtually identical complaints filed on April 27, 1998,
Newman and Dixon complained about the conditions at the
Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York
("MDC-Brooklyn"), alleging a violation of the Eighth Amendment.
These actions, 98-CV-3243 and 98-CV-3244, were assigned to United
States District Judge Allyne R. Ross, who issued an order on May
26, 1998 consolidating the two cases under docket number
98-CV-3244. Approximately a year later, on June 30, 1999, Dixon
filed another action against the same defendants, this time
alleging unlawful interference with his legal mail, in violation
of the Fourth Amendment. This action was assigned docket number
99-CV-3704. Judge Ross deemed the new complaint an amendment to
Dixon's prior complaint, and then consolidated the 1999 case with
the other two under docket number 98-CV-3244 by Order dated July
6, 1999. The cases were re-assigned to the undersigned judge on
or about September 10, 1999.
Pending before the Court is the defendants' motion to dismiss
the claims pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6).
Defendants argue that (1) plaintiffs failed to exhaust their
administrative remedies; (2) the actions are moot insofar as they
seek injunctive relief; (3) the complaints fail to state claims
on which relief can be granted; (4) defendant Holder is entitled
to qualified immunity; and (5) defendant Bureau of Prisons is not
a proper party to these cases. Plaintiffs oppose the motion, each
reciting a litany of allegations that are absent from their
complaints. For the reasons briefly discussed below, the motion
For purposes of this motion to dismiss, the Court deems all
facts alleged in the
complaint as true, "and draw[s] inferences from those allegations
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Dew v. United
States, 192 F.3d 366, 371 (2d Cir. 1999); see also H.J. Inc. v.
Northwestern Bell Tel. Co., 492 U.S. 229, 249-250, 109 S.Ct.
2893, 106 L.Ed.2d 195 (1989). A complaint may be dismissed only
where "it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no
set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to
relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S.Ct. 99, 2
L.Ed.2d 80 (1957) (footnote omitted); see also Northrop v.
Hoffman of Simsbury, Inc., 134 F.3d 41, 44 (2d Cir. 1997). The
Court's inquiry at this stage is limited to the facts in the
complaint or in documents attached to the complaint. See Newman
& Schwartz v. Asplundh Tree Expert Co., 102 F.3d 660, 662 (2d
Cir. 1996). In addition, the question is not whether plaintiff
will prevail but rather "whether the claimant is entitled to
offer evidence to support the claims." See Arizona Premium
Finance, Inc. v. Bielli, 77 F. Supp.2d 341, 345 (E.D.N.Y. 1999)
(quoting Villager Pond, Inc. v. Town of Darien, 56 F.3d 375,
378 (2d Cir. 1995)).
Additionally, the "complaint is deemed to include any written
instrument attached to it as an exhibit or any statements or
documents incorporated in it by reference." Cortec Indus., Inc.
v. Sum Holding L.P., 949 F.2d 42, 47 (2d Cir. 1991). When a
plaintiff does not attach to the complaint or incorporate by
reference a document "upon which it solely relies and which is
integral to the complaint," the court may consider the document
on a motion to dismiss without converting the motion to one for
summary judgment. Id. at 47-48; see also International
Audiotext Network, Inc. v. American Tel. & Tel. Co., 62 F.3d 69,
72 (2d Cir. 1995).
Newman's complaint alleges that (1) the MDC-Brooklyn is
overcrowded; (2) he constantly gets sick as a result of the
resulting poor health conditions; (3) the number of toilets is
insufficient for the number of inmates; (4) the ventilation is
poor; and (5) the food is "ludicrous" — meaning that there is not
enough of it, it is often served cold, and it often is
undercooked. Newman alleges that he complained to the Unit
Manager about these conditions, but that he was told that the
facility had to cut costs. Newman seeks no specific damages, but
merely requests "relief according to suffering and injuries
sustained," and alleges that he will be sent "to an early grave
if something is not done to rectify the problems."
Dixon's companion complaint is virtually identical, and also
alleges that when he complained about the alleged conditions, he
received the same response as Newman. Dixon seeks the same
relief, in the same words, as Newman.
Dixon's second complaint, deemed an amendment to his first,
alleges that on June 3, 1999, the contents of his legal mail
envelope were removed without authorization by someone in the
mail room before it was taken to a post office. Dixon also
alleges that the mail room staff at the MDC is unprofessional and
that its members are unqualified to touch and handle prisoner
mail. Dixon claims that his privacy rights are being violated by
the unauthorized opening of his legal mail. This complaint also
seeks "relief according to suffering and injuries sustained."
Pursuant to Section 1997e(a) of Title 42 of the United States
Code, "[n]o action shall be brought with respect to prison
conditions under section 1983 of this title, or any other Federal
law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other
correctional facility until such administrative remedies as are
available are exhausted." Because it is clear from the
plaintiffs' complaints that they are challenging the conditions
of their confinement at MDC-Brooklyn, this section plainly
applies to the
claims presented. And "[w]here Congress specifically mandates,
exhaustion is required." McCarthy v. Madigan, 503 U.S. 140,
144, 112 S.Ct. 1081, 117 L.Ed.2d 291 (1992).
The complaints contain no allegation that plaintiffs have
exhausted the administrative remedies available to them. The only
allegation coming anywhere close to an exhaustion allegation is
that plaintiffs complained to the Unit Manager but was told that
the MDC had to cut costs. This solitary complaint to the ...