United States District Court, N.D. New York
MICHAEL DAVID SHAW Fishkill Correctional Facility Beacon, New York, Plaintiff pro se.
KEVIN M. HAYDEN, AAG, OFFICE OF THE NEW YORK, STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL Albany, New York, Attorneys for Defendants.
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
FREDERICK J. SCULLIN, Jr., Senior District Judge.
Plaintiff brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging, among other things, that Defendants had violated his constitutional rights under the Eight Amendment. See Dkt. No. 9, Amended Complaint. Defendants filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, see Dkt. No. 25, which Plaintiff opposed, see Dkt. No. 30. In a Report-Recommendation and Order dated December 4, 2013, Magistrate Judge Hummel recommended that this Court grant Defendants' motion. See generally Dkt. No. 31. Plaintiff filed objections to this recommendation. See generally Dkt. No. 32.
A. Standard of review
1. Review of report-recommendation
When a party makes specific objections to portions of a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, the court conducts a de novo review of those recommendations. See Trombley v. Oneill, No. 8:11-CV-0569, 2011 WL 5881781, *2 (N.D.N.Y. Nov. 23, 2011) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C)). Where a party makes only conclusory or general objections, however, the court reviews the report and recommendation for "clear error" only. See Salmini v. Astrue, No. 3:06-CV-458, 2009 WL 1794741, *1 (N.D.N.Y. June 23, 2009) (quotation omitted). After conducting the appropriate review, a district court may decide to accept, reject or modify those recommendations. See Linares v. Mahunik, No. 9:05-CV-625, 2009 WL 3165660, *10 (N.D.N.Y. Sept. 29, 2009) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C)).
In light of Plaintiff's filing of objections, as well as his pro se status, the Court has conducted a de novo review of Magistrate Judge Hummel's Report-Recommendation and Order. Having completed that review, for the following reasons, the Court accepts in part, and rejects in part, his recommendations.
2. Motion for judgment on the pleadings
"The standard for granting a Rule 12(c) motion... is identical to that of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion for failure to state a claim." Patel v. Contemporary Classics of Beverly Hills, 259 F.3d 123, 126 (2d Cir. 2001) (citations omitted). Thus, when considering such a motion, a court must "construe plaintiff['s] complaint liberally, accepting all factual allegations in the complaint as true, and drawing all reasonable inferences in plaintiff['s] favor.'" Selevan v. N.Y. Thruway Auth., 584 F.3d 82, 88 (2d Cir. 2009) (quotation omitted). However, this "tenet' is inapplicable to legal conclusions, ' and [t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.'" Harris v. Mills, 572 F.3d 66, 72 (2d Cir. 2009) (quotation omitted). Therefore, to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must state a claim for relief that is "plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting [ Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, ] 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955 [(2007)]).
Furthermore, consideration of a motion to dismiss "is [generally] limited to the facts asserted within the four corners of the complaint, the documents attached to the complaint as exhibits, and any documents incorporated in the complaint by reference." McCarthy v. Dun & Bradstreet Corp., 482 F.3d 184, 191 (2d Cir. 2007) (citation omitted). There are circumstances, however, in which a court may consider documents other than these, including documents that are only "partially quoted in [the] complaint...'; "integral" to [the] complaint...'; [or] relied upon... in drafting the complaint....'" Faulkner v. Beer, 463 F.3d 130, 134 (2d Cir. 2006) (quotations omitted). Moreover, when the case involves a pro se litigant, the court must construe his pleadings liberally and read his papers "in opposition to a defendant's motion to dismiss as effectively amending ...