United States District Court, D. Maine
RICKY L. SIROIS, Plaintiff,
UNITED STATES, et al., Defendants.
ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS
Z. Singal United States District Judge.
the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 34).
As explained herein, the Court GRANTS the Motion.
request for dismissal invokes Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1), which requires dismissal of claims over which this
Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, and Rule 12(b)(6),
which allows the Court to dismiss a case if the plaintiff
fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
federal court is obligated to ensure the existence of subject
matter jurisdiction before considering the merits of any
complaint. Plaintiffs generally bear the burden of
demonstrating subject matter jurisdiction. See,
e.g., Aversa v. United States, 99 F.3d 1200,
1209-10 (1st Cir. 1996). Faced with a motion to dismiss based
on lack of jurisdiction, the Court may consider not only the
sufficiency of the jurisdictional facts pled in the
complaint, but also the additional materials submitted by
either side that allow it to resolve the jurisdictional
challenge. See Valentin v. Hospital Bella
Vista, 254 F.3d 358, 363-64 (1st Cir. 2001) (noting that
“plaintiff's well-pleaded factual allegations . . .
[may be] augmented by an explanatory affidavit or other
repository of uncontested facts”).
the Court determines it has jurisdiction over the asserted
claims, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require only
that a complaint contain “a short and plain statement
of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction . . . a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief; and a demand for the relief
sought.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(1)-(3). A viable complaint
need not proffer “heightened fact pleading of
specifics, ” but in order to survive a motion to
dismiss it must contain “enough facts to state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
assessing whether a complaint adequately states a claim, the
Court considers the “facts and documents that are part
of or incorporated into the complaint.” United
Auto., Aerospace, Agric. Implement Workers of Am. Int'l
Union v. Fortuño, 633 F.3d 37, 39 (1st Cir. 2011)
(quotation marks omitted). But, the Court may also
“supplement those facts with facts ‘gleaned from
documents incorporated by reference into the complaint,
matters of public record, and facts susceptible to judicial
notice.'” Gonzalez v. Velez, 864 F.3d 45,
48 (1st Cir. 2017) (quoting Haley v. City of Boston,
657 F.3d 39, 46 (1st Cir. 2011)). Likewise, when reviewing a
pro se pleading a somewhat “less
stringent” standard applies and the Court may consider
other filings by the pro se litigant in order to
“understand the nature and basis of his claims.”
Wall v. Dion, 257 F.Supp.2d 316, 318 (D. Me. 2003)
(internal citations omitted).
Rule 12(b)(6), the Court assumes the truth of the facts
contained in the pleadings and draws all reasonable
inferences in the plaintiff's favor. Schatz v.
Republican State Leadership Comm., 669 F.3d 50, 55 (1st
Cir. 2012). However, if the properly considered factual
allegations are “too meager, vague, or conclusory to
remove the possibility of relief from the realm of mere
conjecture, the complaint is open to dismissal.”
Haley, 657 F.3d at 46; see also Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (stating that a court
need not accept “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements
of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory
statements”). In short, a plaintiff must plead facts
indicating “more than a sheer possibility that a
defendant has acted unlawfully.” Id.
January 7, 2014, Plaintiff Ricky Sirois was sentenced to a
forty-eight-month term of imprisonment to be followed by a
thirty-six month term of supervised release. See United
States v. Mckenney, et al., 1:11-cr-00206-JAW, ECF Nos.
313, 315. As Sirois neared the end of his term of
imprisonment in March 2015, he was transferred from the
Fairton Federal Correctional Institution in New Jersey to
Pharos House, a federal halfway house in Portland,
after his transfer to Pharos House, Sirois was assigned the
task of collecting trash around the house and bringing it to
dumpsters behind the facility. On March 27, 2015, during his
first trip to the dumpsters, Sirois slipped on ice and fell
fracturing his right foot. The area where he fell had not
been salted, sanded, or otherwise treated for ice. On March
28, 2015, the following day, Sirois obtained medical
treatment, including x-rays of his foot, at the Brighton
Medical Center. These x-ray images did not show a fracture.
subsequently complained about his foot and was given
permission to see a podiatrist, who recommended that Sirois
obtain an MRI of the foot and prescribed an air boot and
non-narcotic pain medication. For the following three weeks,
Sirois continued to complain to Pharos House staff members
that there was something wrong with his foot, meeting with
the Pharos House assistant director on five occasions. Sirois
communicated to Pharos House staff that the podiatrist had
recommended an MRI. Pharos House staff informed Sirois that
they were waiting for authorization from the BOP to obtain a
third-party MRI or to transfer Sirois to a federal
correctional institution for medical care. Sirois continued
to complain to staff at Pharos House about his foot and the
BOP's delay. Sirois eventually met with Richard Farris,
the director of Pharos House, the assistant director, and
Sirois' caseworker about his foot. He again was told that
Pharos House was waiting on authorization from the BOP. All
told, Sirois' requests for additional medical attention
were denied by Pharos House employees on six occasions.
1, 2015, Sirois was released from Pharos House. He
subsequently obtained an MRI of his foot at Maine General
Hospital in Augusta, Maine. He was thereafter seen by Dr.
Kipp, a podiatrist, who confirmed that Sirois' foot was
fractured. Ultimately, Sirois did not have surgery on his
foot until approximately eighteen months after his release
from Pharos House. Sirois asserts that part of the reason for
this delay was his conditions of supervised release, which
required him to disclose to all medical providers that he had
been convicted of an offense involving the selling of
August 7, 2017, Judge Woodcock revoked Sirois' term of
supervised release and sentenced him to twenty-four months of
incarceration. See United States v. Mckenney, et
al., 1:11-cr-00206-JAW, ECF Nos. 372, ...