Diggan v. Northumberland Cnty. Bd. of Prisons

Full title: ALLEN DIGGAN, Plaintiff v. NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY BOARD OF PRISONS, et al., Defendants

Court: UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

Date published: Mar 27, 2013

Facts

Diggan alleges that on May 8, 2010, while he was incarcerated at the Northumberland County Prison, he was waiting in his cell for the delivery of a magazine. (Doc. 1, at ¶ 18.) At that time, an unidentified corrections officer and inmates were “engaged in horseplay.” (Id. at ¶ 19.) “The corrections officer suddenly and un-expectantly [sic] backed into Plaintiff, knocking Plaintiff off balance. The Plaintiff began to fall backward and grabbed for his cell. While Plaintiff’s hand was on the cell door, the corrections officer quickly closed Plaintiff’s cell door. The closing of the cell door while Plaintiff’s [sic] hand was present severed Plaintiff’s right pinky finger. At all times relevant hereto, the design of the cell doors posed an unreasonable risk to inmates.” (Id. at ¶¶ 20-23.)

Diggan alleges that, as a result of the above incident, the defendants violated his Constitutional rights in failing to train and supervise corrections officers and supervisors to ensure the professional performance of duties and to ensure that inmate appendages are clear of cell doors before closing them, creating an atmosphere condoning horseplay and unprofessional performance of duties, and failing to take action against, and continuing to employ those corrections officers known to act unprofessionally in the performance of their duties. (Doc. 1, at 5-89; Doc. 6, at 7.) He also brings a state law municipal liability claim based on the “inherently dangerous conditions of the cell doors.” (Id.)

Issue

Decision

Diggan’s state law claim will also be dismissed. A district court may decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a state law claim or claims if the district court dismisses those claims over which it has original jurisdiction. Since the claims that form the basis of this Court’s jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 will be dismissed, the Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction.

“[I]f a complaint is subject to a Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal, a district court must permit a curative amendment unless such an amendment would be inequitable or futile.” Phillips v. Cty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 245 (3d Cir. 2008) (citation omitted). Therefore, Diggans will be allowed to amend his complaint to cure the defects outlined in this Memorandum.

For the above-stated reasons, the court will grant the defendants’ motion to dismiss, and grant leave to amend. (Doc. 4.)

An appropriate order follows.

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