United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Ocala Division
S. MOODY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Ullman sued the Florida Department of Corrections and Gustavo
Mazorra, the warden of Lowell Correctional Institution where
Ullman was incarcerated, based on alleged rampant sexual
misconduct by employees at Lowell. FDOC and Mazorra now move
to dismiss alleging immunity under Florida law and the
Eleventh Amendment, and arguing Ullman failed to allege
proper pre-suit notice. The Court concludes neither FDOC nor
Mazorra have stated grounds upon which any of the claims
should be dismissed.
Ullman was an inmate at Lowell Correctional Institution from
March 18, 2011, to September 30, 2013. During that time,
Ullman alleges she was subjected to sexual misconduct by
Lowell employees. The alleged sexual misconduct included
being coerced to have sex with Defendants Carlos Rios and
Vaughn Foust, Jr. Ullman claims the sexual misconduct was a
violation of Florida law and her Eighth Amendment rights.
Gustavo Mazorra was the warden at Lowell while Ullman was
incarcerated, and allegedly knew or should have known about
the sexual misconduct. Ullman alleges Mazorra was negligent
in hiring, supervising, and investigating the claims at
Lowell, and that both Mazorra and the Florida Department of
Corrections policies, practices, and customs encouraged or
failed to prevent the sexual misconduct.
filed suit in Florida state court against FDOC, Mazorra,
Rios, Foust, and a John Doe who supervised Rios and Foust.
(Doc. 2). Before Ullman served Mazorra, Rios, and John Doe,
Defendants FDOC and Foust removed the action to this Court.
removal, Ullman filed an Unopposed Motion for Leave to Amend
the Complaint (Doc. 25), which the Court granted. (Doc. 26).
Ullman filed the Amended Complaint (Doc. 27), which is the
subject of FDOC and Mazorra's motions to dismiss. The
relevant claims against FDOC and Mazorra are as follows:
• Count III - Florida law claim against FDOC alleging
respondeat superior liability for Mazorra's
negligent hiring, supervision, and investigation;
• Count IV - 42 U.S.C. § 1983 allegations of
municipal liability against FDOC alleging municipal
• Count VIII - 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim against FDOC
and Mazorra for deprivation of Ullman's Eight Amendment
TO DISMISS STANDARD
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) allows a complaint to be
dismissed for failure to state a claim on which relief can be
granted. When reviewing a motion to dismiss, courts must
limit their consideration to the well-pleaded allegations,
documents central to or referred to in the complaint, and
matters judicially noticed. See La Grasta v. First Union
Securities, Inc., 358 F.3d 840, 845 (11th Cir. 2004)
(internal citations omitted); Day v. Taylor, 400
F.3d 1272, 1276 (11th Cir. 2005). Courts must accept all
factual allegations contained in the complaint as true, and
view the facts in a light most favorable to the plaintiff.
See Erickson, 551 U.S. at 93-94.
conclusions, however, “are not entitled to the
assumption of truth.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 664 (2009). In fact, “conclusory allegations,
unwarranted factual deductions or legal conclusions
masquerading as facts will not prevent dismissal.”
Davila v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 326 F.3d 1183, 1185
(11th Cir. 2003). To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint
must instead contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to “state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (internal
quotation marks and citations omitted). This plausibility
standard is met when the plaintiff pleads ...