United States District Court, D. Delaware
EVERETT E. SMITH, Plaintiff,
STATE OF DELAWARE, Defendant.
Everett E. Smith, Howard R. Young Correctional Institution,
Wilmington, Delaware, Pro Se Plaintiff.
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Everett E. Smith ("Plaintiff'), an inmate at the
Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington,
Delaware, filed this action as a motion for a temporary
restraining order and preliminary injunction to enforce the
terms of a settlement agreement entered into between the
United States of America. ("U.S.A.") and the State
of Delaware ("State") in Civ. No.
11-591-LPS.(D.I. 3) Plaintiffs supporting memorandum
of law states that this is a civil rights action brought
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (D.I. 4) Hence, it seems that
Plaintiff has filed a combined complaint and motion for
injunctive relief. Plaintiff filed a renewed motion for
injunctive relief on September 6, 2016. (D.I. 11) He appears
pro se and has been granted leave to proceed in
forma pauperis. (D.I. 7) The Court proceeds to review
and screen the matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a).
states that "this is a civil rights action brought under
42 U.S.C. § 1983. He alleges that he is being denied his
rights under 11 Del. C. §§ 408 and
and as a class member of a settlement agreement entered into
between the U.S.A. and the State on July 15, 2011. The
agreement was intended to ensure the State's compliance
with the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §
12101, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29
U.S.C. § 794, and their implementing regulations, which
require, among other provisions, that, to the extent the
State offers services to individuals with disabilities, such
services shall be provided in the most integrated setting
appropriate to meet their needs. (See Civ. No.
11-591-LPS at D.I. 5) Plaintiff alleges that he falls under
the target classification set forth in Section II.B. of the
settlement agreement, specifically:
2.b. People who have been discharged from DPC within the last
two years and who meet any of the criteria below;
2.c. People who are, or have been, admitted to private
institutions for mental disease in the last two years; and
2.e. People with a serious and persistent mental illness who
have been arrested, incarcerated, or had other encounters
with the criminal justice system in the last year due to
conduct related to their serious mental illness.
(See D.I. 3 at 2; Civ. No. 11-591-LPS at D.I. 5 at
alleges that he has a lengthy history of mental health
issues. Plaintiff explains that he was arrested on
November 27, 2012, for robbery second degree, and requested
mental health court as an alternative disposition, pursuant
to the settlement agreement, but Ms request was denied. (D.I.
3 at 2) Plaintiff alleges that the State violated his
constitutional rights by equating 11 Del. C. §
with being aware of his predicament and appreciation of his
charges. He further alleges that he was denied his right to a
competency hearing pursuant to 11 Del. C. §§
401-408. (See D.I. 4) Plaintiff
seeks injunctive relief.
federal court may properly dismiss an action sua
sponte under the screening provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and § 1915A(b) if "the action
is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief." Ball v.
Famiglio, 726 F.3d 448, 452 (3d Cir. 2013); see
also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) (in forma
pauperis actions); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A (actions in
which prisoner seeks redress from governmental defendant); 42
U.S.C. § 1997e (prisoner actions brought with respect to
prison conditions). The Court must accept all factual
allegations in a complaint as true and take them in the light
most favorable to a pro se plaintiff. See Phillips v.
County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 229- (3d Cir. 2008);
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007). Because
Plaintiff proceeds pro se, his pleading is liberally
construed and his Complaint, "however inartfully
pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers." Erickson, 551
U.S. at 94 (citations omitted).
action is frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams,
490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)® and § 1915A(b)(1), a court may
dismiss a complaint as frivolous if it is "based on an
indisputably meritless legal theory" or a "clearly
baseless" or "fantastic or delusional" factual
scenario. Neitzke, 490 at 327-28; see also
Wilson v. Rackmill, 878 F.2d 772, 774 (3d Cir. 1989);
Deutsch v. United States, 67 F.3d 1080, 1091-92 (3d
Cir. 1995) (holding frivolous a suit alleging that prison
officials took an inmate's pen and refused to give it
legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to
state a claim pursuant to § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and §
1915A(b)(1) is identical to the legal standard used when
deciding Rule 12(b)(6) motions. See Tourscher v.
McCullough,184 F.3d 236, 240 (3d Cir. 1999) (applying
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) standard to dismissal for failure to
state a claim under § 1915(e)(2)(B)). However, before
dismissing a complaint or claims for failure to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted pursuant to the screening
provisions of 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915 and 1915A, the
Court must grant a plaintiff leave to amend his complaint
unless amendment would be inequitable or futile. See
Grayson v. Mayview State Hasp.,293 F.3d 103, 114 (3d
Or. 2002), A complaint may be dismissed only if, accepting
the well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and
viewing them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, a
court concludes that those allegations "could not raise
a claim of entitlement to relief." Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly,550 U.S. 5443 558 (2007). Though
"detailed factual allegations" are not required, a
complaint must do more than simply provide "labels and
conclusions"-or "a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action." Davis v. Abington
Mem'lHasp.,765 F.3d 236, 241 (3d Cir.
2014) (internal quotation marks omitted). In addition, a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face. See Williams v. BASF Catalysts LLC, 765 F.3d
306, 315 (3d Cir. 2014) (citing Ashcrof ...