United States District Court, D. Delaware
LYNELL B. TUCKER, Plaintiff,
FRANCIS CARLIN, et al., Defendants.
B. Tucker, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna,
Delaware, Pro Se Plaintiff.
U.S. District Judge
Lynell B. Tucker ("Plaintiff) filed this action pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of his
constitutional rights,  (D.I. 6) Plaintiff is incarcerated at
the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center ("VCC") in
Smyrna, Delaware. He appears pro se and has been
granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (D.I. 8)
Plaintiff filed a motion for injunctive relief and a request
for counsel when he commenced this action. (D.I. 1, 2) He
recently filed a combined motion for an expedited review or
request for counsel and request for injunctive relief. (D.I.
17) The Court proceeds to review and screen the Complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and § 1915A(a).
suffers from mental health issues. He alleges that upon his
transfer to the VCC, he was prescribed non-psychotropic
medication, was placed in solitary confinement despite his
extensive mental health history, and his medications were
discontinued. He also alleges that Defendant Dr. John
("Dr. Doe") prescribed medication to which he was
allergic, despite his medical records noting the allergy.
Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Doe prescribed the medication
without understanding or comprehending that the medication he
had taken in the past had caused the allergic reaction. He
alleges that he was given the medication, suffered a reaction
which resulted in priapism, and was left in a medical
emergency situation for more than 17 hours before receiving
was informed of Plaintiffs condition by correctional
officers. Plaintiff was ultimately seen by medical personnel
and by Defendant nurse practitioner Bernard Addogoh
("Addogoh") - when he came on shift - before
Defendant was taken to the emergency room. Plaintiff alleges
that he is not provided appropriate mental health treatment.
He seeks injunctive relief as well as compensatory and
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) (informa
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)(i) 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 Hosp., 293 F.3d 103, 114 (3d
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." BellAtl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 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'l Hosp., 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 Ashcrvft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) and Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
Finally, a plaintiff must plead facts sufficient to show that
a claim has substantive plausibility. See
Johnson v. City of Shelby, ___U.S.___, 135 S.Ct.
346, 347 (2014). A complaint may not dismissed for imperfect
statements of the legal theory supporting the claim asserted.
See Id. at 346.
the pleading regime established by Twombly and
Iqbal, a court reviewing the sufficiency of a
complaint must take three steps: (1) take note of the
elements the plaintiff must plead to state a claim; (2)
identify allegations that, because they are no more than
conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth; and
(3) when there are well-pleaded factual allegations, the
court should assume their veracity and then determine whether
they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief. See
Connelly v. Lane Const. Corp., 809 F.3d 780, 787 (3d
Cir. 2016). Elements are sufficiently alleged when the facts
in the complaint "show" that the plaintiff is
entitled to relief. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679
(citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). Deciding whether a claim is
plausible will be a "context-specific task that requires
the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and
common sense." Id.