United States District Court, D. Delaware
Na-Quan Kurt Lewis, Howard R. Young Correctional Institution,
Wilmington, Delaware, Pro Se Plaintiff.
ANDREWS, U.S. District Judge.
Na-Quan Kurt Lewis, a pretrial detainee at the Howard R.
Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington, Delaware, filed
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He appears
pro se and has been granted leave to proceed in
forma pauperis. (D.I. 6). The Court proceeds to review
and screen the Complaint (D.I. 2) pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and § 1915A(a).
was indicted on weapons charges and a warrant issued for his
arrest on July 11, 2016. Plaintiff was arrested, transported
to the Wilmington Police Department, and taken to a room to
be interviewed by Defendant Detective Ahmard Reddick.
Plaintiff advised Reddick that he did not want to talk, and
Plaintiff was taken to his cell. Plaintiff was then
transported to the hospital for medical treatment for an
injury he sustained prior to his arrest and later taken to
states that Reddick was later arrested for arson and
providing false statements to law enforcement after he
allegedly hired someone to spray paint OMB and blow up his
car for the insurance money. OMB is the shortened name of the
street gang, Only My Brothers. During the summer of 2016, the
Delaware Department of Justice obtained a gang indictment
that linked 28 men to the OMB. See http://www.
(last visited May 18, 2017). The Complaint states that
Plaintiff was named in the indictment, but he was not a gang
member and, while the charges were dropped, he was later
days later, Plaintiff was arraigned and requested a speedy
trial. Defendant Natalie Woloshin was appointed to represent
Plaintiff in the criminal matter. Plaintiff was to receive
discovery by January 7, 2017, but did not receive it until
March 6 or 7, 2017. At some point in time a hearing was held,
and Plaintiff advised the State court that he wished to
proceed pro se because Woloshin refused to file any
motions. Defendant Judge Ferris Wharton told Plaintiff that
he was not competent to represent himself. Plaintiff advised
Judge Wharton that he had filed a motion for a speedy trial
and Judge Wharton advised him that the matter would be tried
in October or November. During a court recess, Woloshin and
Defendant Albert J. Roop, who is prosecuting the case,
engaged in plea negotiations.
alleges that a "dirty" search warrant was obtained
for his brother's telephone which apparently resulted in
the firearm charges against Plaintiff. (D.I. 2 at 7). He
explains that Roop waited until his brother "took his
plea" in the middle of February before belatedly provide
discovery to Plaintiff so that Plaintiff could not timely
file a motion to suppress. Plaintiff claims that a
suppression hearing will result in dismissal of the charges
against him. Plaintiff asks the Court to dismiss his criminal
case. He also seeks compensatory damages.
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 a governmental defendant).
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. Phillips v. County of
Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 229 (3d Cir. 2008);
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007).
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 U.S. at 327-28; Wilson v.
Rackmill, 878 F.2d 772, 774 (3d Cir. 1989); see,
e.g., 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
ruling on Rule 12(b)(6) motions. 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 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 Cir. 2002).
proceeds pro se and, therefore, 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
v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Under Rule 12(b)(6),
a motion to dismiss may be granted 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. 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) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). In
addition, 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, however, for imperfect
statements of the legal theory supporting the claim asserted.
See Id. at 346.
reviewing the sufficiency of a complaint, a court should
follow a three-step process: (1) consider the elements
necessary to state a claim; (2) identify allegations that are
merely conclusions and therefore are not well-pleaded factual
allegations; and (3) accept any well-pleaded factual
allegations as true and determine whether they plausibly
state a claim. See Connelly v. Lane Constr. Corp.,809 F.3d 780, 787 (3d Cir. 2016); Williams v. BASF
Catalysts LLC,765 F.3d 306, 315 (3d Cir. 2014).
Deciding whether a claim is plausible will be a