United States District Court, D. Delaware
EDWARD L. SKINNER, Plaintiff,
JAMES T. VAUGHN CORRECTIONAL CENTER, et al., Defendants.
L. Skinner, Wilmington, Delaware, Pro Se Plaintiff.
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Edward L. Skinner ("Plaintiff) filed this action on May
22, 2017, pursuant to 42 U..S.C. § 1983.(D.I. 2) He
appears pro se and has been granted leave to proceed
in forma pauperis. (D.I. 4) The Court proceeds to
review and screen the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
who is no longer incarcerated, was an inmate at the James T.
Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware, when, on
April 5, 2015, he passed out, hit his head, and lost
consciousness. When he regained consciousness he was unable
to move. Plaintiff was taken to the infirmary. He alleges
that he was there for two weeks without proper medical care
and was never taken to an emergency room or to an outside
medical facility. He was later diagnosed as having had a
stroke. Three weeks later he was transferred to general
population, even though he was paralyzed on the left side and
in a wheelchair. He relied upon other inmates to assist him
with activities of daily living. On an unknown date, he was
transferred back to the infirmary. He seeks compensatory
damages and injunctive relief.
federal court may properly dismiss an action sua
sponte under the screening provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(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 Or. 2013); see also 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2) (in forma pauperis actions). 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 Ck. 2008); Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 93 (2007). Because Plaintiff proceeds pro
se, her pleading is liberally construed and her
Complaint, "however inartfully pleaded, must be held to
less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers." Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94 (citations
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)®, 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 back).
legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to
state a claim pursuant to § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) 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 28U.S.C.
§ 1915, the Court must grant a plaintiff leave to amend
her complaint unless amendment would be inequitable or
futile. See Grayson v. Mayview State Hosp., 293
F.3dl03, 114 (3d Cir. 2002).
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 Ail. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 558 (2007). While "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 Ashcroft 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.
claims are time-barred. For purposes of the statute of
limitations, § 1983 claims are characterized as personal
injury actions. See Wilson v. Garcia,471 U.S. 261,
275 (1985). In Delaware, § 1983 claims are subject to a
two-year limitations period. See 10 Del. C. §
8119; Johnson v. Cullen,925 F.Supp. 244, 248 (D.
Del. 1996). Section 1983 claims accrue "when the
plaintiff knew or should have known of the injury ...