United States District Court, D. Delaware
CEDRIC L. BRYANT, a/k/a Joseph Fooks, Plaintiff,
CONNECTIONS, et al., Defendants
plaintiff, Cedric L. Bryant ("Bryant"), an inmate
at the Sussex Correctional Institution ("SCI"),
appears pro se and was granted permission to proceed
in forma pauperis. (D.I. 5.) Bryant filed this
lawsuit alleging violations of his civil rights pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. (D.I. 3.) The court proceeds to review and
screen the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) and § 1915A(b)(1).
April 25, 2017, Bryant contracted a rash that started in his
left arm and spread to his chest and back. (D.I. 3 at 5.)
Within two weeks the rash had spread from head to toe. On May
12, 2017, Bryant was seen by the sick call nurse and given
ointment and medication. (Id.) The medication did
not provide relief.
submitted sick call slips to see a physician or
dermatologist. (Id.) He also submitted sick call
slips for Benadryl. (Id.) During the first week of
June, Bryant was seen by nurse practitioners Clauda Pierce
("Pierce") and Brad Boyer ("Boyer").
(Id. at 6.) Bryant was prescribed a cream and
Benadryl, (Id.) Bryant was told that the sick call
nurse would apply the cream every day. (Id.) The
Benadryl provided some relief, but the itching was very bad
when Bryant was in the sun or took a hot shower.
began submitting sick call slips and grievances.
(Id.) He was called to medical on June 15, 2017, and
again seen by Pierce and Boyer. (Id.) Bryant was
administered a steroid injection and prescribed prednisone.
(Id.) He was directed to take the prednisone in a
specific manner and alleges that the medication nurses did
not properly administer the medication.
was next seen by Pierce around June 25, 2017. (Id.)
He asked her if he had been placed on the list to see a
physician or outside dermatologist about his rash.
(Id.) Pierce checked the computer and advised Bryant
that he was not on the list. (Id. at 6-7.) During
this visit, an unnamed physician looked at Bryant's rash
and "put [him] in for a consult with a[nj outside
dermatologist." (Id. at 7.)
has not yet seen an outside physician despite his requests.
He alleges that "they keep sending a lady and she tells
[him] that she can't put [him] in to see the doctor"
and that he will have to wait another three months until his
next appointment. (Id.)
12, 2017, Bryant met with unnamed individuals about his
medical grievances. (Id.) Bryant was told that he
could not pick and choose his provider. (Id.) Bryant
explained the treatment he received had not helped him and
again asked to be seen by a physician, "inside or
out." (Id. at 7.) His request was "denied
on all accounts." (Id. at 8.) Bryant seeks
compensation for his pain and suffering and to be seen by the
appropriate physicians. (Id.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
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); 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. Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d
224, 229 (3d Cir. 2008); Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 93 (2007). Because Bryant proceeds pro se,
his pleading is liberally construed and his complaint,
"however in artfully pleaded, must be held to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. at 94
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; 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 Bryant 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).
well-pleaded complaint must contain more than mere labels and
conclusions. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal,556 U.S. 662
(2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,550 U.S. 544
(2007). A plaintiff must plead facts sufficient to show that
a claim has substantive plausibility. SeeJohnson v. City of Shelby, ___ U.S. ___, 135 S.Ct.
346, 347 (2014). A complaint may not dismissed, however, ...