United States District Court, D. Delaware
PAUL E. WEBER, Plaintiff,
AMY ARNOTT QUINLAN et al., Defendants.
E. Weber, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna,
Delaware, Pro Se Plaintiff.
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Paul E. Weber ("Plaintiff'), an inmate at the James
T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware, filed this
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (D.I. 1) He filed
a "supplemental complaint" on May 18, 2018. (D.I.
7) Plaintiff appears pro se and has paid the filing
fee. The Court proceeds to review and screen the matter
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Section 1915A(b)(1) is
applicable to all prisoner lawsuits regardless of whether the
litigant has paid the fee all at once or in installments.
See Stringer v. Bureau of Prisons, Federal Agency,
145 Fed.Appx. 751, 752 (3d Cir. Aug. 23, 2005). Plaintiff has
also filed numerous motions for injunctive relief as well as
a motion for a scheduling order. (D.I. 11, 14, 15, 21, 22)
2002, Plaintiff was convicted by a jury of forgery in the
second degree and misdemeanor theft; he was sentenced to 30
days of Level V incarceration for each
conviction. See In the Matter of the Petition of
Paul E. Weber for a Writ of Mandamus, 2018 WL 2446803
pel. May 30, 2018). The Delaware Supreme Court dismissed
Plaintiffs direct appeal of the conviction based on its lack
of jurisdiction to hear a criminal appeal unless the sentence
imposed is a term of imprisonment exceeding one month or a
fine exceeding $100. See Weber v. State, 2002 WL
31235418, at *1 (Del. Oct. 4, 2002) (citing Del. Const, art
IV, § 11(1)(b)). In 2005, Plaintiff was convicted of
attempted robbery in the first degree and attempted
carjacking in the first degree; the Delaware Superior Court
granted the State's petition to declare Plaintiff an
habitual offender under 11 Del C. § 4214(a). See In
the Matter of the Petition of Paul E. Weber for a Writ of
Mandamus, 2018 WL 2446803 at *1. Plaintiffs forgery in
the second degree conviction was one of the predicate
offenses. See Id. Plaintiff appealed and argued that
forgery in the second degree did not qualify as a predicate
offense under 11 Del. C. § 4214(a) because he had no
right to appeal. See Id. The Delaware Supreme Court
held that the forgery in the second degree was a qualifying
offense under § 4214(a) and the unavailability of a
direct appeal did not change this result. See Weber v.
State, 971 A.2d at 158-60. The Delaware Supreme Court
noted that Plaintiff could have filed a motion to correct an
illegal sentence under Superior Court Criminal Rule 35(a) or
a petition for a writ of certiorari. See Id. at
159-60. It reversed the attempted robbery in the first degree
conviction on other grounds, remanded for a new trial, and
affirmed the attempted carjacking in the first degree
conviction. See Id. at 143.
was retried upon remand in April 2010 and convicted of
attempted robbery in the first degree. See State v.
Weber, 2017 WL 3638209 (Del. Super. Aug. 22, 2017). Once
again, the State filed a motion to declare Plaintiff an
habitual offender under § 4214(a). See Id. The
Superior Court granted the motion, and Plaintiff was
sentenced to twenty-five years of Level V incarceration for
attempted robbery in the first degree. See id.
alleges that he is factually and legally innocent of forgery
in the second degree and was denied his constitutional right
to a fair trial. (D.I. 1 at ¶¶ 21, 25) He alleges
that he did not have the remedy of appeal under the Delaware
Constitution, could not challenge his sentence under the
Delaware Constitution or Delaware law, could not challenge
the forgery conviction under Delaware Superior Court Criminal
Rules 35(a) or 61, and could not challenge his conviction by
means of certiorari. (Id. at ¶¶ 32-36) He
alleges that the forgery conviction was used for the purposes
of sentencing enhancement and, without the forgery
conviction, his sentence would have been three years instead
of the twenty-five year sentence he received. (Id.
at ¶¶ 42-45) Plaintiff alleges the postconviction
procedures adopted, promulgated, implemented, and/or utilized
by Defendants transgress inherent principles of justice and
fundamental fairness and are inadequate to vindicate his
substantive rights and redress injustice to him.
(Id. at ¶ 47) Plaintiff alleges that on April
13, 2018 he issued a final demand to Defendants to provide
him with an adequate and meaningful remedy to challenge his
forgery conviction. (Id. at ¶ 52)
filed a. pro se motion for postconviction relief of
the 2010 conviction on August 6, 2013. See State v.
Weber, 2017 WL 3638209 (Del. Super. Aug. 22, 2017). The
matter was stayed and counsel was appointed to represent
Plaintiff through the postconviction process. See
Id. Appointed counsel filed an amended motion for
postconviction relief on March 24, 2017. See Id.
Thereafter, the matter was referred to a Commissioner for a
report and recommendation, who recommended on August 22, 2017
that the motion for postconviction relief be denied. See
Id. On March 6, 2018, the Superior Court adopted the
Commissioner's report and denied Plaintiffs motion for
postconviction relief. See Weber v. State, 168, 2018
(Del) at appellant's May 30, 2018 amended opening brief
at Ex. B. On April 2, 2018, Plaintiff appealed the March 6,
2018 order to the Delaware Supreme Court. See Id. at
Apr. 2, 2018 notice of appeal. The appeal remains pending.
alleges violations of the United States Constitution and the
Delaware Constitution. He seeks declaratory and injunctive
relief as well as compensator)' and punitive damages.
Defendants named in the original complaint have waived
service of summons. (See D.I. 8)
18, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file a
supplemental complaint; it was docketed as a supplement to
the complaint. (D.I. 7) It adds Mike Little
("Little") and Timothy T. Martin
("Martin") as defendants and alleges violations of
Plaintiffs right to access to the courts. Plaintiff has also
filed motions for injunctive relief and other documents with
regard to the access to the courts claims. (See D.I.
11, 12 13, 14, 15, 17, 21)
Court has reviewed the supplemental complaint and its claims
against Little and Martin. The claims are only tangentially
related to the original complaint at Docket Item 1. The Court
considers the supplemental complaint an attempted to join
unrelated defendants and claims in violation of Fed. R. C. P.
20(a)(2), which states, in pertinent part, as follows:
Persons may ... be joined in one action as defendants if any
right to relief is asserted against them joindy, severally,
or in the alternative with respect to or arising out of the
same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or
occurrences; and any question ...