United States District Court, D. Delaware
TYRONE J. MORRIS, Plaintiff,
JAMES T. VAUGHN CORRECTIONAL CENTER, Defendant.
J. Morris, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna,
Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.
ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Tyrone J. Morris, an inmate at the James T. Vaughn
Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware, wrote a letter to
Judge Robinson, which was treated as an action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. (D.I. 1). He appears pro se and
has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
(D.I. 7). The Court screens and reviews the complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and § 1915A(a).
alleges that he has a severe skin disease and he is not
receiving proper medical treatment. He alleges that he has
sores all over various parts of his body. He alleges that he
is suffering a great deal of pain and has mental anguish. He
does not name any individual defendants, and the file
considers the defendant to be the James T. Vaughn
federal court may properly cismiss 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 immure 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 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
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 U.S. at 327-28; Wilson v.
Rackmill, 878 F.2d 772, 774 (3d Cir. 1989).
legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to
state a claim pursuant to § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i!) 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). 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
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. 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 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, assume their veracity and then determine
whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.
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. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (quoting
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
falls under the umbrella of the Delaware Department of
Correction, an agency of the State of Delaware. The Eleventh
Amendment protects states and their agencies and departments
from suit in federal court regardless of the kind of relief
sought. Pennhurst State School & Hosp. v.
Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 100 (1984). "Absent a
state's consent, the Eleventh Amendment bars a civil
rights suit in federal court that names the state as a
defendant." Laskaris v. Thornburgh, 661 F.2d
23, 25 (3d Cir. 1981) (citing Alabama v. Pugh, 438
U.S. 781 (1978)). Delaware has not waived its immunity from
suit in federal court. Although Congress can abrogate a
state's sovereign immunity, it did not do so through the
enactment of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Brooks-McCollum
v. Delaware, 213 Fed.Appx. 92, 94 (3d Cir. 2007). In
addition, dismissal is proper because the VCC is not a person
for purposes of § 1983. See Will v. Michigan
Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989);
Calhoun v. Young, 288 Fed.Appx. 47 (3d Cir. 2008).
Court will dismiss the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(iii) and § 1915A(b)(2) as the VCC is
immune from suit. Since it appears plausible that Plaintiff
may be able to articulate a claim against alternative
defendants, he will be given an opportunity to amend his
pleading. See O'Dell v. United States Gov't,256 Fed.Appx. 444 (3d Cir. 2007) (leave to amend is proper