United States District Court, D. Delaware
Jermaine Layton Carter, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center,
Smyrna, Delaware, Pro Se Plaintiff.
CONNOLLY, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE:
Jermaine Layton Carter ("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 appears pro se and
has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
(D.I. 10) The Court proceeds to review and screen the matter
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b) and §
complains that a "body device" is used on him that
causes him medical and emotional problems. The "body
device" is not described and the Court is unable to
discern from the Complaint exactly what it is. Regardless,
Plaintiff alleges he is under imminent danger of serious
physical injury. He seeks injunctive relief and a "safe
new policy for the use of any body device" and for
Defendants Marc Richman ("Richman") and Steven
Wesley ("Wesley") "to show how they enforce
the policy at government meetings." (D.I. 1 at 9; D.I. 5
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 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 (citations omitted).
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)(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). 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.3d103, 114 (3d
well-pleaded complaint must contain more than mere labels and
conclusions. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662
(2009); Bell Ml. 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 be 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) assume the veracity of any
well-pleaded factual allegations and then determine whether
those allegations plausibly give rise to an entitlement to
relief. Connelly v. Lane Const. Corp., 809 F.3d 780,
787 (3d Cir. 2016) (internal citations and quotations
omitted), 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 sense."
clear from Plaintiff's allegations that Defendants are
named based upon their supervisory positions. Richman is the
Healthcare Services Bureau Chief and Wesley is the Bureau of
Prisons Bureau Chief. It is well established that claims
based solely on the theory of respondeat superior or
supervisor liability are facially deficient. See
Ashcroft, 556 U.S. at 676-77; see also Solan v.
Ranck,326 Fed.Appx. 97, 100-01 (3d Cir. May 8, 2009)
("[a] defendant in a civil rights action must have
personal involvement in the alleged wrongs; liability cannot
be predicated solely on the operation of respondeat
superior"). The complaint does not allege any direct or
personal involvement by any Defendants other than in their
capacities as Bureau ...