United States District Court, D. Delaware
Martinez, Newark, Delaware, Pro Se Plaintiff.
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Oscar Martinez ("Plaintiff'), a former inmate at the
James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware, now
released, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. (D.I. 2, 6) He appears pro se and
has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
(D.I. 8, 26) He seeks injunctive relief and requests counsel.
(D.I. 13, 20) The Court proceeds to review and screen the
matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b) and §
was placed on suicide watch in 2016. He alleges that
following the 2016 dismissal of a complaint he had filed in
the Delaware Superior Court against Defendant Connections
C.S.P. ("Connections"), medical and mental health
care providers retaliated against him for his continued
complaints about the lack of care.
Plaintiff alleges that in April 2017, Defendant Michelle
Marcantuno ("Marcantuno") retaliated against him
when she took him off all mental health medication. He
alleges that Marcantuno told Plaintiff that if he continued
to complain, she would take him off the medication for two
months. Plaintiff alleges that as of July 2017, Marcantuno
and the entire mental health staff refuse to meet with him.
He further alleges that medical staff and mental health
practitioners are under-prescribing his medications. He
constantly complains to seek an increase in dosage, but
medical and mental health refuse to help. Plaintiff alleges
that he personally told Defendant Peter Osinibi
("Osinibi") he would kill someone when he is
released if his issues are not addressed.
alleges that Connections fails to promptly acknowledge and
provide the minimum appropriate care for mentally ill
inmates. He alleges that inmates are retaliated against for
being outspoken when requests for legal calls are not
scheduled and sick call requests are not honored. Plaintiff
alleges that he does not receive treatment in a confidential
setting and the rounds in restrictive housing consist of a
contractor who looks in the window without engaging in any
conversation. Plaintiff alleges that Connections fails to
address his mental health status and continues to threaten
him with PCO (psychiatric close observation) status by
placing him on suicide watch without clothing. Plaintiff
feels he is in imminent danger of harm to himself and others
and is frustrated with the level of care.
filed his complaint on July 10, 2017. (D.I. 1) He filed an
Amended Complaint ("Complaint") on July 24, 2017.
(D.I. 6) For relief, Plaintiff seeks a court-ordered medical
opinion by an outside medical provider, an evaluation by
Rockford or MeadowWood Hospital, and compensatory damages. On
March 28, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion for injunctive
relief to receive treatment for his mental illness. (D.I. 13)
He also requests counsel. (D.I. 20)
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 Or. 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 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. See
Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 229 (3d
Cir. 2008). 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. 89, 94
(2007) (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; see also
Wilson v. Rackmill, 878 F.2d 772, 774 (3d Or. 1989);
Deutsch v. United States, 67 F.3d 1080, 1091-92 (3d
Cir. 1995) (holding frivolous a suit alleging that prison
officials took 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) and §
1915A(b)(1) 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 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 a 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
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 Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly,550 U.S. 544, 558 (2007). Though "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 Or. 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 ...