United States District Court, D. Delaware
EDWIN C. ANDREWS, Plaintiff,
PERRY PHELPS, et al., Defendants.
C. Andrews, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna,
Delaware, Pro Se Plaintiff.
CONNOLLY, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Edwin C. Andrews ("Plaintiff'), an inmate at the
James T. Vaughn Correctional Center ("VCC") in
Smyrna, Delaware, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. (D.I. 3) He appears pro se and
has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
(D.I. 5, 7) The Court proceeds to review and screen the
matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b) and §
1915A(a). Plaintiff requests counsel. (D.I. 8, 10)
suffers from Parkinson's disease. (D.I. 3 at ¶ 17)
Named Defendants include Delaware Department of Correction
("DOC") Commissioner Perry Phelps
("Phelps"), Connections Community Support Programs
("Connections"), DOC Acting Medical Director Marc
Richman ("Richman"), Dr. A. Jackson ("Dr.
Jackson"), Dr. Adrian Harewood ("Dr.
Harewood"), VCC Health Care Manager Matt Wofford
("Wofford"), and VCC Warden Dana Metzger
("Metzger") (incorrectly named as
"Metzer"). Plaintiff alleges that the DOC and
Connections, its medical contractor, "have policies,
practices, and customs of not providing needed specialized
medical services to incarcerated individuals] who suffer with
Parkinson's disease. (Id. at ¶ 1) Plaintiff
alleges the policy has left him in severe pain, unable to
function, and at risk for serious complications.
began his incarceration on July 1, 2014, and alleges that the
next day he was admitted to the hospital with uncontrolled
head movement and tremors. (Id. at ¶ 19) On
September 26, 2017, Plaintiff was "rushed to Jefferson
Hospital ... as a result [of] Parkinson's disease issues,
resulting from lack of medications and other issues."
(Id. at ¶ 18) On October 2, 2017, Plaintiff was
"rushed ... to Kent General Hospital. . . and the same
day moved to Jefferson Hospital. (Id. at ¶ 18)
alleges that outside medical specialists have informed him
that he needs to see a neuro ophthalmologist and Defendants
"constantly refuse [to] provide services."
(Id. at 20) Plaintiff alleges that none of the
Defendants have the expertise needed to treat him.
(Id. at ¶ 21) Plaintiff further alleges that
all Defendants know of his serious medical needs and have
intentionally delayed treatment or failed to provide
treatment. (Id. at ¶ 24) Finally, Plaintiff
alleges that Connections has a financial incentive to avoid
providing him the care he requires including sending him to
an outside specialist. (Id. at ¶22)
seeks declaratory and injunctive relief as well as
compensatory and punitive damages. He also requests counsel.
(D.I. 8, 10)
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. See
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, 551 U.S. at 94 (citations
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 Cir. 1989);
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
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 a claim under § 1915(e)(2)(B)). However, before
dismissing a complaint or claims for failure to state a claim
upon which relief can 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 Cir. 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