United States District Court, D. Delaware
Michael Raduszewski, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center,
Smyrna, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.
ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Michael Raduszewski, 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). Plaintiff appears
pro se and has been granted leave to proceed in
forma pauperis. (D.I. 6). The Court screens and reviews
the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)
has been incarcerated at the JTVCC since April 2013. He
refers to the stipulated agreement entered in Community
Legal Aid Society, Inc. v. Coupe, Civ. No. 15-688-GMS
("CLASI") at D.I. 38, that addresses the needs of
mentally ill inmates housed within the Delaware Department of
Correction ("DOC"). Plaintiff alleges that he was
one of "the original 100 inmates" that CLASI sought
to protect and, since entry of the August 31, 2016 order,
Defendant DOC Commissioner Perry Phelps
("Defendant") has sought to undermine and roll back
the implementation of solitary confinement reform for
seriously mentally ill inmates.
One alleges that Plaintiff is not receiving the higher level
of care he requires for his mental illness. He also alleges
that he has been denied medical treatment for a spine
condition and has not received required surgery. He alleges
that he was been placed in the security housing unit
("SHU") to mask DOG violations of the CLASI
agreement so the DOC could appear compliant. Plaintiff
alleges that he "recs in cages," there is
"constant cuffing/shackling, limited phone/family
contact, no contact visits, [and] less commissary."
(D.I. 1 at 6).
Two alleges that Defendant stood in the way of Plaintiffs
proper mental health treatment and created conditions
"where [Plaintiff] cannot earn good time as a result of
retaliation by DOC." (Id. at 7). Plaintiff
alleges this serves to punish a seriously mentally ill inmate
and keeps the inmate in prison longer by denying him the
ability to earn all available good time. Plaintiff alleges he
is not provided proper treatment, and the DOC is not adhering
to all the requirements of the CLASI agreement in violation
of procedural and substantive rights to due process.
seeks injunctive relief, compensatory and punitive damages,
and requests counsel.
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.
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. Tourscherv.
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 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, 574 U.S. 10 (2014). A complaint may not
dismissed, however, for imperfect statements of the legal
theory supporting the claim asserted. See Id. at 10.
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 Constr. 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)). ...