Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Raduszewski v. Phelps

United States District Court, D. Delaware

June 17, 2019

MICHAEL RADUSZEWSKI, Plaintiff,
v.
PERRY PHELPS, Defendant.

          Michael Raduszewski, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Michael Raduszewski, an inmate at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[1] (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) and§1915A(a).

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff 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.[2]

         Count 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).

         Count 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. (Id.).

         Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, compensatory and punitive damages, and requests counsel.

         SCREENING OF COMPLAINT

         A 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.

         An 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).

         The 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 Cir. 2002).

         A 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.

         A court 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)). ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.