United States District Court, D. Delaware
Wayne Anderson, James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Smyrna,
Delaware, Pro Se Plaintiff.
U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Tyrone Wayne Anderson ('plaintiff'), an inmate at the
James T. Vaughn Correctional Center ("JTVCC") in
Smyrna, Delaware, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983.(D.I. 3) He appears prose and has
been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
(D.I. 5) He also requests counsel. (D.I. 4) The Court
proceeds to review and screen the matter pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(b) and 1915A(a).
alleges his constitutional rights were violated when he was
transferred from the JTVCC to the Howard R. Young
Correctional Institution ("HRYCI") in Wilmington,
Delaware, on February 2, 2017, following the JTVCC prison
uprising that resulted in the death of correctional officer
Lt Steven Floyd. At the time, Defendant David Pierce
("Pierce") was the JTVCC warden. Plaintiff alleges
that Defendant Delaware Department of Correction's
("DOC”) Perry Phelps ("Phelps") ordered
the transfer of some JTVCC inmates to the HRYCI in order to
make room so that inmates who had been housed in the JTVCC C
Building, where the uprising occurred, could be housed
time, Defendant Steven Wesley ("Wesley") was the
HRYCI warden. (D.I. 3 at 7) When Plaintiff arrived at the
HRYCI, he was housed in "inmate confinement" or
"the hole, " and he remained there until March 3,
2017. Plaintiff alleges he had done nothing wrong and had no
write-ups. However, while housed in "the hole, "
Plaintiff alleges that he was repeatedly cuffed during bars
and window checks, fed "under portion and mistreated,
" and that the guards spoke to him as if he had
participated in the prison uprising. (D.I. 3 at 6) Plaintiff
alleges that he was denied mental health attention and there
was a continued lack of medical and mental health care -
although he also alleges that every day a nurse made rounds
to see if he was stable. (Id) He further alleges
there was a non-responsive and ineffective grievance system
for medical and other grievances. (Id.) At some
point, Plaintiff returned to the JTVCC. He was housed there
when he commenced this action on December 28, 2018. (D.I. 3)
relief, Plaintiff wants Defendant DOC to be held accountable.
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." hall 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 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 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 Cir. 2002).
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). Although
"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 Asbcroft 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 substantive plausibility. See Johnson v. City
of Shelby, 574 U.S. 10 (2014). A complaint may not be
dismissed for imperfect statements of the legal theory
supporting the claim asserted. See id.
the pleading regime established by Twombly and
Iqbal, 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, the
court should assume their veracity and then determine whether
they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief. See
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. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679