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Petty v. Evans

United States District Court, D. Delaware

October 15, 2019

JULIAN PETTY, Plaintiff,
v.
MS. CAROLE EVANS and MS. MOSLEY, Defendants.

          Julian Petty, Howard R. Young Correctional Institution, Wilmington, Delaware. Pro Se Plaintiff.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Julian Petty, an inmate at the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington, Delaware, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[1] (D.I. 3). Plaintiff appears pro se and has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (D.I. 5). The Court screens and reviews the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(a).

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff completed the Headstart Program that he alleges opened an opportunity for him to be classified as a Level 5 inmate or a mandatory worker completing his sentence at the Plummer Community Corrections Center in Wilmington, Delaware. On October 18, 2018, Dr. August, the head of mental health at the HYRCI examined Plaintiff. Plaintiff was also seen by Defendant Ms. Mosley, a counselor at Plummer who asked him a few questions. Plaintiff alleges that several counselors from the Headstart Program also spoke to Plaintiff, and they gave a good report as to his abilities. Plaintiff alleges that Mosley told Plaintiff he would have to meet with Plummer's Warden, Defendant Carole Evans. Plaintiff waited for about an hour and was again seen by Mosley who told Plaintiff he would need a mental health evaluation before anything else could transpire.

         Plaintiff was taken back to the HYRCI. Upon his return, Dr. Gen, a mental health physician, looked through Plaintiffs chart and saw the evaluation that Dr. August had performed. Dr. Gen advised Plaintiff she would make some telephone calls to determine why he had been wrongfully returned to the HYRCI. He was housed on a pod at the HRYCI "notorious for being a trouble maker housing area."

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendants lied about the necessity for Plaintiff to undergo a mental health evaluation. Plaintiff alleges that being lied to and moved around under false pretenses violated his constitutional rights and left him with a constant feeling of being unsafe.

         Plaintiff seeks an injunction to return him for a case review as well as compensatory damages.

         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). 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 (3dCir. 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. Tourscher v. 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.3d 103, 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 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. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). ...


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