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WILLIAMS v. FRAME

May 19, 1993

WILLIE RAY WILLIAMS AND MICHELLE DEJESUS
v.
THOMAS FRAME, WARDEN, CHESTER COUNTY PRISON, et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: EDUARDO C. ROBRENO

 EDUARDO C. ROBRENO, J.

 MAY 19, 1993

 I. INTRODUCTION

 On September 17, 1992, Willie Ray Williams and Michelle Dejesus submitted to the Court a lengthy and rambling pro se complaint alleging a litany of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights violations they claim to have suffered, respectively, at the hands of the Warden of Chester County Prison and various corrections officers. The complaint was signed by Williams alone ostensibly because Williams, a layman, was purporting to act on Dejesus's behalf. By Memorandum and Order dated December 16, 1993, this Court returned the complaint to Dejesus for her signature on the grounds that Fed. R. Civ. P. 11 requires that all pleadings be signed by a party or the party's attorney and that Williams was precluded by law from acting as Dejesus's attorney. Williams v. Frame, 145 F.R.D. 65 (E.D.Pa. 1992). The Court expressly reserved judgment on whether the complaint would be dismissed as frivolous.

 Since the December 16 Order, Dejesus has, in fact, returned a signed complaint. After Dejesus signed the complaint, however, Williams submitted to the Court a "Motion for Leave to File a Supplemental Amended Complaint," with an amended complaint attached. The amended complaint is substantially identical to the original complaint as to Williams's claims, with some additional allegations included. Most of Dejesus's claims have been omitted from the amended complaint. The amended complaint, although purportedly asserted on behalf of both Williams and Dejesus, *fn1" is once again signed only by Williams.

 By virtue of the December 16 Order, the Plaintiffs were on notice that unless they were represented by counsel, both of them must sign all pleadings submitted to the Court. This instruction has now been ignored, and there is no reason to believe it will not be so ignored again in the future. For this reason, the Court will sever Dejesus's claim from Williams's so as to allow each Plaintiff to submit his/her pleading without need for the other's signature. The Clerk will be directed to assign the complaint signed by Dejesus a new civil action number separate from this one. From this point forth, all pleadings filed on behalf of Williams will be docketed in this action, and all pleadings filed on behalf of Dejesus will be filed on the docket of the new action. The Plaintiffs are once again reminded that no pleading will be considered unless it is signed by the Plaintiff in his/her case. Fed. R. Civ. P. 11.

 The remainder of this Memorandum relates to the substance of Williams's amended complaint. Since the original complaint signed by Dejesus will be docketed at a new docket number, the Court will enter a separate Order addressing the merits of her claims.

 II. THE AMENDED COMPLAINT

 Williams attempts to amend his original complaint to withdraw his claims against two corrections officers and add the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County as a new defendant. At the same time Williams also filed a "Motion for Preliminary Injunction Pending Permanent Injunction" and supporting memoranda, *fn2" wherein he further embellishes his original allegations and seeks to plead additional claims. Since the original complaint was never filed on the docket of the Court, the Court will deem the original complaint moot and will address the merits of the amended complaint. As noted above, however, the two are, in any event, substantially identical as to Williams.

 Willie Ray Williams has been an inmate at Chester County Prison since March 1991. In his various pleadings, he alleges constitutional violations arising from misconducts given to him by staff members, denial of prison employment, denial of minimum security status, denial of parole, tampering with his personal and legal mail, withholding personal property, denial of food, smoke inhalation, denial of use of the copy machine, denial of medical treatment, denial of freedom of religious association, illegal conviction, misinformation in his records, denial of purchase of a typewriter, cost of legal supplies, denial of adequate law library access, and refusal to provide grievance forms. In a few pleadings, Plaintiff *fn3" manages to touch upon many of the issues of inmate rights which have become "impassioned, expansive and complicated." Robbins, "The Prisoners' Mail Box and the Evaluation of Federal Inmate Rights" 144 F.R.D. 127, 131 (1993). The common denominator of this veritable cafeteria of constitutional theories is Plaintiff's belief that various prison officials and others are conspiring to harass him and violate his constitutional rights. As to nearly every claim, however, Plaintiff's constitutional grasp exceeds his factual reach.

 With his complaint, Plaintiff filed a request for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. As it appears he is unable to pay the cost of commencing this action, leave to proceed in forma pauperis is granted.

 1. CONSPIRACY

 Plaintiff's allegation that he is the victim of a conspiracy to deny his constitutional rights is dismissed as legally frivolous. Not only is the complaint devoid of credible factual allegations, but there is not so much as a hint that Plaintiff's perceived plight is the result of any "agreement, either explicit or implicit, to commit an unlawful act, combined with intent to commit the underlying offense." United States v. Kapp, 781 F.2d 1008, 1010 (3d Cir.), cert. denied sub nom, 479 U.S. 821 (1986). An averment of conspiracy without supporting facts is a conclusion of law and is insufficient to plead a § 1983 claim. Kalmanovitz v. G. Heileman Brewing Co., 595 F. Supp. 1385, 1400 (D. Del. 1984), aff'd, 769 F.2d 152 (3rd Cir. 1985).

 2. MISCONDUCTS

 Plaintiff alleges that administrative policies and procedures applicable to inmate conduct are not set forth in the Chester County Prison's inmate handbook, and the inmates do not otherwise have access to this information. Plaintiff claims that the procedure allows the prison guards to set rules of conduct at the prison and consequently to arbitrarily assign misconducts to the inmates who violate these guard-imposed rules. Plaintiff recounts several incidents which he believes show a pattern of harassment and intimidation. Specifically, he mentions being intentionally given less food than other inmates or inedible food, and then receiving misconducts for taking additional food or attempting to return the inedible food. He also alleges that he was given misconducts for not providing an inmate with legal assistance, and for refusing to occupy an upper bunk when he alleges that he could not make the climb due to an arthritic leg.

 3. DENIAL OF PRISON EMPLOYMENT

 Plaintiff alleges that, as part of the conspiracy to harass him, he was denied employment in the prison. This claim is dismissed as legally frivolous pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d), as inmates have no constitutional right to prison employment. Williams v. Meese, 926 F.2d 994 (10th Cir. 1991). Nothing in this complaint suggests that Plaintiff, who indicates that he is in administrative segregation, was denied prison employment for impermissible reasons.

 4. DENIAL OF MINIMUM SECURITY STATUS

 Plaintiff's claim that he should be transferred from administrative segregation to minimum security status is dismissed as frivolous. Plaintiff has no right under the U.S. Constitution to any specific custody status. Montanye v. Haymes, 427 U.S. 236, 242, 49 L. Ed. 2d 466 , 96 S. Ct. 2543 (1976). Further, Plaintiff, a county prison inmate, has not identified any Pennsylvania regulation that can be said to create such an interest in his case. See Tyler v. Rapone, 603 F. Supp. 268 (E.D.Pa. 1985) (Pennsylvania regulations governing administrative segregation of county, as opposed to state, inmates do not create a liberty ...


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