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Nash v. Shannon

May 7, 2007

AASIM NASH, PLAINTIFF
v.
SUPERINTENDENT ROBERT SHANNON, ET AL. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Chief Judge Kane

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

I. Background

Plaintiff, Aasim Nash, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution in Graterford, Pennsylvania ("SCI-Graterford"), filed this pro se civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on January 29, 2007.*fn1 The complaint is presently before the Court for preliminary screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff will be required to file an amended complaint within twenty (20) days of the date of this Order or his complaint will be dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to state a claim.

II. Discussion

The complaint names as defendants Robert Shannon, Superintendent of the State Correctional Institution in Frackville, Pennsylvania ("SCI-Frackville"), and "employees at SCIFrackville." (Doc. 1 at 2.) In the complaint, Plaintiff raises issues involving alleged sexual assault by prison officials. Plaintiff seeks transfer to another prison facility.*fn2

District courts are required to screen all civil cases brought by prisoners. See28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). That section provides as follows:

(2) Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that -

(A) the allegation of poverty is untrue; or

(B) the action or appeal

(i) is frivolous or malicious;

(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or

(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). In applying the statutory requirement under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), the Court relies on the standard employed to analyze motions to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), which authorizes a defendant to seek dismissal of a complaint on basically the same ground, "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Thus, the Court accepts as true the factual allegations of the complaint, White v. Napolean, 897 F.2d 103, 106 (3d Cir. 1990), and decides in reviewing the complaint "whether under any reasonable reading of the pleadings, plaintiff[s] may be entitled to relief." Simon v. Cebrick, 53 F.3d 17, 19 (3d Cir. 1995).

In order to assert an actionable civil rights claim, a plaintiff must allege that some person has deprived him of a federal right, and that the person who caused the deprivation acted under color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). Further, a prerequisite for a viable civil rights claim is that a defendant directed, or knew of and acquiesced in, the deprivation of a plaintiff's constitutional rights. See, e.g., Monell v. Department of Social Serv. of the City of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 694-95 (1978); Gay v. Petsock, 917 F.2d 768, 771 (3d Cir. 1990). ...


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