The opinion of the court was delivered by: Martin C. Carlson United States Magistrate Judge
(Magistrate Judge Carlson)
The Plaintiff, a Federal inmate housed at the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg, commenced this action by filing a pro se complaint on August 11, 2010. (Doc. 1). In his complaint Kerce names the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Harley Lappin, and a dentist at the Lewisburg Penitentiary, Dr. Keith Baker, as Defendants. (Id.)
Kerce's complaint recites that he is a denture wearer and has been requesting that prison officials re-line his ill-fitting dentures. He insists that the delay in completing this task constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United states Constitution. Kerce's complaint goes on to premise the liability of Defendant Lappin upon his supervisory role within the federal prison system, alleging that Defendant Lappin is liable because he approved the Bureau of Prisons program statement governing prison dental services. Kerce then demands relief from the Defendants in the form of damages and an injunction directing the Defendants to provide him with better fitting dentures.(Id.)
Along with his complaint, Kerce has filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 2.) We will GRANT this motion, but having examined the Plaintiff's complaint we are notifying the Plaintiff that many of these allegations are subject to summary dismissal and we are directing the Plaintiff to file an amended complaint or otherwise respond to this order for the reasons set forth below.
This Court has a statutory obligation to conduct a preliminary review of pro se complaints which seek redress against government officials. Specifically, we are obliged to review the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A which provides, in pertinent part:
(a) Screening. - The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.
(b) Grounds for dismissal. - On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.
Under Section 1915A, the court must assess whether a pro se complaint "fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." This statutory text mirrors the language of Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides that a complaint should be dismissed for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).
With respect to this benchmark standard for legal sufficiency of a complaint, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has recently aptly noted the evolving standards governing pleading practice in federal court, stating that:
Standards of pleading have been in the forefront of jurisprudence in recent years. Beginning with the Supreme Court's opinion in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (12007) continuing with our opinion in Phillips [v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 230 (3d Cir. 2008)]and culminating recently with the Supreme Court's decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal --U.S.--, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009) pleading standards have seemingly shifted from simple notice pleading to a more ...