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Marty Boanes, Junior v. Jacqueline K. Matter

January 31, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. John E. Jones III



Plaintiff Marty Boanes, Junior ("Plaintiff" or "Boanes"), a state inmate who currently is housed at the Clinton County Correctional Facility ("CCCF") in McElhattan, Pennsylvania, initiated the above action pro se by filing a Complaint under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1.) He simultaneously filed a Motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 2) in this action.

Based on the request to proceed in forma pauperis, the Complaint is before the Court for screening under the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's claims will be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.


In his Complaint, which is dated January 21, 2011, and which was filed on January 24, 2011, Boanes explains that, since early 2009, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections ("DOC") has been housing state inmates at the CCCF pursuant to a contract, and that he was transferred from the Frackville State Correctional Institution ("SCI Frackville") to the CCCF on January 19, 2011. (Doc. 1 at 2 § IV. ¶ 1.) Boanes alleges that, since his transfer to the CCCF, he had not been provided with "necessary or reasonable time" to perform legal research and that the law library does not have the books he needed to research and file a petition for writ of habeas corpus. (Id. ¶¶ 2-3.) He specifically alleges that the law library does not have "relevant state and federal statutes, Shepard[']s citations, basic treatises on habeas corpus, prisoners' civil rights, etc..." (Id. ¶ 3.)

As relief, Plaintiff requests that the Court award him $200,000 and/or transfer him back to a DOC facility. He also requests an extension of time to file a federal habeas corpus petition. (Id. at 3 § V.)


Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), a federal court must dismiss a case filed in forma pauperis if the court determines that the complaint "fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted." In reviewing the legal sufficiency of a complaint, the Court must accept the truth of the plaintiff's factual allegations. Morrison v. Madison Dearborn Capital Partners III L.P., 463 F.3d 312, 314 (3d Cir. 2006). The controlling question is whether the complaint "alleges enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007) (rejecting the "no set of facts" language from Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957)); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, - - - U.S. - - - - , 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009).

"While a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the 'grounds' of his 'entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of a cause of action's elements will not do." Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citation omitted). To survive a motion to dismiss, the factual allegations in the complaint "must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level." Id.

Pro se pleadings are to be construed liberally, Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), and pro se litigants are to be granted leave to file a curative amended complaint "even when a plaintiff does not seek leave to amend . . . unless such an amendment would be inequitable or futile." Alston v. Parker, 363 F.3d 229, 235 (3d Cir. 2004). However, a complaint that sets forth facts which affirmatively demonstrate that the plaintiff has no right to recover is properly dismissed without leave to amend. Grayson v. Mayview State Hospital, 293 F.3d 103, 108 (3d Cir. 2002).


In the section of his form Complaint requiring Boanes to state whether he has exhausted his administrative remedies before filing this action, he admits that he has not filed a grievance concerning the facts relating to his Complaint. (Doc. 1 at 1 § II. ¶ B.) In explaining his failure to even initiate the grievance process, Plaintiff states that, "Numerous inmates have filed grievance [sic] concerning this issue to no avail." (Id.)

The Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") requires inmates to present their claims through an administrative grievance process before filing suit in federal court. Specifically, section 1997e(a) of Title 42 of the United States Code provides that "[n]o action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983 of this title, or any other Federal law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility until such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted." This "exhaustion requirement applies to all inmate suits about prison life, whether they involve general ...

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