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Corey Bracey v. Pennsylvania Department of Corrections ; Superintendent

May 18, 2012

COREY BRACEY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS ; SUPERINTENDENT HARLOW; DEPUTY HALL; DEPUTY
BRYANT; MAJOR GILLMORE; MAJOR SUTTER; CAPTAIN WHITE; CAPTAIN FRONZ; CAPTAIN MORROW; LIEUTENANT DEAL; SERGEANT WOLFE; CORRECTION OFFICER STAFFORD; MAXINE OVERTON; DR. ROMAN; MENTAL HEALTH MANAGEMENT; WILLIAM WOODS; JOE BROWNLEE; E. BROWNLEE, GR- 9693; CORRECTION OFFICER HARMON; LIEUTENANT IRWIN; AND SERGEANT RUFF, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: District Judge Sean J. McLaughlin

Magistrate Judge Maureen P. Kelly

[ECF No. 83]

OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff has filed "Objections to Proposed Order of District Court" [ECF No. 83], which the Court construes as a Motion for Reconsideration of this Court's Order of March 9, 2012, [ECF No. 78]. The March 9, 2012, Order amended a prior Order adopting Magistrate Judge Kelly's Report and Recommendation with regard to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [ECF No. 40], and clarified which of Plaintiff's many claims had been dismissed including Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claims against Defendants Roman and Mental Health Management. Plaintiff contends that Magistrate Judge Kelly's Report and Recommendation [ECF No. 74] did not recommend the dismissal of these claims or these Defendants and, accordingly, this Court erred as a matter of law in dismissing Defendants Roman and Mental Health Management.

On the contrary, review of the report indicates clearly that Magistrate Kelly recommended dismissal of Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claims of deliberate indifference arising out of allegedly inadequate mental health treatment. This recommendation was based in part upon the record previously filed with the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Injunctive Relief, of which the Court properly took notice. *fn1 In the absence of viable claims against them, Defendants Roman and Mental Health Management were properly dismissed from the action.

The Court's obligation to dismiss a complaint under the PLRA screening provisions is not excused even after defendants have filed a motion to dismiss. See, e.g., Lopez v. Smith, 203 F.3d 1122, 1126 n.6 (9th Cir. 2000). As clearly provided by the PLRA, the Court is obligated to dismiss claims unsupported in law or fact at any time:

(2) Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any timeif 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)(emphasis added). Hence, if there is a ground for dismissal which was not relied upon by a defendant in a motion to dismiss, or, if one of the defendants in a multi-defendant suit did not even file such a motion to dismiss, the court may nonetheless sua sponte rest its dismissal upon such ground pursuant to the screening provisions of the PLRA. See Lopez; Dare v. U.S., CIV.A.06-115E, 2007 WL 1811198, at *4 (W.D.Pa. June 21, 2007), aff'd, 264 F. App'x. 183 (3d Cir. 2008).

Plaintiff again argues that his Complaint sufficiently states claims against Defendants Mental Health Management and Roman for failing to give him a proper diagnosis; failing to treat his mental illness by reducing his Disciplinary Custody "time;" failing to procure his removal from the Restricted Housing Unit at SCI-Albion; failing to provide a "proper diagnosis and treatment recommendation;" and for "upholding the objectives of the DOC even when detrimental to the stability and well being of the mentally ill." [ECF No. 16, ΒΆΒΆ 85-90, 126-127]. Plaintiff thus asserts a disagreement over the proper diagnosis and treatment for his alleged mental health infirmity. Such claims, rooted in the propriety or adequacy of a particular course of treatment, do not support a Section 1983 Eighth Amendment claim and are more appropriately addressed through a properly supported state tort malpractice claim. "[M]ere disagreement as to the proper medical treatment" does not support an Eighth Amendment claim. Monmouth County Correctional ...


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