The opinion of the court was delivered by: Chief Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan
This case was originally filed in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and transferred to this Court on October 23, 2012. Edward F. Jenkins ("Plaintiff") is an inmate formerly confined in the State Correctional Institution at Fayette ("SCI-Fayette") and he has filed a civil rights Complaint against thirty-two (32) employees of SCI-Fayette and entities of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Upon review of Plaintiff's Complaint, the Court finds that Plaintiff has failed to set forth his claims adequately and his Complaint is insufficient in several regards. Therefore, he is ordered to submit an amended complaint. In amending, Plaintiff should abide by the following instructions.
I.Instructions for Filing an Amended Complaint
Plaintiff must place his full name at the top of the amended complaint. Plaintiff must also add the names of each defendant. Plaintiff must name as defendants only those persons who are responsible for the alleged constitutional violation(s).*fn1
Plaintiff must inform the Court why the case should be heard in federal court rather than state court or some other forum. If Plaintiff's action is generally one for a violation of civil rights, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 will normally be the basis for the claim. In order for Plaintiff's action to be heard in federal court under Section 1983, he must be able to show that the defendant(s), at the time of the claims alleged in the amended complaint, were acting under the authority or color of state law.
As the person initiating the lawsuit, Plaintiff must identify himself as such. Also, for each defendant named in the amended complaint, Plaintiff should list their current address and description of their employment. In addition, Plaintiff should explain briefly how or in what capacity each defendant acted under authority given to them by state or local government.
Plaintiff must state what rights under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States have been violated. It is improper for Plaintiff to merely list constitutional rights or federal rights. Plaintiff must provide a description of how the defendant(s) violated his rights.
Plaintiff must provide specific details of precisely how his civil rights were allegedly violated. Plaintiff should note that, in civil rights cases, more than conclusory and vague allegations are required to state a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff should clearly describe how each named defendant is involved in the alleged constitution violation(s).
This description should include references to relevant dates, times, and locations. It should explain to the Court what happened by specifically describing each defendant's behavior or action and how that behavior or action -- or lack of action -- resulted in the alleged violations. Plaintiff should not include legal argument in his amended complaint. Citations to case law and other statutes are not appropriate in the complaint, but rather may be included in a response to a dispositive motion or at the time of trial. However, Plaintiff should be specific about ...