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Vega v. Pocono Regional Police Department

United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania

April 25, 2014

DAVID VEGA, Plaintiff
v.
POCONO REGIONAL POLICE DEPARTMENT, et al., Defendants

Mariani Judge

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

Susan E. Schwab United States Magistrate Judge

I. Introduction.

After screening the complaint in this case in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), I conclude that the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted against two of the three defendants and that the third defendant is entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity. Thus, I recommend that the complaint be dismissed.

II. Factual Background and Procedural History.

The plaintiff, David Vega, filed a civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.[1] The case was subsequently transferred to this Court, and Vega filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis. By a separate order, I have granted Vega’s application to proceed in forma pauperis, but after screening the complaint, I conclude that the complaint should be dismissed.

The complaint names the following three defendants: (1) the Pocono Regional Police Department; (2) the Monroe County Correctional Facility; and (3) the Monroe County Department of Probation and Parole. Vega alleges that he was released from the Monroe County Correctional Facility without signing any documents. According to Vega, once he arrived in New York City, he was arrested based on a warrant for not reporting on parole. Vega alleges that after he was arrested, he was taken to Rikers Island, and he spoke to a parole officer from the Department of Parole at the Monroe County Correctional Facility. The parole officer allegedly told Vega that his supervisor did not want to talk to him and that they know he is in jail.

Vega claims that his civil rights were violated three different times. First, he claims that Scott Dunlap and his partner investigated him instead of investigating the alleged rape of his girlfriend. Second, he claims that the Monroe County Correctional Facility failed to inform him of his parole obligations. Third, he claims that a supervisor from the Monroe County Department of Probation and Parole refused to listen to him at Rikers Island about the possibility of a parole violation error. For relief, Vega seeks money damages to compensate for his pain, suffering and mental anguish and he requests the Attorney General to investigate the matter.

This Court has jurisdiction over this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. I am required to screen the complaint in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915.

III. Discussion.

A. Screening of Pro Se Complaints-Standard of Review.

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1), if the plaintiff establishes that he or she is unable to pay the costs of the suit, the court may allow a plaintiff to proceed in forma pauperis. In re Binsack, 446 F.App'x 445, 447 (3d Cir. 2011). Although there is language in the statute that refers to prisoners, § 1915(a) is not restricted to prisoner suits. Martinez v. Kristie Kleaners, Inc., 364 F.3d 1305, 1306 n. 1 (11th Cir. 2004). In an action in which the plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis, I am obliged to review the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 1915(e)(2) which provides:

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

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