United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MALACHY E. MANNION United States District Judge.
David Ruffin, an inmate at the Retreat State Correctional
Institution, Hunlock Creek (“SCI-Retreat”),
Pennsylvania, filed the above captioned civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983. (Doc. 1,
complaint). He claims that his maximum sentence date was June
14, 2016, and that due to the fact that he was charged with
institutional misconducts, he is “stuck in the RHU on
disciplinary custody until June of 2018.” Id.
To date he claims that he has “not had an opportunity
to be heard by Parole and no reason give for Parole
further claims that on June 6, 2016, he was transferred to
SCI-Retreat from SCI-Dallas “as an D-Stability
prisoner” because he “suffers from a mental
impairment consisting of emotional illness.”
Id. However, once at SCI-Dallas, he was
“denied participation in D-Stability services for
cussing at PA O'Brien.” Id.
Plaintiff filed the instant action seeking “to be seen
and heard by Parole Board in a parole hearing” to
determine whether “or not [he is] housed in the RHU
undergoing DC time or to be released from the DOC for early
release” as well as “to be re-examined for
D-Stability programming or to be placed in D-Stability
with the filing of his complaint, Ruffin submitted an
application to proceed in forma pauperis under 28
U.S.C. §1915. (Doc. 2).
must dismiss, at the earliest practicable time, certain
in forma pauperis and prisoner actions that are
frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim, or seek monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.
See 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2) (in forma
pauperis actions); 28 U.S.C. §1915A (actions in
which prisoner seeks redress from a governmental defendant);
42 U.S.C. §1997e (prisoner actions brought with respect
to prison conditions). Because Plaintiff proceeds pro
se, his pleading is liberally construed and his
complaint, “however inartfully pleaded, must be held to
less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007). The Court has conducted an initial screening of
Plaintiff's complaint, and for the reasons set forth
below, Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma
pauperis will be granted, and the Plaintiff's
complaint will be dismissed as legally frivolous.
order to state a viable section 1983 claim, a plaintiff must
plead two essential elements: (1) that the conduct complained
of was committed by a person acting under color of state law,
and (2) that said conduct deprived the plaintiff of a right,
privilege, or immunity secured by the Constitution or laws of
the United States. Groman v. Twp. of Manalapan, 47
F.3d 628, 638 (3d Cir. 1995); Shaw by Strain v.
Strackhouse, 920 F.2d 1135, 1141-42 (3d Cir. 1990).
“To establish liability for deprivation of a
constitutional right under §1983, a party must show
personal involvement by each defendant.” Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 676-77 (2009) (“Because
vicarious liability is inapplicable to Bivens and
§1983 suits, a plaintiff must plead that each
Government-official defendant, through the official's own
individual actions, has violated the Constitution.”));
see Santiago v. Warminster Twp., 629 F.3d 121, 130
(3d Cir. 2010).
respect to Plaintiff's request for a parole hearing or to
be released from confinement, it is well-settled that
prisoners cannot use §1983 to challenge the fact or
duration of their confinement or to seek immediate or
speedier release. Preiser v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475
(1973). Although a writ of habeas corpus is not explicitly
raised in Plaintiff's filings, to the extent that Ruffin
seeks release, a person in state custody may file an
application for a writ of habeas corpus challenging the fact
or length of his confinement under section 2254. 28 U.S.C.
§2254. “Congress has determined that habeas corpus
is the appropriate remedy for state prisoners attacking the
validity of the fact or length of their confinement, and that
specific determination must override the general terms of
§1983.” Preiser, 411 U.S. at 499
(determining that challenges to the fact or duration of
physical confinement, or seeking an immediate or speedier
release from that confinement is the heart of habeas corpus);
Leamer v. Fauver, 288 F.3d 532, 542 (3d Cir. 2002)
(holding, “when the challenge is to a condition of
confinement such that a finding in plaintiff's favor
would not alter his sentence or undo his conviction, an
action under §1983 is appropriate”). Consequently,
to the extent Plaintiff is seeking habeas relief pursuant to
section 2254, his complaint will be dismissed without
to the extent that Plaintiff seeks to “be placed in
D-Stability programming”, it is well established that
prisoners have no inherent constitutional right to placement
in any particular prison, to any security or custody
classification, or to any particular housing assignment.
See Olim v. Wakinekona, 461 U.S. 238, 245 (1983);
Moody v. Daggett, 429 U.S. 78, 88, (1976);
Montanye v. Haymes, 427 U.S. 236, 242 (1976). Thus,
inmates do not have a liberty interest in retaining or
receiving any particular security or custody status
“[a]s long as the [challenged] conditions or degree of
confinement is within the sentence imposed ... and is not
otherwise violative of the Constitution.” Id.
As such, Plaintiff's complaint will be dismissed.
light of the foregoing, the above captioned action, filed
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983, will be
DISMISSED, without prejudice, as legally
frivolous under 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)2(B)(i), and the ...