United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
Cynthia Reed Eddy United States Magistrate Judge
before the Court is Defendants Mark Cappozza, Leo Dunn and
John Wetzel's Motion to Dismiss [ECF No. 45, 62] and
Defendants Colin Fischetti and Gaudenzia, Inc.'s Motion
to Dismiss [ECF No. 47]. The motions are fully briefed and
ripe for disposition. For the reasons that follow, said
motions are GRANTED and Plaintiff's complaint is
dismissed with prejudice.
Micky Mayon (“Plaintiff” or “Mayon”)
a prisoner presently confined at State Correctional
Institution (“SCI”) at Fayette and proceeding
pro se, initiated this civil rights action on August
8, 2015. [ECF Nos. 1, 4]. Defendants filed Motions to Dismiss
[ECF Nos. 29, 35]. Plaintiff responded to the motions by
filing an Amended Complaint and a “Notice, ”
supplementing the Amended Complaint [ECF Nos. 41, 42].
Defendants filed Motions to Dismiss the Amended Complaint
[ECF Nos. 45, 47] to which Plaintiff filed an Omnibus
Response [ECF No. 59]. On February 6, 2017, the Court ordered
supplemental briefing [ECF no. 65], which the parties
provided. [ECF Nos. 66, 67, 70].
defendants are named solely in their official capacities and
Plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief only. [ECF
Nos. 41, ¶¶ 1- 5, 64, 65; 42].
is presently a Pennsylvania state prisoner incarcerated at
the State Correctional Institution (“SCI”) at
Fayette. The allegations which give rise to this Complaint
occurred while Mayon was incarcerated at SCI-Pittsburgh,
prior to his transfer to SCI-Fayette in March 2014. According
to Plaintiff, while incarcerated at SCI-Pittsburgh, in order
to qualify for parole, Mayon entered a rehabilitative program
called Therapeutic Community (“T.C.”). He alleges
that he was denied parole because he did not survive
Mayon refers to T.C. as “The Pogroms.”
Mayon alleges that participation in T.C. violates his First
Amendment rights, the Eighth Amendment and the Religious Land
Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C.
§§ 2000cc-2000cc-5. He alleges that there is
nothing rehabilitative about T.C. and that his participation
in T.C. violates his beliefs because, inter alia:
At an early age, Plaintiff was inoculated with a healthy
skepticism of big oppressive governments (Revelation 13:1-9)
and other Christian tenets like tattling is a sin (II Timothy
3:1-4, Proverbs 30:10-14). Plaintiff retains these beliefs to
this day. Without regard for Plaintiff or his beliefs, the
Defendants forced him to say and do the reverse.
[ECF No. 41, ¶ 30].
Standards of Review
Pro Se Litigants
se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than
more formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976); Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). As such, a pro
se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 must be
construed liberally, Hunterson v. DiSabato, 308 F.3d
236, 243 (3d Cir. 2002), so “as to do substantial
justice.” Alston v. Parker, 363 F.3d 229, 234
(3d Cir. 2004) (citations omitted). In other words, if the
court can reasonably read pleadings to state a valid claim on
which the litigant could prevail, it should do so despite
failure to cite proper legal authority, confusion of legal
theories, poor syntax and sentence construction, or the
litigant's unfamiliarity with pleading requirements.
Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364 (1982); United
States ex rel. Montgomery v. Bierley, 141 F.2d 552, 555
(3d Cir.1969) (petition prepared by a prisoner may be
inartfully drawn and should be read “with a measure of
tolerance”). Notwithstanding this liberality, pro
se litigants are not relieved of their obligation to
allege sufficient facts to support a cognizable legal claim.
See, e.g., Taylor v. Books A Million, Inc., 296 F.3d
376, 378 (5th Cir. 2002). Because Plaintiff is a pro
se litigant, this Court may consider facts and make
inferences where it is appropriate.
Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6)
applicable inquiry under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) is well settled. Under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 8, a complaint must contain a “short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides that a complaint may be
dismissed for “failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
“To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.' ” Ashcroft v. Iqbal,556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A complaint that merely alleges
entitlement to relief, without alleging facts that show
entitlement, must be dismissed. See Fowler v. UPMC
Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 211 (3d Cir. 2009). This
“‘does not impose a probability requirement at
the pleading stage, ' but instead ‘simply calls for
enough facts to raise a reasonable expectation that discovery
will reveal evidence of' the necessary elements.”
Phillips v. Cnty. of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 234
(3d Cir. 2008) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
Nevertheless, the ...