Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Rios v. Dauphin County Prison

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

May 16, 2017

DAVID RIOS, Plaintiff
v.
DAUPHIN COUNTY PRISON, Defendant

          MEMORANDUM

          Matthew W. Brann United States District Judge

         Background

         David Rios initiated this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Named as sole Defendant is the Dauphin County Prison, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.. See Doc. 1, ¶ III.. Along with his complaint, Rios submitted an in forma pauperis application.[1] For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's action will be dismissed, without prejudice, as legally frivolous pursuant to the screening provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915.

         According to the Complaint, Plaintiff was confined in the Dauphin County Prison on September 29, 2015 when he allegedly fell while getting down from his upper bunk bed. Specifically, Rios asserts that his foot slipped as he was trying to step down onto a table. As a result of the fall, Plaintiff suffered a laceration to his forehead which required eight sutures and “a split & swollen right eye.”[2] Doc. 1 ¶ IV(1). He also allegedly suffered memory loss, blurred vison, headaches, and dizziness. Rios contends that his fall “was due to the lack of safety ladders not installed on all top beds in cells or dayrooms.” Id. at (2). Plaintiff also points out that he remained assigned to the top bunk for approximately one (1) month following the incident before being assigned to a lower bunk. The complaint seeks compensatory damages and injunctive relief (including installation of safety ladders and railings).

         Discussion

         Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915 imposes obligations on prisoners who file civil actions in federal court and wish to proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915, e.g., that the full filing fee ultimately be paid (at least in a non-habeas suit) § 1915(e)(2)provides:

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

         When considering a complaint accompanied by a motion to proceed in forma pauperis, a district court may rule that process should not be issued if the complaint is malicious, presents an indisputably meritless legal theory, or is predicated on clearly baseless factual contentions. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327-28 (1989); Wilson v. Rackmill, 878 F.2d 772, 774 (3d Cir. 1989).

         Indisputably meritless legal theories are those “in which either it is readily apparent that the plaintiff's complaint lacks an arguable basis in law or that the defendants are clearly entitled to immunity from suit ... .” Roman v. Jeffes, 904 F.2d 192, 194 (3d Cir. 1990) (quoting Sultenfuss v. Snow, 894 F.2d 1277, 1278 (11th Cir. 1990)).

         The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has added that “the plain meaning of ‘frivolous' authorizes the dismissal of in forma pauperis claims that . . . are of little or no weight, value, or importance, not worthy of serious consideration, or trivial.” Deutsch v. United States, 67 F.3d 1080, 1083 (3d Cir. 1995). It also has been determined that “the frivolousness determination is a discretionary one, ” and trial courts “are in the best position” to determine when an indigent litigant's complaint is appropriate for summary dismissal. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992).

         Address

         Rios initially lists his address as 310 North Third Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the caption of his pending complaint. See Doc. 1, p. 1. However, Plaintiff's accompanying in forma pauperis application asserts that his address is 39 North Fourth Street, Lemoyne, Pennsylvania.[3]

         M.D. Pa. Local Rule 83.18 provides that a pro se litigant has an affirmative obligation to keep the Court informed of his or her address and must immediately inform the Court if his or her address changes in the course of the litigation. Given that documents filed by Rios with this Court on the same day listed two totally different addresses, there is a question as to whether Plaintiff has properly complied with the requirements of Local Rule 83.18.

         Dauphin ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.