United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
RICHARD CAPUTO United States District Judge.
Thompson, a former inmate, proceeds pro se and
in forma pauperis in this action concerning events
that transpired at the Monroe County Correctional Facility
(MCCF) in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Mr. Thompson filed this
action in July 2014. He names the following individuals as
defendants: Deputy Warden Caver; Lt. Joynes; Jason Labar;
several John Doe Corrections Officers (CO); John Doe Intake
Officer; John Doe Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Trooper;
the MCCF; the Monroe County District Attorney's Office;
and Jason Labar of the Monroe County Public Defenders Office.
(ECF No. 1, Compl.)
Thompson is proceeding in forma pauperis in this
action, the Complaint is before us for screening pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915. For the following reasons, the
Complaint will be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). However, Mr. Thompson will be permitted to
file an amended complaint exclusively as to his failure to
Standard of Review
Court is required to screen Mr. Thompson's Complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a) and 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). The Court must dismiss a complaint, or any
portion thereof, if the prisoner has raised claims that are
legally frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(b)(1), (2); 28 U.S.C. §
legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to
state a claim under § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is the same as
that for dismissing a complaint pursuant to a motion filed
under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Allah v. Seiverling, 229 F.3d 220, 223 (3d Cir.
2000). Under Rule 12(b)(6), we must “take as true all
the factual allegations of the [complaint] and the reasonable
inferences that can be drawn from them, but we disregard
legal conclusions and recitals of the elements of a cause of
action, supported by mere conclusory statements.”
Santiago v. Warminster Twp., 629 F.3d 121, 128 (3d
Cir. 2010)(quotation marks omitted and citation omitted).
test in reviewing a motion to dismiss for failure to state a
claim under Rule 12(b)(6) is whether, under any
‘plausible' reading of the pleadings, the plaintiff
would be entitled to relief." Guidotti v. Legal
Helpers Debt Resolution, L.L.C., 716 F.3d 764 (3d Cir.
2013) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). To
satisfy this standard, a complaint need only contain “a
short and plain statement of the claim, ” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2), and detailed factual allegations are not required,
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, 127 S.Ct. at 1964.
Nonetheless, a complaint has to plead “enough facts to
state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Id. at 570, 127 S.Ct. at 1974. “The
plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability
requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant acted unlawfully.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct.
1937, 1949, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009)(quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 556, 127 S.Ct. at 1965). “[L]abels and
conclusions” are not enough, Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 555, 127 S.Ct. at 1964-65, and a court “‘is
not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a
factual allegation.'” Id., 127 S.Ct. at
1965 (quoted case omitted).
complaint filed by a pro se plaintiff must be
liberally construed and “held ‘to less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.'” Fantone v. Latini, 780 F.3d 184
(3d Cir. 2015)(citing Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S.
519, 520-21, 92 S.Ct. 594, 596, 30 L.Ed.2d 652 (1972));
see also Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127
S.Ct. 2197, 2200, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081 (2007). Yet, even a pro se
plaintiff “must allege sufficient facts in their
complaints to support a claim.” Mala v. Crown Bay
Marina, Inc., 704 F.3d 239, 245 (3d Cir. 2013) (citation
omitted). A plaintiff is to be granted leave to file a
curative amended complaint even when he does not seek leave
to amend, unless amendment would be inequitable or futile.
See Estate of Lagano v. Bergen Cnty. Prosecutor's
Office, 769 F.3d 850, 861 (3d Cir. 2014).
matter was transferred from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to this Court as the
MCCF is located in this district. Upon initially screening
the matter, this Court dismissed the action on the basis of
Mr. Thompson's apparent failure to pay the requite
initial partial filing fee. (ECF No. 18.) Mr. Thompson then
sought reconsideration of that order and provided evidence of
his payment of the filing fee to the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania. The Court then reopened the matter.
Allegations of the Complaint
Thompson alleges that on April 11, 2014, at approximately
9:00 p.m., while housed at the MCCF, prison officials placed
him in a cell with another inmate who was a “known
sexual predator.” He claims prison officials knew this
inmate was “to be separated from general confindment
(sic) inmates in the intake area”. (ECF No. 1, p. 4.)
Mr. Thompson “was approached in a sexually (sic) manner
and touched on [his] private part by [the] another
inmate”. (Id., p. 10.) He then ...