United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
PARADISE BAXTER United States Magistrate Judge.
Relevant Procedural History
Taveren Robinson (“Plaintiff”) is an inmate in
the custody of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
(“DOC”), and is currently incarcerated at the
State Correctional Institution at Greene (“SCI
Greene”). Plaintiff initiated this civil action against
Defendant John Wetzel (“Defendant”), the
Secretary of the DOC, in the Court of Common Pleas of Greene
County, Pennsylvania, alleging that he is being illegally
incarcerated in violation of his rights provided by the
Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
because no written sentencing order relative to his
underlying conviction was ever generated (Count I). [ECF No.
1-2]. Plaintiff also brings two state law claims
for unlawful restraint and false imprisonment (Counts II and
November 23, 2016, Defendant removed the case to this Court,
[ECF No. 1], and on November 29, 2016, Defendant filed a
motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, which is
presently before the Court. [ECF No. 3]. In addition,
Plaintiff has filed a motion to remand for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction. [ECF No. 7]. For the reasons that
follow, Plaintiff's motion to remand will be denied and
Defendant's motion to dismiss will be granted.
Standards of Review
Motion to Dismiss
assessing the sufficiency of the complaint pursuant to a
motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6), the Court must accept as true all material
allegations in the complaint and all reasonable factual
inferences must be viewed in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff. Odd v. Malone, 538 F.3d 202, 205 (3d Cir.
2008). The Court, however, need not accept bald assertions or
inferences drawn by the plaintiff if they are unsupported by
the facts set forth in the complaint. See Cal. Pub.
Employees' Ret. Sys. v. The Chubb Corp., 394 F.3d
126, 143 (3d Cir. 2004), citing Morse v. Lower Merion
Sch. Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997). Nor must
the Court accept legal conclusions set forth as factual
allegations. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Rather, “[f]actual allegations
must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Id., citing Papasan v.
Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986). Indeed, the United
States Supreme Court has held that a complaint is properly
dismissed under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) where it does not
allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face, ” id. at 570, or where
the factual content does not allow the court “to draw
the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
in deciding a motion to dismiss, “[i]n addition to the
allegations contained in the pleadings, the Court may also
review “matters of public record, exhibits attached to
the complaint and items appearing in the record of the case,
” as well as “undisputably authentic document[s]
that a defendant attaches as an exhibit to a motion to
dismiss if the plaintiff's claims are based on the
document.” Ickes v. Flanagan, 2008 WL 859183,
at *1 (W.D. Pa. Mar. 31, 2008), quoting Oshiver v. Levin,
Fishbein, Sedran & Berman, 38 F.3d 1380, 1384-85 n.2
(3d Cir. 1994) and Steinhardt Group Inc. v.
Citicorp, 126 F.3d 144, 145 (3d Cir. 1997).
Pro Se Pleadings and Filings
se pleadings and filings, “however inartfully
pleaded, ” must be held to “less stringent
standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers”
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). 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
litigant's unfamiliarity with pleading requirements.
Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364 (1982); United
States ex rel. Montgomery v. Brierley, 414 F.2d 552, 555
(3d Cir. 1969) (A petition prepared by a prisoner ... may be
inartfully drawn and should be read “with a measure of
tolerance”); Freeman v. Department of
Corrections, 949 F.2d 360 (10th Cir. 1991). Under our
liberal pleading rules, a district court should construe all
allegations in a complaint in favor of the complainant.
Gibbs v. Roman, 116 F.3d 83 (3d Cir. 1997)
(overruled on other grounds). See, e.g., Nami v.
Fauver, 82 F.3d 63, 65 (3d Cir. 1996) (discussing
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) standard); Markowitz v. Northeast
Land Company, 906 F.2d 100, 103 (3d Cir. 1990) (same).
Accordingly, because Plaintiff is a pro se litigant,
this Court will consider the facts and make inferences where
it is appropriate.
Plaintiff's Motion to Remand
1441 of Title 28, United States Code, provides that
“any civil action brought in a State court of which the
district courts of the United States have original
jurisdiction, may be removed by the defendant . . . to the
district court of the United States for the district and
division embracing the place where such action is
pending.” 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). See Krupa v.
Hilcorp Energy I LP, 2014 WL 2506144, at *6 (W.D. Pa.
June 3, 2014). A federal district court has original
jurisdiction over an action “arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.”
28 U.S.C. § 1331. Where a motion for remand is filed,
the defendant has the burden of proving that removal was
proper. Sikirica v. Nationwide Ins. Co., 416 F.3d
214, 219 (3d Cir. 2005).
Plaintiff concedes that his claim brought pursuant to the
Thirteenth Amendment is one over which the Court has original
jurisdiction but maintains that the Court lacks jurisdiction
over his state law claims for unlawful restraint and false
imprisonment. Plaintiff therefore asks that the Court sever
those claims and remand them to state ...