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Brunache v. Bureau of Prison PA

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

December 18, 2017

HARVENS BRUNACHE, Plaintiff,
v.
BUREAU OF PRISON PA; et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Cynthia Reed Eddy United States Magistrate Judge

         Plaintiff, Harvens Brunache, an inmate currently confined in Riker's Island Correctional Facility, East Elmhurst, New York, initiated this civil rights action by filing a civil rights complaint in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. On October 26, 2017, the case was transferred to this Court from the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

         Because the Complaint was not in conformance with Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the undersigned administratively closed the case and Plaintiff was instructed to file an Amended Complaint which comports with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (ECF No. 11).

         On December 12, 2017, the Court received and filed Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (ECF No. 12) and the case has been reopened.

         This Court has a statutory responsibility to review complaints filed by prisoners and by those who have been granted in forma pauperis to determine if the complaint states a valid claim for relief. The Court is required to identify cognizable claims and to sua sponte dismiss any claim that is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A.

         Moreover, not only is a court permitted to sua sponte dismiss a complaint which fails to state a claim, but it is required to do so by the mandatory language of “the court shall dismiss” utilized by Section 1915(e)(2). In performing a court's mandated function of sua sponte reviewing complaints under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e) and 1915A to determine if they fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, a federal district court applies the same standard as applied to motions to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See, e.g., Powell v. Hoover, 956 F.Supp. 565, 568 (M.D. Pa. 1997) (applying Rule 12(b)(6) standard to claim dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)).

         In reviewing complaints as mandated by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e) and § 1915A and, consequently, utilizing the standards for a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the complaint must be read in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and all well-pleaded, material allegations of fact in the complaint must be taken as true. See Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976). Because Plaintiff is pro se, the court will accord him an even more liberal reading of the complaint, employing less stringent standards than when judging the work product of an attorney. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972).

         B. Discussion

         Although lacking in specifics, Plaintiff seems to allege that during the entire time he was incarcerated in various PA Department of Corrections facilities (a period from 1999 - 2015), [1] he experienced “numerous sufferings of all kinds mentally, physically, and emotionally.” During his incarceration, he was housed at a number of DOC facilities (Graterford, Rockview, Huntington, Somerset, Fayette, and Frackville), but according to the Amended Complaint the events giving rise to this lawsuit specifically occurred at SCI-Somerset, SCI-Fayette, and SCI-Frackville. He alleges that on or about June of 2003, he was transferred to SCI-Somerset, where “he suffered an outbreak of some kind, while medical did nothing to find the origin of it”); in or about June of 2004 he was transferred to SCI-Fayette, where he “woke up one day with a frostbite like pain in the lower middle right side of [his] body and a red spoted like scare”; after he complained about his medical conditions being untreated, at some point he was “sent to an illegal incarceration R.H.U. Mental Health punishment at SCI-Frackville and illegal held there for nothing unaddressed, untreated, unreleased and all the way up till the day of my release from prison on 9-14-2015.” Further, Plaintiff alleges through the Amended Complaint that,

All the way till the day of my released medical department and mental health dept Harrisburg officials there did nothing. The Parole and Probation Official given direct knowledge of all these facts and claims never done anything except went along with doing nothing like everyone else involved. So on September 14, 2017 (sic) upon my release date from prison I went immediately to see an emergency room doctor and still this very day and time nothing has been done or said to me is the reason and or outcome of my damages claims.

         From the Amended Complaint, it is difficult to discern who Plaintiff intends to name as defendants in this lawsuit as the caption of the Amended Complaint reads as follows:

1. P.A.D.O.C. Bureau of Prison, Harrisburgh, P.A., etc.
2. P.A.D.O.C. Parole and Probation, Harrisburgh, P.A., EtA . . .
3. P.A.D.O.C. Medical and Mental Provider Officials EtA . . . Harrisburg, ...

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