United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
REGINALD C. SCOTT, Plaintiff
COMM. OF PA, et al., Defendants
MALACHY E. MANNION UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Reginald C. Scott, an inmate at the Mahanoy State
Correctional Institution, Frackville, Pennsylvania, filed the
instant petition for writ of mandamus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§1361. (Doc. 1). Plaintiff challenges his conviction and
sentence, “seeking the grant of a writ of mandamus be
issued to remand the double jeopardy violation to the lower
court and the respondent party, Comm. of Pennsylvania Dauphin
County to be directed or ordered to vacate the cumulative
second sentence of life-imprisonment in accordance with
well-established law both Federal and State.”
Id. Along with his petition for writ of mandamus,
Scott has filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. (Doc. 6). For the reasons that follow,
Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis, will be granted and the petition for writ of
mandamus will be denied.
Standards of Review
Court has a statutory obligation to conduct a preliminary
review of pro se complaints which seek redress
against government officials. Specifically, the Court is
obligated to review the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§1915A, which provides, in pertinent part:
(a) Screening.-The court shall review,
before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as
practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity.
(b) Grounds for dismissal.-On review, the
court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the
complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint-
(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted; or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
Section 1915A, the Court must assess whether a pro
se complaint “fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted.” This statutory text mirrors the
language of Rule 12(b) (6) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, which provides that a complaint should be
dismissed for “failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
respect to this benchmark standard for legal sufficiency of a
complaint, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit has aptly noted the evolving standards governing
pleading practice in federal court, stating that:
Standards of pleading have been in the forefront of
jurisprudence in recent years. Beginning with the Supreme
Court's opinion in Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) continuing with our opinion
in Phillips [v. County of Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224,
230 (3d Cir. 2008)] and culminating recently with the Supreme
Court's decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662 (2009) pleading standards have seemingly shifted from
simple notice pleading to a more heightened form of pleading,
requiring a plaintiff to plead more than the possibility of
relief to survive a motion to dismiss.
Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 209-10 (3d
court must accept all factual allegations in a complaint as
true and take them in the light most favorable to a pro
se plaintiff. Phillips v. County ofAllegheny,515 F.3d 224, 229 (3d Cir. 2008);
Erickson v. Pardus,551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007). Because
Plaintiff proceeds pro se, his pleading is liberally
construed and his complaint, “however inartfully
pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards ...