United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
J. PAPPERT, J.
Kylieff Brown, a pro se inmate, asserts a claim
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Curran-Fromhold
Correctional Facility Warden May, Majors Abello and Thompson,
Captain Beaufort, Lieutenants Sprango and Pope, Sargent
Roney, and Corrections Officers Baines, Percy, T. Jones and
N. Brown for allegedly labeling Brown a “snitch”
and failing to protect him from other inmates. May, Abello,
Beaufort and Sprango move to dismiss the claim asserted
against them. The Court grants the Motion but will allow
Brown to file an amended complaint.
is an inmate currently serving a sentence at SCI-Dallas.
(Compl. at 1, ECF No. 6.) He claims that while incarcerated
at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, he was forced to
tell May, Abello and Sprango about corrections officers
bringing contraband into the prison. (Id. at 3.) He
also claims that after telling them this, he was threatened
and retaliated against by Sargent Roney and Corrections
Officers Baines, Percy, T. Jones and N. Brown. (Id.)
Specifically, he alleges they threatened to have him killed
and told other inmates that he was a “snitch.”
result of being labeled a “snitch, ” Brown
alleges that he was physically assaulted and stabbed by other
inmates at Curran-Fromhold, and that he suffered mental and
verbal abuse. (Id.) He claims that due to the abuse
he suffered, he required psychological treatment and
medication. (Id.) Brown sent grievances to May and
Abello informing them of the abuse he was suffering, but
claims that his grievances were ignored. (Id. at 4.)
Brown filed his complaint pro se, the Court
“must liberally construe his pleadings.”
Dluhos v. Strasberg, 321 F.3d 365, 369 (3d Cir.
2003) (citation omitted). “Courts are to construe
complaints so ‘as to do substantial justice, '
keeping in mind that pro se complaints in particular
should be construed liberally.” Bush v. City of
Phila., 367 F.Supp. 722, 725 (E.D. Pa. 2005) (quoting
Alston v. Parker, 363 F.3d 229, 234 (3d Cir. 2004)).
Moreover, in a § 1983 action, the Court must
“apply the applicable law, irrespective of whether a
pro se litigant has mentioned it by name.”
Higgins v. Beyer, 293 F.3d 683, 688 (3d Cir. 2002)
(quoting Holley v. Dep't of Veteran Affairs, 165
F.3d 244, 247-48 (3d Cir. 1999)); see also Nami v.
Fauver, 82 F.3d 63, 65 (3d Cir. 1996) (“Since this
is a § 1983 action, the [pro se] plaintiffs are
entitled to relief if their complaint sufficiently alleges
deprivation of any right secured by the Constitution.”
Abello, Beaufort and Sprango move to dismiss for failure to
state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6), contending that Brown has
not sufficiently alleged their personal involvement in any
constitutional violation. (Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 11.)
Brown has not responded to the Motion. Consistent with the
Third Circuit's policy “which favors disposition of
litigation on its merits[, ]” Marshall v.
Sielaft, 492 F.2d 917, 918 (3d Cir. 1974) (citation
omitted), and instructs that a complaint should not be
dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) “solely on the
basis of [a] local rule without any analysis of whether the
complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted, ” Stackhouse v. Mazurkiewicz, 951
F.2d 29, 30 (3d Cir. 1991), the Court will analyze the merits
of the Motion.
survive dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, the complaint “must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). A claim is facially plausible when the facts pled
“allow[ ] the court to draw the reasonable inference
that [a] defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
“[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court
to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the
complaint has alleged-but it has not
‘show[n]'-‘that the pleader is entitled to
relief.'” Id. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P.
and Iqbal require the Court to take three steps to
determine whether a complaint will survive a motion to
dismiss. See Connelly v. Lane Const. Corp., 809 F.3d
780, 787 (3d Cir. 2016). First, it must “take note of
the elements the plaintiff must plead to state a
claim.” Id. (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 675). Next, it must identify the allegations that are no
more than legal conclusions and thus “not entitled to
the assumption of truth.” Id. (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679). Finally, where the
complaint includes well-pleaded factual allegations, the
Court “should assume their veracity and then determine
whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to
relief.” Id. (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S.
“presumption of truth attaches only to those
allegations for which there is sufficient factual matter to
render them plausible on their face.” Schuchardt v.
President of the U.S., 839 F.3d 336, 347 (3d Cir. 2016)
(internal quotation and citation omitted). “Conclusory
assertions of fact and legal conclusions are not entitled to
the same presumption.” Id. This plausibility
determination is a “context-specific task that requires