United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
JEFFREY L. SCHMEHL, J.
Raul Diaz, a State inmate currently incarcerated at SCI
Graterford, has filed this pro se action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Tammy Ferguson, James Meintel,
George Ondrejka, Thomas C. Grenevich, and Gary Olinger, all
of whom are officials at SCI Graterford. He has also filed a
Motion for Leave to Proceed In FormaPauperis. (ECF
No. 1.) For the following reasons, the Court will grant Diaz
leave to proceed in forma pauperis and dismiss his
Complaint with leave to amend.
PROCEDURAL HISTORY AND FACTS
dockets reflect that in 1991, while incarcerated at SCI
Dallas, Diaz filed a § 1983 suit against Joseph Ryan and
David Larkins in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Diaz v. Ryan, Civ. A. No. 91-1436 (E.D.
Pa.). On January 21, 1992, Ryan and Larkins
filed a Motion to Dismiss, or in the alternative, Motion for
Summary Judgment. Id. On May 19, 1992, the Honorable
Sylvia Rambo granted the Motion with respect to Diaz's
due process claim and denied it with respect to his claims
about double celling and denial of access to the courts.
Id. By Order entered on July 6, 1992, Judge Rambo
ordered authorities at SCI Dallas to “provide [Diaz]
access to inmate George Rahsann Brooks-Bey for the purpose of
assisting [Diaz] in [this] litigation.” Id.
Ultimately, on August 23, 1993, Judge Rambo granted Ryan and
Larkins's Motion for Summary Judgment with respect to
Diaz's remaining claims. Id. The docket reflects
that Diaz did not appeal that decision.
Complaint before this Court, Diaz alleges that in 1989, he
was placed in the Restricted Housing Unit at SCI Dallas for
refusing a cellmate. (Compl. at 3.) He refers to the fact
that he filed a lawsuit in 1991 and that Judge Rambo
“gave an order to SCI Dallas to inmate George Rahsann
Brooks Bey [to assist him].” (Id.) While
Diaz's claims are unclear, he apparently takes issue with
the outcome of his 1991 lawsuit because he claims that
Brooks-Bey defrauded him by “doing a deal with the
defendant because [Brooks-Bey] was from Pittsburgh and he
want[ed] a transfer to over there and therefore [Diaz] los[t
his] case after [he had] forty two month[s] at the
RHU.” (Id.) He further alleges that a
psychiatrist at SCI Dallas “made an agreement with the
Defendant and he gave me Z code by problem of
insomnia[a].” (Id.) Diaz further contends that
the legal paperwork he brought with him from SCI Dallas was
stolen by the property room at SCI Graterford. (Id.
at 3, 9.) He claims that staff at SCI Graterford are telling
him that he is no longer “a Z code and [he has] to take
a cellmate.” (Id. at 9.) As relief, Diaz asks
that the Court “solve [his] claim by the
cellmate.” (Id. at 5.) He also asks for $500,
000.00 for “the fraud that SCI Dallas commit[ted]
against [him] by [him ignoring] English and the court that
Judge Sylvia H. Rambo gave [him] an assault that it setup to
[him] and SCI Graterford that stole[ his] legal paper and
took [his] cellmate [his] Z code and manipulate [him now]
because the[y] ha[ve] the force and the influence.”
(Id. at 6.) Diaz hopes “that with the form
that has this Eastern District the law and justice be
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court will grant Diaz leave to proceed in forma
pauperis because it appears that he is not capable of
paying the fees to commence this civil action. Accordingly, 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) requires the Court to dismiss
Diaz's Complaint if it fails to state a claim. Whether a
complaint fails to state a claim under §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the same standard applicable
to motions to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6), see Tourscher v. McCullough, 184 F.3d 236,
240 (3d Cir. 1999), which requires the Court to determine
whether the complaint contains “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) (quotations omitted). Conclusory
statements and naked assertions will not suffice.
Id. Because Diaz is proceeding pro se, the
Court construes his allegations liberally. Higgs v.
Att'y Gen., 655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011).
Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires a
complaint to contain “a short a plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
A district court may sua sponte dismiss a complaint
that does not comply with Rule 8 if “the complaint is
so confused, ambiguous, vague, or otherwise unintelligible
that its true substance, if any, is well disguised.”
Simmons v. Abruzzo, 49 F.3d 83, 86 (2d Cir. 1995)
(quotations omitted). This Court has noted that Rule 8
“requires that pleadings provide enough information to
put a defendant on sufficient notice to prepare their defense
and also ensure that the Court is sufficiently informed to
determine the issue.” Fabian v. St. Mary's Med.
Ctr., No. Civ. A. 16-4741, 2017 WL 3494219, at *3 (E.D.
Pa. Aug. 11, 2017) (quotations omitted).
in which Diaz's Complaint is pled makes it difficult for
the Court to discern whether he has a plausible claim for
relief at this time. As noted above, Diaz asks that the Court
“solve[ his] claim by the cellmate” and hopes
that “the law and justice be different” in this
Court. (Compl. at 5-6.) It appears that Diaz is asking this
Court to reconsider the claims he raised in his previous
lawsuit filed in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. To the
extent that Diaz is asking for such relief, this Court is not
the proper forum for reconsideration of those claims. In the
event there is any legitimate basis to reopen his case, Diaz
should request reconsideration in the Middle District of
Diaz fails to state a claim against any of the named
Defendants, as nothing in the Complaint describes how these
Defendants were responsible for violating Diaz's rights,
whether due to their own misconduct or their deliberate
indifference to known deficiencies in a policy or procedure
that violated Diaz's rights. See Barkes v. First
Corr. Med., Inc., 766 F.3d 307, 320 (3d Cir. 2014),
reversed on other grounds, Taylor v.
Barkes, 135 S.Ct. 2042 (2015). Because Diaz fails to
mention any of the named Defendants in the body of his
Complaint, he has not stated a basis for imposing liability
against them. Thus, as pled, the Complaint does not comply
with Rule 8, as it does not “provide enough information
to put a defendant on sufficient notice to prepare their
defense and also ensure that the Court is sufficiently
informed to determine the issue.” Fabian, 2017
WL 3494219, at *3. Accordingly, Diaz's claims against the
named Defendants will be dismissed at this time.
foregoing reasons, the Court will grant Diaz leave to proceed
in forma pauperis and dismiss his Complaint for
failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. This dismissal will be without prejudice to