United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
EARNEST SCOTT, JR.
Earnest Scott, Jr., a prisoner currently incarcerated at
SCI-Mahanoy, brings this pro se civil action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming that the
defendant, Ms. Robinson, a nurse at a municipal prison,
falsely accused him of grabbing her hand.Scott seeks to
proceed in forma pauperis. We shall grant Scott
leave to proceed in forma pauperis and dismiss his
April 30, 2017, while Scott was incarcerated at the
Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility (CFCF),  Robinson accused
him of grabbing her hand “while she was on med round
when [he] was in the hole.” (Compl. at 4.) Scott claims
that Robinson poured his prescribed pills into his hand, then
walked away and told a correctional officer that Scott had
grabbed her hand. Scott was placed on disciplinary status. He
was ultimately found not guilty of any infraction after a
hearing on May 3, 2017. Scott seeks unspecified declaratory
and injunctive relief. (Id. at 3.)
is granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis
because it appears that he is not capable of paying the fees
to commence this civil action. Because he is a prisoner, he
will be obligated to pay the $350 filing fee in installments
in accordance with the Prison Litigation Reform Act.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b).
Scott is proceeding in forma pauperis, we must
screen his Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). If the amended complaint fails to state a
claim, we must dismiss it.
survive dismissal, the amended 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)
(quotations omitted). “[M]ere conclusory statements
do not suffice.” Id. Because Scott is
proceeding pro se, we construe his allegations
liberally. Higgs v. Att'y Gen., 655 F.3d 333,
339 (3d Cir. 2011).
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the
violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of
the United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation
was committed by a person acting under color of state
law.” West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
We construe the amended complaint as raising a due process
claim based on Robinson's false allegation. However, the
facts pled by Scott do not establish a violation of his
are generally not entitled to procedural due process in
prison disciplinary hearings because the sanctions resulting
from those hearings do not usually affect a protected liberty
interest.” Burns v. PA Dep't of Corr., 642
F.3d 163, 171 (3d Cir. 2011). “[C]onfinement in
administrative or punitive segregation will rarely be
sufficient, without more, to establish the kind of
‘atypical' deprivation of prison life necessary to
implicate a liberty interest [for purpose of triggering due
process protection].” Smith v. Mensinger, 293
F.3d 641, 653 (3d Cir. 2002) (quoting Sandin v.
Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 486 (1995))).
Scott was placed on disciplinary status for a few days and
was cleared after a disciplinary hearing. Those actions
“do not comprise a due process violation because they
do not rise to the level of an atypical and significant
hardship on the inmate in relation to the ordinary incidents
of prison life.” Rhoades v. Adams, 194
Fed.Appx. 93, 94-95 (3d Cir. 2006) (per curiam) (quotations
omitted). Indeed, his own allegations show that Scott was
afforded due process, having been given a hearing that
resulted in his vindication. Thus, the Complaint does not
state a constitutional claim. See Id. (dismissing
appeal where plaintiff “allege[d] that his due process
rights were violated when [the defendant] filed a false
report alleging that [plaintiff] slammed [defendant's]
hand in a cell door”); Smith, 293 F.3d at 653
(affirming dismissal of due process claim where inmate
alleged that he was subject to a false disciplinary report
resulting in seven months of disciplinary confinement).
the amended complaint fails to state a cause of action under
§ 1983, it will be dismissed. Amendment would be futile
because he cannot show ...