United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
MICHAEL M. BAYLSON, J.
se Plaintiff Kenyatta White, Jr., a pretrial detainee
currently confined at the Philadelphia Detention Center, has
filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging
constitutional claims. He has also filed a Motion to Proceed
In Forma Pauperis. Because it appears that White is
unable to afford to pay the filing fee, the Court will grant
him leave to proceed in forma pauperis. For the
following reasons, certain claims in the Complaint will be
dismissed with prejudice, and other claims will be dismissed
without prejudice. White will also be granted leave to file
an amended complaint to attempt to cure the defects noted by
the Court concerning the claims dismissed without prejudice.
alleges that on May 19, 2019 Defendant Gillard was assigned
to G Dorm for the night shift and positioned in his booth in
front of Section 303. (ECF No. 2 at 5.) At 1:35 a.m., a
fight broke out involving several inmates. White, along with
another inmate named Mullen, attempted to break up the fight
because Gillard allegedly did not act to do so.
(Id.) White suffered stab wounds to his upper left
arm. (Id.) Gillard allegedly failed to call for a
response even after White told him he was stabbed.
(Id.) White next asserts that Gillard placed him and
Mullen in a sally port and contacted Defendant Sgt. John who
responded to the scene. (Id. at 6.) Sgt. John told
White to grab his things and that he was being moved to a
different dorm. (Id.) When White arrived at E Dorm
he told Sgt. John he needed medical attention. (Id.)
At the medical unit, a nurse bandaged his wounds and he was
returned to E Dorm. (Id.) Later, Sgt. John came to E
Dorm with other officers and told White and Mullen to again
pack their things because they were being taken to protective
custody. (Id.) While still bleeding, White was
handcuffed and made to drag his mattress and belongings to
the Segregated Housing Unit (“SHU”).
(Id. at 7.) White alleges that Sgt. John failed to
follow protocols to investigate the stabbing incident before
ordering White to the SHU. (Id.) After being taken
to the SHU, White received no medical care for his wounds for
nine days. (Id. at 8.) At the time he filed his
Complaint, White had been held in the SHU for 20 days, and
had four disciplinary hearings continued allegedly due to the
unspecified “malicious actions” of Gillard and
Sgt. John. (Id.) He received a hearing on June 11,
2019, when he had already been in the SHU for 25 days,
resulting in a sentence of 30 days confinement in the SHU.
(Id. at 11.)
to White's Complaint is a copy of an “Inmate
Misconduct” report dated May 19, 2019, and signed by
Defendants Gillard and John. The report recites:
On Sunday, May 19, 2019, I Officer Gillard was assigned to
G-dorm  for the 11pm to 7am shift. At approx. 1:35 am, I
C/o Gillard was called by Inmate Mullen Troy  section 303
who called me to the gate. Whom visually close up was Injured
with a slightly blood nose. Seconds after, another
altercation happened in the same section with Inmate White
Kenyatta  (who I visually seen) fighting another Inmate. I
then contacted Sgt john via warlike [sic] & telephone
before going into the section where the incident had ceased.
I then placed both I/m's White Kenyatta & Mullen Troy
in the sally port holding area, where moments later Sgt John
arrived and escorted both I/m's to Medical and B block
Without further incidents.
(ECF No. 2 at 15.) Also attached to the Complaint is a mostly
illegible Disciplinary Hearing Summary Report. (Id.
at 16.) The only legible entries record White's name and
his sentence of 30 days.
alleges that Gillard violated his rights by failing to keep
him safe and writing a false incident report that caused him
to be transferred to the SHU. (Id. at 9.) He alleges
that John violated his rights by failing to follow protocol
before ordering him to the SHU, photograph his wounds,
conduct a search of the area for weapons, and check the hands
of other inmates (presumably for evidence of blood from his
stab wounds). (Id.) Warden Cathy M. Talmadge is
named as a Defendant because she “allows the Detention
Center to run on unconstitutional policies, such as
Officer's [sic] assaulting inmates then making false
reports, then sending inmates to the [SHU] for any reason
they feel is deemable.” (Id. at 10.) White
also asserts that she allows disciplinary officers to find
inmates “guilty on all write ups, ” will not
reverse decisions on appeal, and allowed the other Defendants
to mistreat White and unlawfully send him to the SHU.
(Id.) White asserts constitutional claims for
“medical neglect, ” false imprisonment, failure
to keep him safe, falsifying documents, excessive force,
deprivation of his liberty and privileges, and for being
unlawfully housed in the SHU for 30 days. (Id. at
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court will grant White leave to proceed in forma
pauperis because it appears that he is incapable of
paying the fees to commence this civil action. Accordingly, 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) requires the Court to dismiss the
Complaint if, among other things, 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
allegations do not suffice. Id. As White is
proceeding pro se, the Court construes his
allegations liberally. Higgs v. Att'y Gen., 655
F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011).
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).
1983 of Title 42 of the United States Code provides in part:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or
the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be
subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person
within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any
rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution
and laws, shall be liable to the ...