United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
F. KENNEY, J.
Joseph Jones, a prisoner currently incarcerated at SCI
Fayette, brings this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 based on allegations that his constitutional
rights were violated with respect to the denial of medical
attention and the denial of a wheelchair. Jones seeks leave
to proceed in forma pauperis. For the following
reasons, the Court will grant Jones leave to proceed in
forma pauperis and dismiss his Complaint with leave to
Complaint lodged by Jones raises constitutional claims
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against SCI Fayette in its
official capacity. (ECF No. 2 at 2.) Jones alleges that at the
time of the incident giving rise to his Complaint, he was a
convicted and sentenced state prisoner confined at SCI
Fayette. (Id. at 2, 4, 12.)
allegations in Jones's Complaint are brief. Jones avers
that on March 1, 2019 at approximately 5:00 p.m., he fell in
the dayroom in Pod 6A. (Id. at 4-5.) Jones further
alleges that he was denied "medical attention which
ended up wit[h] [him] falling and injuring [his] back."
(Id. at 3.) Jones avers that he has muscular
dystrophy and had previously been given a wheelchair while he
was at SCI Fayette, but the wheelchair was taken away when he
was temporarily transferred to county jail. (Id. at
12.) Upon his return to SCI Fayette, "they refused to
return" the wheelchair. (Id.) Jones contends
that upon his return, he spoke with the medical staff and
corrections officers at SCI Fayette and filed a grievance
regarding the reinstatement of his wheelchair, which was
denied. (Id. at 7, 12, 14.) At the time of his fall,
Jones did not have a wheelchair. (Id. at 12.) After
his fall, he was assisted by correctional officers who placed
him into a wheelchair and took him to "medical" for
evaluation. (Id. at 12-13.) Jones asserts that
"they would not take me to a hospital."
(Id. at 5.) Jones avers that after his fall, he was
issued a wheelchair and sent back to his cell. (Id.
at 6, 13.)
contends that he has suffered injuries to his back, knee, and
neck as well as physical and emotional distress, loss of
sleep, and severe constant headaches. (Id. at 5,
13.) Jones seeks $3, 000, 000 for pain and suffering,
asserting that he will "have these symptoms for the rest
of [his] life." (Id. at 5.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court will grant Jones 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. § l9l5(e)(2)(B)(ii) applies, which requires the
Court to dismiss the 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
allegations do not suffice. Id. As Jones is
proceeding prose, the Court construes 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).
Jones only names the prison where he was housed, SCI Fayette,
as a Defendant in this action. As such, he has failed to
allege a claim against a valid defendant. Jones's §
1983 claims against SCI Fayette are dismissed because a jail
is not a "person" amenable to suit under Section
1983. Miller v. Curran-Fromhold Corr.
Facility, Civ. A. No. 13-7680, 2014 WL 4055846, at *2
(E.D. Pa. Aug. 13, 2014) (citing Mitchell v. Chester Cty.
Farms Prison, 426 F.Supp. 271 (E.D. Pa. 1976).
Court, however, is unable to conclude that Jones could never
state a claim based on the failure to provide him a
wheelchair. To state a constitutional claim based on the
failure to provide medical treatment, a prisoner must allege
facts indicating that prison officials were deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical needs. See Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 835 (1994). A prison official is
not deliberately indifferent "unless the official knows
of and disregards an excessive risk to inmate health or
safely; the official must both be aware of facts from which
the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of
serious harm exists, and he must also draw the
inference." Id. at 837. "A medical need is
serious, ... if it is one that has been diagnosed by a
physician as requiring treatment or one that is so obvious
that a lay person would easily recognize the necessity for a
doctor's attention." Monmouth Cty. Corr.
Institutional Inmates v. Lanzaro, 834 F.2d 326, 347 (3d
Cir. 1987) (internal quotations omitted). Deliberate
indifference is properly alleged "where the prison
official (1) knows of a prisoner's need for medical
treatment but intentionally refuses to provide it; (2) delays
necessary medical treatment based on a non-medical reason; or
(3) prevents a prisoner from receiving needed or recommended
medical treatment." Rouse v. Plantier, 182 F.3d
192, 197 (3d Cir. 1999). Allegations of medical malpractice
and mere disagreement regarding proper medical treatment are
insufficient to establish a constitutional violation. See
Spruill v. Gillis, 372 F.3d 218, 235 (3d Cir. 2004).
Furthermore, "[a] defendant in a civil rights action
must have personal involvement in the alleged wrongs" to
be liable. See Rode v. Dellarciprete, 845 F.2d 1195,
1207 (3d Cir. 1988). Accordingly, in the Order that follows,
Jones will be permitted to file an amended complaint if he
can state a claim for deliberate indifference against an
to the extent that Jones alleges a violation of his rights
with respect to the denial of his grievance, this Court notes
that claims based on the handling of prison grievances fail
because "[p]rison inmates do not have a constitutionally
protected right to a grievance process." Jackson v.
Gordon, 145 Fed.Appx. 774, 777 (3d Cir. 2005) (per
curiam); see also Caldwell v. Beard, 324 Fed.Appx.
186, 189 (3d Cir. 2009) (per curiam). Accordingly, any facts
alleged by Jones about grievances do not give rise to a
plausible basis for a constitutional claim and will be
dismissed with prejudice.
foregoing reasons, the Court will grant Jones leave to
proceed in forma pauperis and dismiss his Complaint
for failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
l9l5(e)(2)(B)(ii). This dismissal will be without prejudice
to Jones's right to file an amended complaint in the
event he can state a plausible claim against an appropriate