United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
TIMOTHY J. SAVAGE J.
Bernard Scott, a prisoner incarcerated at the Philadelphia
Detention Center, brings this civil action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 based upon his conditions of confinement
at the Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center
(“PICC”). He sues the City of Philadelphia, the
Philadelphia Department of Prisons, Blanche Carney
(Commissioner of the Philadelphia Department of Prisons), and
Michelle Farrell, the warden of PICC. Scott also seeks leave
to proceed in forma pauperis.
following reasons, we shall grant Scott leave to proceed
in forma pauperis and dismiss his Complaint without
prejudice with leave to amend.
complaint, Scott alleges that the events giving rise to his
claims occurred at PICC in October 2018. He avers that he was
transferred from the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility to
PICC on October 24, 2018 to a “shared housing unit with
protective custody inmates which is a violation of prison
policy and security procedure.” Scott further asserts that
this transfer “constantly violated recreation time and
phone calls to family and legal
representation.” Scott does not provide any factual
allegations about his claims. He avers that he suffered
“denial of due process, denial of access to legal
counsel, denial of showers, cruel and unusual punishment . .
. mental anguish, severe stress, [and] emotional
distress.” Given his pro se status, we shall
construe his claims to be constitutional claims pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on the conditions of his
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), we must 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). A court may dismiss all or part of an action for
“failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). The complaint must
plead “factual content that allows the court to draw
the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 556 (2007)). The plaintiff must
allege facts that indicate “more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”
Id. Pleading only “facts that are
‘merely consistent with' a defendant's
liability” is insufficient and cannot survive a motion
to dismiss. Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S.
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, [ last name
petitioner ] must allege facts which, if proven, would
establish that: (1) he was deprived of a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States; and (2) the person
depriving him of that right acted under color of state law.
West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988) (citations
omitted); Miller v. Mitchell, 598 F.3d 139, 147 (3d
Cir. 2010) (citation omitted). Accepting the facts alleged in
the complaint as true and drawing all inferences from them in
favor of [ petitioner ], we conclude that [ petitioner ] has
not stated a plausible claim against the defendants.
complaint is deficient for several reasons. First, the
Philadelphia Department of Prisons is not a properly named
defendant. A “prison or correctional facility is not a
‘person' that is subject to suit under federal
civil rights laws.” Regan v. Upper Darby Twp.,
No. CIV A 06-1686, 2009 WL 650384, at *4 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 11,
2009), aff'd, 363 Fed.Appx. 917 (3d Cir. 2010);
see also White v. Green, Civ. A. No. 09-1219, 2009
WL 3209647, at *2 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 6, 2009) (“This Court
has held that the George W. Hill Correctional Facility, is
not a legal entity that is amenable to suit under §
1983.”) (quotations omitted).
the plaintiff has not stated a claim against the individual
defendants. He does not allege what each one of the
defendants did and when. There is nothing in the complaint
showing how any of the individual defendants was responsible
for violating the plaintiff's rights through his or her
own misconduct or his or her deliberate indifference to a
known deficiency in a policy or procedure.
Scott's complaint is based on conclusory phrases that his
constitutional rights were violated in connection with
recreation time, phone call allowance time, and access to
showers while he was incarcerated at PICC. He has not
provided any factual allegations about the conditions to
which he was subjected. Nor are there any allegations that
the conditions rise to the level of a constitutional
violation. Scott has also not alleged facts explaining how
the individual defendants were involved in or responsible for
subjecting him to cruel and unusual punishment or otherwise
violating his rights. Thus, we shall dismiss his complaint
for failure to state a claim against any of the defendants
and grant him leave to amend his complaint.