United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
RONALD E. WILSON, Plaintiff,
TOM WOLFE, et al., Defendants.
A. MCHUGH, J.
Ronald E. Wilson, a pretrial detainee incarcerated at the
Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility (“CFCF”)
who is representing himself (proceeding pro se),
filed this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
based on the conditions of his confinement. He named as
Defendants Governor Tom Wolf (misspelled Tom Wolfe),
Commissioner of the Philadelphia Prison System Blanche Carney
(misspelled Blanch Carney), and Warden John Delaney. In a
Memorandum and Order entered on the docket June 20, 2019, the
Court granted Wilson leave to proceed in forma
pauperis and dismissed his Complaint for failure to
state a claim, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii), with leave to amend within thirty days.
(ECF Nos. 5 & 6.) In an Order entered on the docket
August 1, 2019, the Court dismissed this case for failure to
prosecute because Wilson failed to file an Amended Complaint
in accordance with the Court's prior Order. (ECF No. 7.)
August 20, 2019, the Court docketed an Amended Complaint
submitted by Wilson. Accordingly, the Court vacated its
dismissal Order, screened Wilson's Amended Complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), dismissed his
claims against Governor Wolf with prejudice, and gave him
leave to file a second amended complaint. (ECF Nos. 10 &
11.) Wilson filed a document that he prepared using the
Court's form petition for a writ of habeas
corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2241, which the Court will
construe as the Second Amended Complaint (“SAC”)
in this case. However, the Court will dismiss the SAC
with prejudice because Wilson has again failed to state a
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
initial Complaint, Wilson alleged that since November of 2018
he has been housed in a multi-purpose room that at one point
held a total of four people. He alleged that there was no
electricity in the room, no locks on the door, and no window,
but he also alleged that the lights are on all night. Wilson
claimed that there was insufficient ventilation, a
“very high bed, ” and that eating takes place
three feet from a toilet. (Compl. ECF No. 2 at
Wilson contended that he was suffering physical consequences
from the conditions of his confinement.
noted above, the Court dismissed Wilson's Complaint for
failure to state a claim pursuant to §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). The Court explained that Wilson failed to
allege how any of the Defendants were responsible for the
challenged conditions. The Court also noted that that the
practice of requiring pretrial detainees to eat in a cell
containing a toilet does not amount to a constitutional
violation. Wilson was given leave to amend with instructions
that, in drafting any amended complaint, he should be mindful
of the Court's reasons for dismissing his claims.
Amended Complaint again named Wolf, Carney, and Delaney as
Defendants. The sole basis for Wilson's claims was an
allegation that he was housed in “unsafe
conditions” in a multipurpose cell from November 2018
through March 2019. (Am. Compl. ECF No. 8 at 3 & 5.)
Wilson did not elaborate on those conditions or describe any
injuries suffered as a result of those conditions. He sought
damages in the amount of $250, 000.
Court screened Wilson's Amended Complaint and concluded
that it was subject to dismissal under § 1915(e)(2)(B)
for failure to state a claim because his allegations were
conclusory, and he failed to describe how any of the
Defendants were personally involved in the violations of his
rights. The Court dismissed Wilson's claims against
Governor Wolf with prejudice but permitted him to file a
second amended complaint against Defendants Carney and
Delaney. The Court instructed Wilson that any second amended
complaint must identify all defendants and state the basis
for his claims against each defendant, and reminded Wilson to
be mindful of the Court's reasons for dismissing his
claims when drafting his second amended complaint. (ECF No.
noted above, Wilson returned with a filing on the Court's
form petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 2241, which the Court has construed as
his SAC. The SAC is sparse and is almost entirely blank.
Wilson has not identified any Defendants. The only allegation
that supports his claims is the following sentence fragment:
“living in multipurpose closet area.” (SAC, ECF
No. 12 at 3.) Wilson does not indicate what relief he seeks.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Wilson is proceeding in forma pauperis, 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) applies, which requires the Court to
dismiss the SAC 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 Wilson is
proceeding pro se, 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).
“A defendant in a civil rights action must have
personal involvement in the alleged wrongs.” See
Rode v. Dellarciprete, 845 F.2d 1195, 1207 (3d Cir.
SAC does not name any Defendants or state a claim against any
of the individuals previously named as Defendants. Wilson
also has not alleged a constitutional violation based on his
allegation that he is living in a “multipurpose closet
area.” The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment governs claims brought by pretrial detainees.
Hubbard v. Taylor (Hubbard I), 399 F.3d 150, 166 (3d
Cir. 2005). To establish a basis for a Fourteenth Amendment
violation, a prisoner must allege facts showing that the
conditions of confinement amount to punishment. Bell v.
Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 538 (1979). That inquiry
generally turns on whether the conditions have a purpose
other than punishment and whether the conditions are
excessive in relation to that purpose. See Id. at
538-39; Hubbard I, 399 F.3d at 158. Additionally, a
detainee must generally establish that the defendants acted
with deliberate indifference, meaning that they consciously
disregarded a serious risk to the detainee's health or
safety. Cf. Edwards v. Northampton Cty., 663
Fed.Appx. 132, 135 (3d ...