United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO AMEND AND
RECOMMENDED DECISION AFTER SCREENING AMENDED COMPLAINT
PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(E), 1915A
C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge.
action, Plaintiff Scott Gagnon, also known as Missy Gagnon,
an inmate in the custody of the Maine Department of
Corrections, alleges that Defendant Correct Care Solutions
acted with deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious
filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No.
3), which application the Court granted. (ECF No. 4.) On
November 14, 2016, the Court ordered service of
Plaintiff's complaint on Correct Care Solutions. On
November 25, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion to amend (ECF No.
10) and an amended complaint. (ECF No. 11.)
accordance with the in forma pauperis statute, a preliminary
review of Plaintiff's pleadings is appropriate. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2). Additionally, Plaintiff's pleadings
are subject to screening “before docketing, if feasible
or … as soon as practicable after docketing, ”
because he is “a prisoner seek[ing] redress from a
governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental
entity.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
a review of the pleadings, I grant the motion to amend, and
recommend the Court dismiss certain claims set forth in
Plaintiff's amended complaint.
Plaintiff's original complaint, Plaintiff alleges that
Defendant has demonstrated deliberate indifference toward
Plaintiff's need for certain medical treatment. Because
the Court previously ordered service on Plaintiff's core
claim, I do not address the claim in this Recommended
Plaintiff's original complaint, Plaintiff also purports
to assert a claim on behalf of two other inmates in the Maine
Correctional Center. (Complaint at 6 - 7, ECF No. 1.) Through
the amended complaint, Plaintiff purports to join as
additional defendants the Maine Correctional Center and
unnamed officials and corrections staff. (Amended Complaint
at 2, ECF No. 11.) Plaintiff also asserts a new claim
regarding mail at the Correctional Center. Plaintiff alleges
that Defendant Correct Care Solutions and the proposed
additional Defendants have worked “in collusion”
and opened Plaintiff's mail without reasonable suspicion
that it contained contraband, in violation of the applicable
policy and Plaintiff's due process rights. (Id.
15(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a
litigant to amend a pleading “once as a matter of
course, ” subject to certain time constraints.
Thereafter, leave of court is required, though leave should
be granted “freely . . . when justice so
requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2); see also Foman v.
Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). To the extent the Court
determines that a claim advanced or supplemented by means of
a motion to amend would be futile because the facts fail to
state a claim for which relief may be granted, the Court can
deny the motion. Chiang v. Skeirik, 582 F.3d 238,
244 (1st Cir. 2009).
filed the motion to amend and the amended complaint before
any responsive pleading was filed in answer to the original
complaint. Because Plaintiff is entitled to amend once as a
matter of course, the motion to amend is granted and
Plaintiff's amended complaint is accepted as the
operative pleading in this case. Certain claims set forth in
the amended complaint, however, are susceptible to summary
party is proceeding in forma pauperis, “the court shall
dismiss the case at any time if the court determines, ”
inter alia, that the action is “frivolous or
malicious” or “fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
“Dismissals [under § 1915] are often made sua
sponte prior to the issuance of process, so as to spare
prospective defendants the inconvenience and expense of
answering such complaints.” Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324 (1989).
addition to the review contemplated by § 1915,
Plaintiff's amended complaint is subject to screening
under the Prison Litigation Reform Act because Plaintiff
currently is incarcerated and seeks redress from governmental
entities and officers. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(a), (c). The § 1915A screening requires courts to
“identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint,
or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint (1) is
frivolous, malicious, or fails to ...