United States District Court, D. Maine
HERBERT F. WARRENDER, Plaintiff
MAINE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants
RECOMMENDED DECISION AFTER SCREENING COMPLAINT
PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e), 1915A
C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge
action, Plaintiff Herbert Warrender, an inmate in the custody
of the Maine Department of Corrections (the Department), at
the Mountain View Correctional Facility, alleges the
Department has unlawfully denied him credit for time served
on a concurrent sentence. Plaintiff also asserts the
Department required that he perform uncompensated labor and
improperly assigned him to the Maine State Prison for a
period of time.
has filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF
No. 3), which application the Court granted. (ECF No. 4.) In
accordance with the in forma pauperis statute, a preliminary
review of Plaintiff's complaint is appropriate. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2). Additionally, Plaintiff's complaint is
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 Plaintiff's complaint, I recommend the Court
dismiss the complaint.
federal in forma pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915, is
designed to ensure meaningful access to the federal courts
for those persons unable to pay the costs of bringing an
action. When a party is proceeding in forma pauperis,
however, “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” or
“seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” 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 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 state a claim …; or (2) seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
considering whether a complaint states a claim for which
relief may be granted, courts must assume the truth of all
well-plead facts and give the plaintiff the benefit of all
reasonable inferences therefrom. Ocasio-Hernandez v.
Fortuno-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 12 (1st Cir. 2011). A
complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted if it does not plead “enough facts to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
a pro se plaintiff's complaint is subject to “less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers,
” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972),
this is “not to say that pro se plaintiffs are not
required to plead basic facts sufficient to state a claim,
Ferranti v. Moran, 618 F.2d 888, 890 (1st Cir.
1980). To allege a civil action in federal court, it is not
enough for a plaintiff merely to allege that a defendant
acted unlawfully; a plaintiff must affirmatively allege facts
that identify the manner by which the defendant subjected the
plaintiff to a harm for which the law affords a remedy.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
alleges that Defendant Fournier, a sergeant with the
Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office, and Defendant
Brochu, Plaintiff's former attorney, violated
Plaintiff's constitutional rights. Specifically,
Plaintiff asserts Defendant Fournier failed to execute a
personal recognizance bail bond while Plaintiff was in
intensive care at a medical facility, and that Defendant
Brochu made an agreement with the State that deprived
Plaintiff of credit for time served and exposed Plaintiff to
financial liability for emergency medical services.
(Complaint ¶¶ 2 - 4, ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff also
alleges that Defendant Brochu failed to inform Plaintiff of a
motion that was heard in state court on October 12, 2012.
(Id. ¶ 5.)
further asserts the Department miscalculated or omitted
credits toward his state sentence, including time served on a
concurrent federal sentence, “day by day service”
credit, and “presentence good time” credit.
(Id. ¶¶ 8, 9, 10, 15, 17.) For example,
Plaintiff apparently claims that he should have received
credit, pursuant to 17-A M.R.S. § 1253(2), for good time
accrued while serving his federal sentence. (Id.
¶ 13.) Additionally, Plaintiff alleges the Department
placed him in the Maine State Prison because the Department
considered him an “administrative burden” based
on his assertions that he had served his time; he further
asserts the Department made him perform “hard
labor” without compensation. (Id. ¶¶
claims the Department “owes [him] 597 days credit for
day by day service and 154 days statutory good time.”
(Id. ¶ 17.) Plaintiff also requests an award of
money damages against the ...