Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Ruffin v. Chchon

United States District Court, D. Maine

September 19, 2017

DANIEL ONEIL RUFFIN, Plaintiff
v.
ALFRED CHCHON, et al., Defendants

          RECOMMENDED DECISION ON AMENDED COMPLAINT

          JOHN C. NIVISON, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         In this action, Plaintiff Daniel Ruffin, an inmate incarcerated at the Maine State Prison, initially alleged that Defendants have violated his constitutional rights by restricting his diet and access to the commissary, and by failing to treat properly a medical condition that affected his feet.

         Plaintiff filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 2), which application the Court granted. (ECF No. 4.) In accordance with the in forma pauperis statute and 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a), [1] the Court conducted a preliminary review of Plaintiff's complaint and dismissed Plaintiff's diet-related claim, but permitted Plaintiff to proceed on his medical care claim. (Order, ECF No. 11.)

         Subsequently, and after one of the defendants filed an answer to the complaint, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint. (Amended Complaint, ECF No. 21.) In the amended complaint, Plaintiff reasserts his medical care claim. Because the Court previously determined that Plaintiff had asserted an actionable medical care claim, the Court grants Plaintiff leave to amend the complaint and proceed on the amended complaint.

         In the amended complaint, however, Plaintiff attempted to join a defendant, Jonathon Jones, whom he did not name as a defendant in the original complaint. Additionally, in the amended complaint, Plaintiff stated that he “also seeks damages pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.” (Amended Complaint at 1 - 2.)

         The claim as to Defendant Jones and the proposed disability discrimination claim are subject to review in accordance with the in forma pauperis statute (28 U.S.C. § 1915) and 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Following the review, I recommend the Court dismiss Plaintiff's claim against Defendant Jones and Plaintiff's disability discrimination claim.

         Discussion

         The 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).

         In 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 state a claim …; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         When 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 (2007).

         Although 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).

         A. Deliberate Indifference

         In the amended complaint, while Plaintiff has alleged facts regarding Defendants Cichon, Knowlton, and Hinkley, Plaintiff has not asserted any facts against Defendant Jones. In other words, Plaintiff has not alleged any basis for a claim against Defendant Jones. Dismissal of Defendant Jones, therefore, is warranted.

         B. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.