United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION AFTER SCREENING COMPLAINT
PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e), 1915A
C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge.
action, Plaintiff Frank Inman, a pretrial detainee at the
Penobscot County Jail, complains about the conditions of bail
established by the state court and about the conditions of
filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No.
6), which application the Court granted (ECF No. 7). 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). Furthermore, to the
extent Plaintiff's pleading can be construed as a habeas
corpus petition, Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254
Cases requires that the Court conduct a preliminary review of
the petition, and dismiss the petition “[i]f it plainly
appears from the petition and any attached exhibits that the
petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district
explained below, following a review of Plaintiff's
filings, I recommend the Court dismiss the matter.
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 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).
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).
a federal district court must dismiss a habeas corpus
petition if it appears from the face of the petition that the
petitioner is not entitled to relief. Rules Governing Section
2254 Proceedings, Rules 1 and 4; see also McFarland v.
Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994) (“Federal courts
are authorized to dismiss summarily any habeas petition that
appears legally insufficient on its face.”). To show
his entitlement to relief, Plaintiff must assert facts
capable of supporting the finding that “[h]e is in
custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties
of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. §§
to Plaintiff's filings, Plaintiff entered state custody
on criminal charges on September 7, 2017, and he has been
held at the Penobscot County Jail. Evidently, Plaintiff was
arrested because he failed to appear for a court hearing on a
criminal charge. Plaintiff asserts that he was denied bail
(ECF No. 1), that the bail “seems over excessive”
(id.), and that the bail was set “at an over
excessive amount.” (ECF No. 10.)
asserts he suffers from Huntington's disease, which
requires that he consume a certain number of calories, but,
for an unstated reason, he has not been able to eat or drink
“since prior to [his] arrest.” (ECF No. 1 at 1.)
Plaintiff alleges “the medical department” has
not seen him, and he fears ...