United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION AFTER REVIEW OF PLAINTIFF'S
C. NIVISON U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
an inmate at the Cumberland County Jail, filed a complaint in
which he alleges that Defendants unlawfully denied him access
to a pre-release program. (Complaint, ECF Nos. 1, 4.)
filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF Nos.
2, 5), which application the Court granted. (ECF No. 6.) 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
permit Plaintiff to proceed on a disability discrimination
claim, but dismiss all other claims asserted by Plaintiff.
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 ….” 28 U.S.C. §
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).
to Plaintiff, he is eligible to participate in a pre-release
program, which would evidently reduce the time Plaintiff
would be physically incarcerated at the jail. Plaintiff, who
was prescribed medication for a mental health condition, was
told he needed to stop taking the medication in order to
participate in the pre-release program. He stopped taking the
medication and was cleared by a psychiatrist to participate
in the program. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Brady
determined that he could not participate in the program at
least until his mental stability was monitored for an
unspecified period of time. Plaintiff advised Defendants
Joyce and Gagnon, the Sheriff and Deputy Sheriff of
Cumberland County, of Defendant Brady's decision, but
they evidently took no action to reverse the decision.
Plaintiff contends Defendants discriminated against him as
the result of his need for treatment for a mental health
also alleges he attempted to file a grievance, but he was
denied the opportunity. He asserts he was denied his due
process right to file a grievance.