United States District Court, D. Maine
ROBERT W. MCKENNEY, Plaintiff
TIMOTHY KORTES, et al., Defendants
RECOMMENDED DECISION AFTER REVIEW OF PLAINTIFF'S
C. NIVISON U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
action, Plaintiff, an inmate at the York County Jail, alleges
that Defendants Timothy Kortes and Steve Butts, who are
evidently corrections officers at the Cumberland County Jail,
arranged for Plaintiff's transfer from the Cumberland
County Jail to the York County Jail in violation of his due
process rights. (Complaint, ECF No. 1.)
filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No.
2), which application the Court granted. (ECF No. 3.) 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 Plaintiff's 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 ….” 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).
April 2019, Plaintiff, who was serving a sentence at the
Cumberland County Jail, was due to be moved to the Community
Corrections Center. At about the time he was to move to the
Community Corrections Center, Plaintiff learned that he had
been transferred to the York County Jail. According to
Plaintiff, Defendants ordered the transfer. Plaintiff asserts
that prior to the transfer he was classified as minimum
security, but after transfer to the York County Jail, he was
assigned to the maximum security unit. Plaintiff maintains
that as a result, he has not had the ability to accrue the
same credit toward his release that he would have had he
remained in the Cumberland County Jail. Plaintiff alleges the
transfer and the loss of credit toward his release constitute
a due process violation.
prisoner has no constitutional right to remain incarcerated
in a particular prison or to be held in a specific security
classification.” Williams v. Lindamood, 526
Fed. App'x 559, 563 (6th Cir. 2013) (quoting
Harbin-Bey v. Rutter, 420 F.3d 571, 577 (6th Cir.
2005)); see also Myron v. Terhune, 476 F.3d 716, 718
(9th Cir. 2007). Therefore, unless his classification has
resulted in an “atypical and significant hardship
… in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison
life, ” Plaintiff does not have an actionable claim
based on any alleged procedural irregularities or
misapplication of state law classification standards.
Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 484 (1995). ...