United States District Court, D. Maine
VINCENT T. HINOTE, Plaintiff
SCOTT JORDAN, et al., Defendants
RECOMMENDED DECISION AFTER REVIEW OF PLAINTIFF'S
COMPLAINT PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e),
C. NIVISON U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
this action, Plaintiff, an inmate in the Cumberland County
Jail, alleges Defendants, members of the Cumberland County
Sheriff's office, unlawfully disciplined him and
otherwise violated his constitutional rights. (Complaint, ECF
filed an application to proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No.
5), 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 a review “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 the complaint, I recommend the Court dismiss
Plaintiff's claims, except for Plaintiff's claim that
he was denied adequate nutrition during his time in
party is proceeding in forma pauperis, “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.” 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 is currently
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
(2007). “The relevant question ... in assessing
plausibility is not whether the complaint makes any
particular factual allegations but, rather, whether
‘the complaint warrant[s] dismissal because it failed
in toto to render plaintiffs' entitlement to
relief plausible.'” Rodríguez-Reyes v.
Molina- Rodríguez, 711 F.3d 49, 55 (1st Cir.
2013) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 569 n. 14).
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), the complaint may not consist entirely of
“conclusory allegations that merely parrot the relevant
legal standard, ” Young v. Wells Fargo, N.A.,
717 F.3d 224, 231 (1st Cir. 2013). See also Ferranti v.
Moran, 618 F.2d 888, 890 (1st Cir. 1980) (explaining
that the liberal standard applied to the pleadings of pro se
plaintiffs “is not to say that pro se plaintiffs are
not required to plead basic facts sufficient to state a
to Plaintiff, when he was booked into the Cumberland County
Jail on April 7, 2019, he informed Defendant Jordan that
although he was being booked into the jail under the name
“Jonathon Lee Hinote, ” he had legally changed
his name to “Vincent T. Hinote” in August 2018.
(Complaint at 3.) Plaintiff was then fingerprinted and held
in lockdown until the FBI could confirm his identity.
Jordan subsequently charged Plaintiff with forgery and put
Plaintiff in administrative segregation pending a hearing
before the jail's disciplinary board. (Complaint at 4.)
Plaintiff alleges that he was held in segregation for 15
days, and during that time was “denied access to the
courts, law library, and made to eat food trays consisting of
only one piece of bread and clear water.”
(Id.) Plaintiff was found guilty by the disciplinary
board and served 15 days in maximum security. Plaintiff
contends that Defendant Joyce, the Sheriff of Cumberland
County, oversaw and “rubberstamped” the violation
of his rights. (Id.)
complaint, Plaintiff alleges that (1) Defendants retaliated
against him for exercising his First Amendment rights; (2) he
was unfairly disciplined; (3) he was denied adequate
nutrition while in administrative segregation; and (4) he was
denied access to the courts while in administrative