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Davis v. Shenkus

August 2, 2006

SEAN L. DAVIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ERIC R. SHENKUS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jerome B. Simandle, District Judge

OPINION

Plaintiff SEAN L. DAVIS (hereinafter "Plaintiff") currently confined at the Atlantic County Justice Facility, Mays Landing, New Jersey, seeks to bring this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action in forma pauperis without prepayment of fees pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Plaintiff submitted his affidavit of indigence and institutional account statement pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) (1998). Plaintiff also submitted for filing his complaint (hereinafter "Complaint").

Plaintiff'S Complaint names Eric R. Shenkus as defendant (hereinafter "Defendant"), and states that Defendant violated Plaintiff's constitutional rights by doing the following:

[Defendant] is [Plaintiff's] public defender for [Plaintiff's] current legal matter, and [Defendant is not following the client[-]lawyer guidelines. [Defendant] is in violation of [Plaintiff's] 6th Amendment which states to have proper counsel for [Plaintiff's] defense. Compl. § 3(B).

Plaintiff's Complaint clarifies Defendant's failure to "follow the client[-]lawyer guidelines" as follows:

A. On [certain dates in November and December of 2005, Plaintiff] requested [his] discovery, Grand Jury transcripts, and a Wade hearing. [Defendant] post[]poned [Plaintiff] on all dates and did not follow through with [Plaintiff's] requests.

B. On [a certain date in February of 2006, Plaintiff] asked for [his] Grand Jury transcripts, a Wade hearing and Miranda motion. [Plaintiff] also presented evidence to [Defendant, explaining to Defendant what] to say before the judge [but Defendant] did not comply . . . .

C. On [another date, Plaintiff] asked for trial after [Defendant] told [Plaintiff that Plaintiff] couldn't get a motion to dismiss. [Defendant] post[]poned [Plaintiff] instead of putting [Plaintiff] on the trial list. Id. § 4.

Plaintiff asks this Court to "[a]ppoint [Plaintiff] a lawyer who will represent [Plaintiff] to [the lawyer's] fullest potential. Someone who can legally coincide with [Plaintiff] and recognize the inconsistency of the discovery." Id. § 5. After carefully examining Plaintiff's Complaint, this Court dismisses the Complaint with prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

In 1996, Congress enacted the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), Title VIII of the Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (April 26, 1996). Congress's purpose in enacting the PLRA was "primarily to curtail claims brought by prisoners under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Federal Tort Claims Act . . . many of which are routinely dismissed as legally frivolous." Santana v. United States, 98 F.3d 752, 755 (3d Cir. 1996). A crucial part of the congressional plan for curtailing meritless prisoner suits is the requirement, embodied in 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b), that a court must dismiss, at the earliest practicable time, any prisoner actions that are frivolous or malicious, fail to state a claim, or seek monetary relief from immune defendants. However, in determining the sufficiency of a complaint, the Court must be mindful to construe it liberally in favor of the plaintiff. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972); United States v. Day, 969 F.2d 39, 42 (3d Cir. 1992). The Court should "accept as true all of the allegations in the complaint and reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom, and view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Morse v. Lower Merion School Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997). The Court need not, however, lend credit to a pro se plaintiff's "bald assertions" or "legal conclusions." Id. Thus, "[a] pro se complaint may be dismissed for failure to state a claim only if it appears 'beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief.'" Milhouse v. Carlson, 652 F.2d 371, 373 (3d Cir. 1981) (quoting Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972)).

Liberally construing Plaintiff's Complaint, this Court interprets it as setting forth (1) a claim under the Sixth Amendment, and ...


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