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Aaron R. Johnson v. Joseph Bondiskey

July 27, 2011

AARON R. JOHNSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOSEPH BONDISKEY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bumb, District Judge

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

Plaintiff, Aaron Johnson("Plaintiff"), confined at United States Penitentiary - Canaan in Waymart, Pennsylvania at the time he submitted this complaint for filing, seeks to bring this action in forma pauperis. Based on his affidavit of indigence, the Court will grant Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis ("IFP") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) (1998) and order the Clerk of the Court to file the complaint.

At this time, the Court must review the complaint, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A, to determine whether it should be dismissed as frivolous or malicious, for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or because it seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. For the reasons set forth below, the Court concludes that the complaint should proceed in part.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff brings this civil action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against Defendants Joseph Bondiskey, Warden of the Gerard L. Gormley Justice Facility*fn1 , and Corrections Officer Louis King.

In his first claim, Plaintiff alleges that when he was a prisoner in the Gerard L. Gormley Justice Facility, while being escorted to the top tier shower, he was handcuffed from behind by Officer Louis King. While being handcuffed, he felt a pain in his right leg, as if he had been kicked, and he fell down seven steel steps. He was unconscious when he arrived at the hospital. When he returned to the jail, he was informed by another inmate that said inmate had seen Officer King kick Plaintiff down the stairs. Plaintiff suffered a "small disk protrusion paracentral to the right L5-S1."

In his second claim, Plaintiff states only that he was "denied medication for three weeks." He states that his injury was "pain and suffering, denying [him] medical attention, and pain medication."

Plaintiff seeks $800,687.00 in damages.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

1. Standards for a Sua Sponte Dismissal

The Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub.L. No. 104-134, §§ 801-810, 110 Stat. 1321-66 to 1321-77 (April 26, 1996), requires a district court to review a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner is proceeding in forma pauperis or seeks redress against a governmental employee or entity. The Court is required to identify cognizable claims and to sua sponte dismiss any claim that is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A. This action is subject to sua sponte screening for dismissal under both 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) (B) and 1915A, because Plaintiff is a prisoner and is proceeding as an indigent.

In determining the sufficiency of a pro se complaint, the Court must be mindful to construe it liberally in favor of the plaintiff. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007) (following Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976) and Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 ...


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