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Omar Abreu v. (Doctor) Mr. Gostkowski

September 14, 2011

OMAR ABREU, PLAINTIFF,
v.
(DOCTOR) MR. GOSTKOWSKI, DEFENDANT.



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

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

Plaintiff Omar Abreu is a federal prisoner serving a 246-month sentence upon conviction of racketeering and related offenses. See United States v. Abreu, Criminal No. 00-0732 (S.D.N.Y.). Currently confined at the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix, New Jersey, he seeks to bring this action in forma pauperis pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Fed. Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), alleging violations of his constitutional rights. Based on his affidavit of indigence and the absence of three qualifying dismissals within 28 U.S.C. §1915(g), the Court will grant Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) and order the Clerk of the Court to file the Complaint.

At this time, the Court must review the Complaint 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.

I. BACKGROUND

The following factual allegations are taken from Plaintiff's Complaint, and its attachments, and are accepted as true for purposes of this review.

Plaintiff alleges that his knee was operated on in October of 2007. He alleges that, as a result of the operation, and because he has flat feet, a Dr. Patel prescribed "medical shoes." Plaintiff alleges that this footwear is necessary to prevent the condition of his knees from deteriorating.

In 2010, Dr. Gostkowski determined that there was no medical need for the previously prescribed "medical shoes." Instead, to treat Plaintiff's flat feet, Dr. Gostkowski advised Plaintiff to purchase soft shoes or boots from the commissary and prescribed orthotics. Plaintiff has been advised that he will be provided replacement orthotics in the future. Plaintiff alleges that he is in some pain from his condition. Plaintiff has brought this action seeking an order for the previously-prescribed medical shoes and for monetary compensation for his pain and suffering.

II. STANDARDS FOR A SUA SPONTE DISMISSAL This Court must dismiss, at the earliest practicable time, certain in forma pauperis and prisoner actions that are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) (in forma pauperis actions); 28 U.S.C. § 1915A (actions in which prisoner seeks redress from a governmental defendant); 42 U.S.C. § 1997e (prisoner actions brought with respect to prison conditions).

In determining the sufficiency of a pro se complaint, the Court must be mindful to construe it liberally in favor of the plaintiff. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); United States v. Day, 969 F.2d 39, 42 (3d Cir. 1992). The Court must "accept as true all of the allegations in the complaint and all 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).

In addition, any complaint must comply with the pleading requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Rule 8(a)(2) requires that a complaint contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." A complaint must plead facts sufficient at least to "suggest" a basis for liability. Spruill v. Gillis, 372 F.3d 218, 236 n.12 (3d Cir. 2004). "Specific facts are not necessary; the statement need only 'give the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'" Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (citations omitted). While a complaint ... does not need detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's obligation to provide the "grounds" of his "entitle[ment] to relief" requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do, see Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286, 106 S.Ct. 2932, 92 L.Ed.2d 209 (1986) (on a motion to dismiss, courts "are not bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation"). Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level ... .

Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citations omitted).

The Supreme Court has demonstrated the application of these general standards to a ...


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