United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Scott, Plaintiff Pro Se.
B. SIMANDLE U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiff Joseph Scott's
(“Plaintiff”), submission of a civil rights
complaint, Docket Entry 1, and motion for injunctive relief,
Docket Entry 4. At this time, the Court must review
the complaint, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 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 will proceed in part.
Defendants shall respond to the motion for injunctive relief
with their answer.
brings this civil rights action against Dr. Stephany McGann,
Nurse Denise Rodriguez, Candice Johnson, and the Utilization
Review Committee of FCI Fairton. He also seeks to bring a
Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”) claim against
the United States. The following factual allegations are
taken from the complaint and are accepted for purposes of
this screening only. The Court has made no findings as to the
truth of Plaintiff's allegations.
is a convicted and sentenced federal prisoner currently
confined at FCI Fairton, New Jersey. Plaintiff states that he
complained of pain in his left shoulder on August 12, 2016.
Complaint ¶ 10. He received an x-ray on August 23, 2016.
Id. ¶ 11. In March 2017, he complained to Dr.
McGann that he was still suffering from
“excruciating” pain. She told him to get
over-the-counter pain medication from the prison store.
Id. ¶ 12. Dr. McGann and Nurse Rodriguez did
not examine Plaintiff or refer him to a specialist before
“informing him that he would not see a[n] outside
doctor or receive a MRI.” Id. ¶ 13. Ms.
Johnson denied Plaintiff's request for relief from Nurse
Rodriguez's decisions. Id. ¶ 15.
made multiple requests for MRI scans of his left shoulder and
for a visit to an orthopedist, but the Utilization Review
Committee denied all of them. Id. ¶¶
16-17. Plaintiff alleges Dr. McGann denied the orthopedic
consultation due to cost. Id. ¶ 18. Plaintiff
alleges defendants were deliberately indifferent to his
serious medical needs.
further asks the Court to order defendants to arrange for
“Plaintiff to be examined by a qualified orthopedic
specialist and to obtain from that specialist an evaluation
of the condition of Plaintiff's right shoulder, and right
bicep and a prescription for a course of physical therapy
that will restore and maintain the full function of his right
shoulder.”Motion for Injunctive Relief at 2.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Standards for a Sua Sponte Dismissal
Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub. L. No. 104-134,
§§ 801-810, 110 Stat. 1321-66 to 1321-77 (April 26,
1996) (“PLRA”), district courts must review
complaints in those civil actions in which a prisoner is
proceeding in forma pauperis, see 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B), seeks redress against a governmental
employee or entity, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b),
or brings a claim with respect to prison conditions,
see 42 U.S.C. § 1997e. The PLRA directs
district courts to sua sponte dismiss any claim that
is frivolous, is 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. This action is
subject to sua sponte screening for dismissal under
28 U.S.C. § 1915 because Plaintiff is a prisoner
proceeding in forma pauperis.
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)); see also United States v. Day, 969
F.2d 39, 42 (3d Cir. 1992). According to the Supreme
Court's decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, “a
pleading that offers ‘labels or conclusions' or
‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action will not do.'” 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007)). To survive sua sponte screening
for failure to state a claim,  the complaint must allege
“sufficient factual matter” to show that the
claim is facially plausible. Fowler v. UPMS
Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009) (citation
omitted). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Fair Wind
Sailing, Inc. v. Dempster, 764 F.3d 303, 308 n.3 (3d
Cir. 2014) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678).
Moreover, while pro se pleadings are liberally
construed, “pro se litigants still must allege
sufficient facts in their complaints to support a
claim.” Mala v. Crown Bay Marina, Inc., 704
F.3d 239, 245 (3d Cir. 2013) (citation omitted) (emphasis
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