Chapman v. Davis
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Richard G. Andrews on 2/24/2016. (cna)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE
JONATH K. CHAPMAN, SR.,
Civil Action No. 15-1 060-RGA
JUDGE ERIC DAVIS,
Jonath K. Chapman, Sr., Central Violation of Probation, Smyrna, Delaware.
Pro Se Plaintiff.
February 2~, 2016
ANDREWS, U.S. District Judge:
Plaintiff Jonath K. Chapman, Sr., an inmate at the Central Violation of Probation,
Smyrna, Delaware, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He appears pro se
and has been granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (0.1. 6). The Court proceeds
to review and screen the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and
Plaintiff commenced this suit against Defendant Judge Eric Davis blaming Judge
Davis because he has not received necessary surgery. Plaintiff filed a similar suit
against Judge Davis in January 2015 that was dismissed based upon Judge Davis'
judicial immunity. (See Chapman v. Davis, Civil Action No. 15-041-RGA at 0.1. 11, 12).
Plaintiff was sentenced on June 28, 2013. He asked Judge Davis, who sentenced him,
to postpone the sentencing based upon Plaintiff's medical condition, but the request
was denied. Plaintiff then sought home confinement, but it was denied. Plaintiff was
seen by a surgeon on August 7,2014, who told Plaintiff that he needed surgery
Plaintiff underwent surgery on his left shoulder on January 14, 2015. He alleges
that his condition is worse than before the surgery and that he also requires surgery on
his back, neck, and right shoulder. Plaintiff alleges the surgeries will not be performed
because he has only sixty days left on his Level 5 sentence. Plaintiff alleges that Judge
Davis has denied him relief under the motions he filed in State court. Plaintiff alleges
that Judge Davis has "made this a life sentence because of his [lack ot] surgeries.
Plaintiff asks that he be sent home and paid for the time that he has suffered with
A federal court may properly dismiss an action sua sponte under the screening
provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and § 1915A(b) if "the action is frivolous or
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." Ball v. Famiglio, 726 F.3d 448,
452 (3d Cir. 2013).
The Court must accept all factual allegations in a complaint as true and take
them in the light most favorable to a pro se plaintiff. Phillips v. County of Allegheny, 515
F.3d 224, 229 (3d Cir. 2008); Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007). Because
Plaintiff proceeds pro se, his pleading is liberally construed and his complaint, "however
inartfully pleaded, must be held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers." Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. at 94 (citations omitted).
An action is frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact."
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319,325 (1989). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and
§ 1915A(b)(1), a court may dismiss a complaint as frivolous if it is "based on an
indisputably meritless legal theory." Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-28; Wilson v. Rackmill,
878 F.2d 772, 774 (3d Cir. 1989).
The legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant
to § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) and § 1915A(b)(1) is identical to the legal standard used when
ruling on Rule 12(b)(6) motions. Tourscher v. McCullough, 184 F.3d 236,240 (3d Cir.
1999). However, before dismissing a complaint or claims for failure to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted pursuant to the screening provisions of 28 U.S.C. §§
1915 and 1915A, the Court must grant Plaintiff leave to amend his complaint unless
amendment would be inequitable or futile. See Grayson v. Mayview State Hosp., 293
F.3d 103, 114 (3d Cir. 2002).
A well-pleaded complaint must contain more than mere labels and conclusions.
See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009); Bell At!. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544
(2007). A plaintiff must plead facts sufficient to show that a claim has substantive
plausibility. See Johnson v. City of Shelby, _U.S._, 135 S.Ct. 346, 347 (2014). A
complaint may not dismissed, however, for imperfect statements of the legal theory
supporting the claim asserted. See id. at 346.
Under the pleading regime established by Twombly and Iqbal, a court reviewing
the sufficiency of a complaint must take three steps: (1) take note of the elements the
plaintiff must plead to state a claim; (2) identify allegations that, because they are no
more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth; and (3) when there
are well-pleaded factual allegations, the court should assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief. Connelly v. Lane
Const. Corp., 809 F.3d 780,787 (3d Cir. 2016) (internal citations and quotations
omitted). Elements are sufficiently alleged when the facts in the complaint "show" that
the plaintiff is entitled to relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2».
Deciding whether a claim is plausible will be a "context-specific task that requires the
reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense." Id.
Judge Davis has judicial immunity and is immune from suit. See Capogrosso v.
The Supreme Court of New Jersey, 588 F .3d 180, 184 (3d Cir. 2009) (per curiam);
Azubuko v. Royal, 443 F .3d 302, 303 (3d Cir. 2006). A judge is liable only for
non-judicial acts or acts as to which he was completely without jurisdiction. Mireles v.
Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 11-12 (1991). The Complaint does not allege that Judge Davis acted
outside of his jurisdiction or was involved in any acts other than those performed in his
official judicial capacity.
For the above reasons, the Complaint will be dismissed as Judge Davis is
immune from suit pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(8)(iii) and § 1915A(b)(2). The
Court finds that amendment is futile.
An appropriate order will be entered.
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