VAN DAM v. MAINE STATE PRISON

Filing 3

REPORT AND RECOMMENDED DECISION re 1 Complaint. Objections to R&R due by 2/1/2023. By MAGISTRATE JUDGE JOHN C. NIVISON. (MFS)

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Case 1:23-cv-00025-GZS Document 3 Filed 01/18/23 Page 1 of 3 PageID #: 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF MAINE JOSEPH VAN DAM, Plaintiff v. MAINE STATE PRISON, Defendant ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) 1:23-cv-00025-GZS RECOMMENDED DECISION AFTER REVIEW OF PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT Plaintiff filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 seeking reimbursement for the cost of a television that he maintains was taken from his cell. (Complaint, ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff’s complaint is subject to screening “before docketing, if feasible or … as soon as practicable after docketing,” because he is “a prisoner seek[ing] redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). After review of Plaintiff’s complaint, I recommend the Court dismiss the matter. DISCUSSION The § 1915A screening requires courts to “identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint (1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim …; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). When considering whether a complaint states a claim for which relief may be granted, courts must assume the truth of all well-plead facts and give the plaintiff the Case 1:23-cv-00025-GZS Document 3 Filed 01/18/23 Page 2 of 3 PageID #: 8 benefit of all reasonable inferences therefrom. Ocasio-Hernandez v. Fortuno-Burset, 640 F.3d 1, 12 (1st Cir. 2011). A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “The relevant question ... in assessing plausibility is not whether the complaint makes any particular factual allegations but, rather, whether ‘the complaint warrant[s] dismissal because it failed in toto to render plaintiffs’ entitlement to relief plausible.’” Rodríguez–Reyes v. Molina– Rodríguez, 711 F.3d 49, 55 (1st Cir. 2013) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 569 n. 14). Although a pro se plaintiff’s complaint is subject to “less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers,” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), the complaint may not consist entirely of “conclusory allegations that merely parrot the relevant legal standard,” Young v. Wells Fargo, N.A., 717 F.3d 224, 231 (1st Cir. 2013). See also Ferranti v. Moran, 618 F.2d 888, 890 (1st Cir. 1980) (explaining that the liberal standard applied to the pleadings of pro se plaintiffs “is not to say that pro se plaintiffs are not required to plead basic facts sufficient to state a claim”). Plaintiff alleges a television he purchased was taken when he was placed on suicide watch. (Complaint ¶ IV.) He also alleges that another individual borrowed the television. (Id.) Plaintiff has not alleged sufficient facts to support a “plausible” federal cause of action. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. The pleading rules “demand[] more than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Dismissal, therefore, is warranted. 2 Case 1:23-cv-00025-GZS Document 3 Filed 01/18/23 Page 3 of 3 PageID #: 9 CONCLUSION Based on the foregoing analysis, after a review of Plaintiff’s complaint in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, I recommend the Court dismiss the complaint. NOTICE A party may file objections to those specified portions of a magistrate judge’s report or proposed findings or recommended decisions entered pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) for which de novo review by the district court is sought, together with a supporting memorandum, within fourteen (14) days of being served with a copy thereof. Failure to file a timely objection shall constitute a waiver of the right to de novo review by the district court and to appeal the district court’s order. /s/ John C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge Dated this 18th day of January, 2023. 3

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