Lewis v. Garcia et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: Plaintiff's 4 request to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 is granted. The Court grants Plaintiff 30 days in which to file an amended complaint. Once an amended complaint is fil ed, it completely replaces the original. The amended complaint must be captioned as an "Amended Complaint" and bear the same docket number as this Order. If plaintiff fails to comply with this Order within the time allowed, judgment shal l enter dismissing this action without prejudice. No summons shall issue at this time and all further proceedings shall be stayed for 30 days. If plaintiff chooses to submit additional filings in either case, she must specify the case to which her filings relate. The Court certifies pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that any appeal would not be taken in good faith and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for purpose of an appeal. SO ORDERED by Judge Allyne R. Ross, on 8/4/2014. C/mailed by Chambers to pro se Plaintiff. (Latka-Mucha, Wieslawa)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
-againstDHO GARCIA; METROPOLITAN DETENTION
CENTER PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT STAFF;
JOHN DOE; JOHN DOE; JANE DOE; JANE DOE,
ROSS, United States District Judge.
Plaintiff Regina Lewis, currently incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center
("MDC") in Brooklyn, New York, brings this pro se civil rights action seeking monetary damages
for violations of her Eighth Amendment rights. The court construes plaintiffs complaint as
brought under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403
U.S. 388 (1971). Plaintiffs request to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 is
granted. For the reasons discussed below, plaintiff is granted thirty (30) days leave to file an
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Pro se complaints are held to less stringent standards than pleadings drafted by attorneys,
and the Court is required to read the plaintiffs prose complaint liberally and interpret it as raising
the strongest arguments it suggests. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Hughes v. Rowe,
449 U.S. 5, 9 (1980); Sealed Plaintiffv. Sealed Defendant #1, 537 F.3d 185, 191-93 (2d Cir.
2008). Moreover, at the pleadings stage of the proceeding, the Court must assume the truth of "all
well-pleaded, nonconclusory factual allegations" in the complaint. Kiobel v. Royal Dutch
Petroleum Co., 621F.3d111, 124 (2d Cir. 2010) (citing Ashcroft v. Igbal. 556 U.S. 662, 678-79
(2009)). A complaint must plead sufficient facts to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
However, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, a district court "shall review, before docketing, if
feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in
which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a
governmental entity." 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Upon review, a district court shall dismiss a prisoner's
complaint sua sponte if the complaint is "frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted; or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief."
Id.; see Liner v. Goord, 196 F .3d 132, 134 & n. l (2d Cir. 1999) (noting that under the Prison
Litigation Reform Act, sua sponte dismissal of frivolous prisoner complaints is not only permitted
but mandatory); Tapia-Ortiz v. Winter, 185 F.3d 8, 11 (2d Cir. 1999).
Plaintiff brings this action against MDC Deputy Hearing Officer Garcia, unnamed staff of
the "Psychology Department" at MDC, and John and Jane Doe defendants. Plaintiffs complaint
provides a recitation of the requirements of the Eighth Amendment and alleges that she has not
received proper care for her mental health issues. Compl., Dkt. #1, at ECF 5. Plaintiff, who has a
pending criminal action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York,
see United States v. Lewis, No. 12 Cr. 655 (S.D.N.Y.), states that "everyone is aware of a mental
health issue warranting proper treatment and care." Id. However, she states:
DHO Garcia as well [as] the psychology staff at both institutions MDC and MCC
have subjected me to grotesque segregation .... The issue is not whether I
received the proper diagnosis but the mal-treatment I received after being
diagnosed with mental health issues by more than one source. All the staff had
actual knowledge. I find that my abuse establishes terrorism. Rather than pay for
the appropriate care and treatment, both MDC and MCC along with the bureau and
the District Court opted to deprive me of entitled care and treatment and due
process exacerbating my stress.
Id. Plaintiff seeks "sanctions needed to enforce compliance [with] the 8th amendment standards
establishing the elements of an adequate medical and mental health system in the Federal Bureau
of Prisons and [its] contract facilities." Id. at ECF 6. Plaintiff also seeks monetary damages. Id.
In Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. 403 U.S.
388 (1971), the Supreme Court recognized an implied private cause of action for damages against
federal officers who violate a citizen's constitutional rights. Bivens actions, although not
completely parallel, are the federal analog to 42 U.S.C § 1983 actions against state actors.
Hartman v. Moore, 547 U.S. 250, 254 n. 2 (2006) (noting that a Bivens action is the federal
analog to claims against state actors brought under§ 1983); see also Tavarez v. Reno, 54 F.3d
109, 110 (2d Cir. 1995) ("[F]ederal courts have typically incorporated Section 1983 law into
A Bivens action lies against a defendant only when the plaintiff can show the defendant's
personal involvement in the constitutional violation. See, M:, Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676 ("Because
vicarious liability is inapplicable to Bivens and § 1983 suits, a plaintiff must plead that each
Government-official defendant, through the official's own individual actions, has violated the
Constitution."); Thomas v. Ashcroft, 470 F.3d 491, 496 (2d Cir. 2006) ("[I]n Bivens actions, a
plaintiff must allege that the individual defendant was personally involved in the constitutional
Here, even construing the complaint liberally, plaintiff has not alleged sufficient facts to
support a claim that any of the named individual defendants had any direct involvement with,
knowledge of, or responsibility for the alleged deprivation of plaintiff's civil rights.
Accordingly, the Court grants plaintiff thirty (30) days in which to file an amended
complaint. Cruz v. Gomez, 202 F .3d 593, 597-98 (2d Cir. 2000). If plaintiff chooses to file an
amended complaint, she must provide the dates and a brief description of each alleged civil rights
violation by the individual MDC defendants that she names in the amended complaint, including
the personal involvement of each named defendant. Plaintiff shall not include claims pertaining
to events that occurred at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, located in New York County, as
this Court is not the proper venue to bring such claims. 1
The relevant venue provision is found at 28 U.S.C. § 1391 (b ), which provides that an action may be
(1) a judicial district in which any defendant resides, if all defendants are residents of the State in
which the district is located; (2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or
omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of the property that is the subject
of the action is situated; or (3) ifthere is no district in which an action may otherwise be brought as
provided in this section, any judicial district in which any defendant is subject to the court's
personal jurisdiction with respect to such action.
28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).
Plaintiff is advised that an amended complaint does not simply add to the first complaint.
Once an amended complaint is filed, it completely replaces the original. Therefore, plaintiff must
include in the amended complaint all the necessary information that was contained in the original
complaint. The amended complaint must be captioned as an "Amended Complaint" and bear the
same docket number as this order.
If plaintiff fails to comply with this order within the time allowed, judgment shall enter
dismissing this action without prejudice. No summons shall issue at this time and all further
proceedings shall be stayed for thirty (30) days.
The Court notes that plaintiff has filed a similar action in this Court naming different
defendants and raising claims relating to her time in segregation at the MDC. See Lewis v.
Ferguson, No. 14-CV-3284 (ARR). In the other case, the Court has also issued an order granting
plaintiff time to file an amended complaint alleging the personal involvement of each named
defendant. If plaintiff chooses to submit additional filings in either case, she must specify the case
to which her filings relate.
The Court certifies pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that any appeal would not be taken
in good faith and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for purpose of an appeal. Coppedge
v. United States, 269 U.S. 438, 444-45 (1962).
/S/ Judge Allyne R. Ross
Dated: Brooklyn, New York
August 4, 2014
Metropolitan Detention Center
PO Box 329002
Brooklyn, NY 11232
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