BETANCOURTH v. LEHIGH COUNTY JAIL et al
MEMORANDUM AND/OR OPINION. SIGNED BY HONORABLE GENE E.K. PRATTER ON 1/26/17. 1/26/17 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED TO PRO SE PLAINTIFF. (jpd,)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER BETANCOURTH
LEHIGH COUNTY JAIL WARDEN:
JANINE DONATE, et al.
JAN 2 6 2017
KATE BARKMAN, Clerk
Christopher Alexander Betancourth has filed a pro se 42
1983 civil rights lawsuit against members of the staff
at the Lehigh County Jail.
He alleges that he was injured when
he slipped and fell in some water leaking from an access panel at
The Court grants Mr. Betancourth leave to proceed in
forma pauperis because it appears that he is incapable of paying
the fees to commence this civil action. 1
Accordingly, 28 U.S.C.
1915(e) (2) (B) (i) applies, which requires the Court to dismiss
the complaint if it is frivolous.
A complaint is frivolous if it
"lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact," Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989), and is legally baseless if it
is "based on an indisputably meritless legal theory."
United States, 67 F.3d 1080, 1085 (3d Cir. 1995).
is proceeding pro se, the Court construes his allegations
Higgs v. Att'y Gen., 655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir.
However, as Mr. Betancourth is a prisoner, he will be
obligated to pay the filing fee in installments in accordance
with the Prison Litigation Reform Act.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b).
In order to bring suit under
1983, Mr. Betancourth
must allege that a person acting under color of state law
deprived him of his constitutional rights.
U.S. 42 (1988).
West v. Atkins, 487
There are no allegations in the complaint that
would allow this Court to find that the defendants have violated
Mr. Betancourth's constitutional rights.
Even if prison
officials were negligent because a leak from an access panel was
not repaired for several days, negligent conduct which causes
unintended injury to an inmate does not amount to a
See Davidson v. Cannon, 474 U.S. 344,
347 (1986); Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327, 328 (1986).
Furthermore, Mr. Betancourth states that he received medical
treatment for his injuries immediately after he fell.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court will dismiss Mr.
Betancourth's complaint as legally frivolous, pursuant to 28
1915(e) (2) (B) (i).
He will not be given leave to amend
because amendment would be futile.
order dismissing this
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