Dooley v. Wetzel

#PLRA #8thAmendment #GBMI #1983 #RespondeatSuperior #CaseOrControversy

An inmate brought a 1983 suite alleging he should be categorized by the DOC as being in the class of prisoners in most need of mental health treatment. He claimed that, given his jury’s verdict of guilty but mentally ill, he was required to be categorized as such. The district court sua sponte dismissed the complaint without leave to amend and held that under the Prison Litigation Reform Act this suit qualified as a strike. The 3rd Circuit disagreed on both issues. The Court held that the complaint did not adequately plead involvement of the named defendants and that respondeat superior is not alone a valid basis for a suit, the Court held that the plaintiff should have been granted leave to amend. And the Court also held that it was not ripe for a decision whether this was a frivolous suit for the three-strike clause in the PLRA, as that determination should only be made later when it is ripe for consideration for a court determining whether or not dismiss based on three prior dismissals.