The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOSE LINARES, District Judge
Plaintiff James Robert Hughes, a prisoner currently confined at
the Adult Diagnostic & Treatment Center at Avenel, New Jersey,
seeks to bring this action alleging violations of his
At this time, the Court must review the Complaint to determine
whether it should be dismissed as frivolous or malicious, for
failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or
because it seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief. I. BACKGROUND
The following factual allegations are taken from Plaintiff's
Complaint and are accepted as true for purposes of this review.
Plaintiff is currently serving a 30-year sentence for rape,
imposed on December 20, 1978. He has been eligible for
consideration for parole since at least 1994.
Plaintiff contends that on January 20, 2005, the Defendants
deliberately violated his constitutional right to a fair parole
hearing by classifying him as a "2C" case*fn1 instead of a
"2A" case for the purpose of using a different standard to
justify denying parole. Plaintiff contends that the standard for
"2C" cases focuses on likely recidivism alone, but that the
standard for "2A" cases considers rehabilitation and treatment as
well. Plaintiff contends that use of the "2C" standard permits
the Parole Board to apply punishment for Plaintiff's past
criminal history and forces him to max-out on his indeterminate
Plaintiff names as defendants the individual members of the New
Jersey State Parole Board. He seeks both injunctive relief and
damages. II. STANDARDS FOR A SUA SPONTE DISMISSAL
This Court must dismiss, at the earliest practicable time,
certain in forma pauperis and prisoner actions that are
frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim, or seek monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) (in forma pauperis actions);
28 U.S.C. § 1915A (actions in which prisoner seeks redress from a
governmental defendant); 42 U.S.C. § 1997e (prisoner actions
brought with respect to prison conditions).
In determining the sufficiency of a pro se complaint, the
Court must be mindful to construe it liberally in favor of the
plaintiff. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972);
United States v. Day, 969 F.2d 39, 42 (3d Cir. 1992). The Court
must "accept as true all of the allegations in the complaint and
all reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom, and view
them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Morse v.
Lower Merion School Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997). The
Court need not, however, credit a pro se plaintiff's "bald
assertions" or "legal conclusions." Id.
A pro se complaint may be dismissed for failure to state a
claim only if it appears "`beyond doubt that the plaintiff can
prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle
him to relief.'" Haines, 404 U.S. at 521 (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957)); Milhouse v. Carlson,
652 F.2d 371, 373 (3d Cir. 1981).
Where a complaint can be remedied by an amendment, a district
court may not dismiss the complaint with prejudice, but must
permit the amendment. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 34
(1992); Grayson v. Mayview State Hospital, 293 F.3d 103, 108
(3d Cir. 2002) (dismissal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2));
Shane v. Fauver, 213 F.3d 113, 116-17 (3d Cir. 2000) (dismissal
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1)); Urrutia v. Harrisburg
County Police Dept., 91 F.3d 451, 453 (3d Cir. 1996).
III. SECTION 1983 ACTIONS
A plaintiff may have a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
for certain violations of his constitutional rights. Section 1983
provides in relevant part:
Every person who, under color of any statute,
ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State
or Territory . . . subjects, or causes to be
subjected, any citizen of the United States or other
person within the jurisdiction thereof to the
deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities
secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable
to the party injured in an action at law, suit in
equity, or other proper proceeding for redress. . . .
Thus, to state a claim for relief under § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege, first, the violation of a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States and, ...