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RAHEEM M. HAYES v. SGT. B. DECICCO

November 30, 2010

RAHEEM M. HAYES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SGT. B. DECICCO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: /s/ Noel L. Hillman Noel L. Hillman United States District Judge

: OPINION

APPEARANCES: Raheem M. Hayes, Pro Se 149872 Atlantic County Justice Facility 5060 Atlantic Avenue Mays Landing, NJ 08330 HILLMAN, District Judge

Plaintiff, Raheem M. Hayes, currently confined at the Atlantic County Justice Facility, Mays Landing, New Jersey, has submitted this civil complaint which alleges violations of his constitutional rights, and seeks damages pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff has not paid the filing fee, and seeks permission to proceed in forma pauperis. Based on Plaintiff's affidavit of indigence, this Court will grant his request.

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, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). For the following reasons, the complaint will be dismissed.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff seeks to sue three defendants, all employees of the Atlantic County Justice Facility ("ACJF"): Sergeant B. DeCicco; Officer Patrick Robinson; and Sergeant I. Quezergue. He claims that:

On 3/11/10, at Atlantic County Justice Facility I Raheem Hayes was removed from (F. Left) location for my behavior. I was immediately placed in I-Left location, Sgt. B. DeCicco pack[ed] my clothes and my legal work and never gave me my belongings my discovery and everything I need to go to trial with! (Complaint, ¶ 4). He also states that "they never gave me back my discovery and legal matter pertaining to my case, now I do not have the proper tools to fight my case that I'm being charged with." (Complt., ¶ 3B).

Plaintiff asks for $100,000 in damages.

DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

The Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), Pub. L. No. 104-134, § § 801-810, 110 Stat. 1321-66 to 1321-77 (April 26, 1996), requires a district court to review a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner is proceeding in forma pauperis or seeks redress against a governmental employee or entity. The Court is required to identify cognizable claims and to sua sponte dismiss any claim that is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A. This action is subject to sua sponte screening for dismissal under both 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A, because plaintiff is a prisoner and is proceeding as an indigent.

In determining the sufficiency of a pro se complaint, the Court must be mindful to construe it liberally in favor of the plaintiff. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007) (following Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976) and Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972)). See also 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.

Recently, the Supreme Court refined this standard for summary dismissal of a complaint that fails to state a claim in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937 (2009). The Court examined Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which provides that a complaint must contain "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2).*fn1 Citing its recent opinion in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), for the proposition that "[a] pleading that offers 'labels and conclusions' or 'a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do,'" Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555), the Supreme Court held that, to prevent a summary dismissal, a civil complaint must now allege "sufficient factual matter" to show that the claim is facially plausible. This then "allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct ...


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