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Joseph Aruanno v. Paul Fishman

June 8, 2011

JOSEPH ARUANNO,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
PAUL FISHMAN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Martini, District Judge:

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

Joseph Aruanno, who is civilly committed under the New Jersey Sexually Violent Predator Act, seeks to file a Complaint against Paul Fishman, United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, and United States Attorney General Eric Holder, without prepayment of the filing fee. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). This Court will grant Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis. This Court has screened the Complaint for dismissal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and, for the reasons explained below, will dismiss the Complaint with prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff has been civilly committed as a sexually violent predator since 2004. As explained by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, [i]n 1994, while in Florida, he exposed himself to two adolescent girls as they were walking home from school and engaged in lewd conduct in their presence. As a result of this incident, Aruanno pled guilty to second-degree lewd conduct, and was sentenced to ten years' probation. Just two years later, in 1996, Aruanno sexually molested an eight-year-old girl who had been playing on the front steps of her house in Wildwood, New Jersey. A jury convicted Aruanno of second-degree sexual assault, and he was sentenced to ten years in prison, and disqualification from parole for five years. The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court affirmed the conviction and sentence. The New Jersey Supreme Court denied certification. State v. Aruanno, 793 A. 2d 716 (N.J. 2002) (table op.).

In April 2004, while Aruanno was still serving his prison sentence, the State of New Jersey . . . filed a petition to involuntarily commit Aruanno pursuant to the New Jersey Sexually Violent Predator Act ("SVPA), N.J.S.A. § 30:4-27.24 et seq. . . . .

At the commitment hearing, the State presented the testimony of Dr. Vivian Shnaidman . . . . Dr. Shnaidman testified that Aruanno was a chronic paranoid schizophrenic, but her diagnosis explicitly ruled out diagnoses of exhibitionism and pedophilia. Nevertheless, Dr. Shnaidman opined that Aruanno's schizophrenia, when combined with his previous violent conduct, created a "very high" risk of future violence. In particular, because Aruanno refused to take psychotropic medication to treat his schizophrenia, he would continue to suffer from psychotic delusions which would render sex offender treatment useless. According to Dr. Shnaidman, Aruanno would have serious difficulty controlling his sexually predatory behavior without undergoing treatment for his schizophrenia . . . .

Aruanno testified on his own behalf at the hearing. He denied committing either the Florida or the New Jersey offense, and testified that he believed the State had filed the commitment petition in retribution for his decision to go to trial for the New Jersey offense, rather than accepting a deal to plead guilty . . . . The state court found that Aruanno suffered from a mental abnormality which created "substantial, significant, severe difficulty controlling his sexually violent behavior," and granted the State's petition for involuntary commitment. Aruanno appealed the order, and the Appellate Division affirmed. In re Civil Commitment of J.A., 2007 WL 609284 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2007).

Aruanno v. Hayman, C.A. No. 09-3499 slip op., pp. 2-4 (3d Cir. May 27, 2010).

In 2009, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court reversed the Law Division's May 3, 2007, order denying post-conviction relief on the New Jersey conviction, vacated the conviction, and remanded the case.*fn1 See State v. Aruanno, 2009 WL 1046033 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. April 21, 2009), certif. denied, 199 N.J. 543 (2009) (table).

Since being detained in New Jersey, Mr. Aruanno has filed over 28 civil cases in this Court, and 27 appeals in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Plaintiff asserts the following facts in the Complaint presently before this Court:

As you can see in the attached Exhibit-A, dated 10/20/06, which is the cover sheet of a complaint filed/submitted to the Office of the U.S. Attorney in Newark that office was made aware of some serious crimes being committed but refused to comply or act as obligated by even attempting to investigate the situation. And worse despite warning then U.S. Attorney C. Christie that there would be retaliation if the state was informed without taking proper safety measures he eventually just forwarded the complaint to the Office of the N.J. Attorney General knowing that they were going to do nothing and which also lead [sic] to the retaliation which continues to this day . . .

Also in this case you will see that NUMEROUS other residents and/or patients at the facility I am at have contacted each defendants office over the years only to get replies that "THEY DON'T HANDLE INDIVIDUAL COMPLAINTS" for which I then made copies of all those replies pointing out the nonsense . . . for which there has been no replies since then, about one year now, from the office of the U.S. Attorney General despite the fact I/we have written defendant Holder many times this year . . . . defendant Fishman . . . refuses to comply or even reply which has lead [sic] to this complaint. And for which at this point I must make clear one of the issues we raise is EXCESSIVE FORCE by state law enforcement which is a Federal ...


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