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Terrance Ross v. Umdnj

June 27, 2011

TERRANCE ROSS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
UMDNJ, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

OPINION

Plaintiff, Terrance Ross, currently confined at the Bayside State Prison, Leesburg, 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 also applied to proceed in forma pauperis, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915.

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) and 1915A. For the following reasons, the complaint will be dismissed, without prejudice.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff seeks to sue various medical staff at the Northern State Prison concerning his medical care while housed there. Plaintiff asserts that on March 18, 2010, he developed a boil under his armpit. On April 9, 2010, he was able to receive treatment from the doctor for the boil, and was prescribed an antibiotic. Five days later, the boil returned, and four days after that, the boil burst. Plaintiff told the Sergeant, who told Plaintiff to sign up for sick call. The next day, Plaintiff showed the nurse the boil. The nurse deemed Plaintiff's condition a medical emergency, and Plaintiff was taken to medical, and prescribed an extra week of antibiotics. (Complt.,¶ 6).

Plaintiff asks for monetary relief due to a violation of his Eighth Amendment right to receive adequate medical care. (Complt., ¶7).

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. § 1915A, because plaintiff is a prisoner.

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." 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 identified two working principles underlying the failure to state a claim standard:

First, the tenet that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice ... . Rule 8 ... does not unlock the doors of discovery for a plaintiff armed with nothing more than conclusions. Second, only a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss. Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief will ... be a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense. But where the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged-but it has not "show[n]"-"that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 8(a)(2).

Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. at 1949-1950 (citations omitted). The Court further explained that: a court considering a motion to dismiss can choose to begin by identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth. While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations. When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausible give rise to an entitlement to relief.Id. at 1950.

Thus, 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 alleged. See id. at 1948. The Supreme Court's ruling in Iqbal emphasizes that a plaintiff must demonstrate that the allegations of his complaint is plausible. See id. ...


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