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Sellers Ingram v. Atlantic County Justice Fac.

August 23, 2011


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



Sellers Ingram, a prisoner who was formerly incarcerated at Atlantic County Justice Facility ("ACJF"), filed a Complaint without prepayment of the filing fee.*fn1 See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a). This Court dismissed the federal claims and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction, but granted leave to file an amended complaint. Plaintiff timely filed an Amended Complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Joseph Bondinsky, Warden of ACJF. This Court will dismiss the Amended Complaint without prejudice to the filing of a final amended complaint.


The sole defendant in the original Complaint was ACJF, which this Court construed as the County of Atlantic County. This Court dismissed the Complaint because Plaintiff did not allege facts showing that a custom or policy of Atlantic County caused violation of his constitutional rights. See Monell v. Dept. of Social Services of City of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978); McTernan c. City of York, Pa., 564 F. 3d 636, 658 (3d Cir. 2009).

The Amended Complaint names the Warden of ACJF. Plaintiff asserts the following facts:

Three points are presented in this amended complaint: (1) law library access by design of Administrator A.C.J.F. falls below standard of N.J. State law 10A:31-15.1 N.J. Administrative code; (2) Menu falls below standard outlined 10:31-10.1 and 10.3 and 10.5 serving meals and 10.12(b) budgeting purchase; (3) sanitation standard pursuant to 10:31-11.3 N.J.A.C. is not in effect at A.C.J.F., if schedules and checklist are provided they are erroneous/fictitious documents.

Facts in support of points, supra (1) A.C.J.F.'s legal access is fill out request form for legal reference material with social worker "untrained in law" who forwards to another civilian employee with the moniker "Westlaw" who is also "untrained in law" but finds material on Website. Rendering criminal defendant helpless against the time constraints of adjudication process to provide effective defense or to know how to assess whether court appointed attorney has provided effective defense. Defendant does not bare burden of knowing state laws without legal access to full scope of criminal process which runs the gambit of N.J. Statutes Annotated 2C section, N.J. Rules Governing Court, N.J. Rules of Evidence, N.J. Super, N.J. Reports at the bare minimum. There is no one in the facility to instruct an inmate on this terrai[]n. Also defendant (Administrator) has used outdated rule to misappropriate funds pursuant to 10A:31-6.13 N.J.A.C.. Inmates are charged [$].75 per page for copies . . . . Clear abdication of law by Administrator (Joseph Bondinsky) and appointed personal accounting (fiscal). Who has the money? Has a crime taken place? When will said money be reimbursed? How long and how many have been victimized? Court access is mandated by the United States Constitution . . .

(2) Menu is not calorie constructed by standards of National Academy of Sciences with recommended daily allowance. Pursuant to 3 points, supra. See 10A:31-10.3(d) special diets not receiving supplement of equal nutritional value. How can I an inmate prove this to you in a complaint void of the court mandating evaluation. Question inmates at large.

(3) Sanitation inspection doesn't exist in A.C.J.F.. I concede first and state daily cleaning supplies provided. No inspection follows. There is 5 year old fungus on shower walls. I have never seen them inspected. A correction officer taking count does not possess the scientific knowledge for inspecting standards of federal, state and local safety & health codes. (Dkt. 6 at 4-7.)

For violation of his constitutional rights, Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief and one million dollars in damages. (Dkt 6 at 8.)


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 screen a complaint in a civil action in which a plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis or a prisoner is seeking redress against a government employee or entity, and to sua sponte dismiss any claim if the Court determines that it is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim on 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), 1915A.

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937 (2009), hammered the "final nail-in-the-coffin" for the "no set of facts" standard set forth in Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957),*fn2 which was previously applied to determine if a federal complaint stated a claim. See Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203 (3d Cir. 2009). The pleading standard under Rule 8 was refined by the United States Supreme Court in Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 ...

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