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Ricky Franks v. Gloucester County Prosecutors Office et al

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY


April 19, 2012

RICKY FRANKS,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
GLOUCESTER COUNTY PROSECUTORS OFFICE ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Renee Marie Bumb, United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

Plaintiff submitted a civil Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, without a filing fee, and it appearing that:

1. The Clerk will not file a civil rights complaint unless the person seeking relief pays the entire applicable filing fee in advance or the person applies for and is granted in forma pauperis, status pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. See Local Civil R. 5.1(f).

2. The filing fee for a civil rights complaint is $350.00. See 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a).

3. If a prisoner seeks permission to file a civil rights complaint in forma pauperis, the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") requires the prisoner to file an affidavit of poverty and a certifiedprison account statement for the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of the complaint. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2).

4. The PLRA further provides that, if the prisoner is granted permission to file the complaint in forma pauperis, then the Court is required to assess the $350.00 filing fee against the prisoner and collect the fee by directing the agency having custody of the prisoner to deduct installment payments from the prisoner's prison account equal to 20% of the preceding month's income credited to the account for each month that the balance of the account exceeds $10.00. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b).

5. In addition, if the prisoner is granted permission to proceed in forma pauperis, then the PLRA requires this Court to screen the complaint for dismissal and to dismiss any claim that is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from an defendant who is immune from such relief.

6. The PLRA further provides that, if a prisoner has, on three or more occasions while incarcerated, brought an action or appeal in a federal court that was dismissed as frivolous or malicious, for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or because it seeks monetary relief from immune defendants, then the prisoner may not bring another action in forma pauperis unless he or she is in imminent danger of serious physical injury. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).

7. The above-named Plaintiff is a prisoner; it is unclear from his Complaint, however, whether he is a convicted prisoner or a pre-trial detainee. See Docket Entries Nos. 1 and 2. Plaintiff failed to pay his filing fee or submit his certified six-month prison account statement.*fn1

8. Plaintiff's Complaint asserts that, on December 3, 2010, Plaintiff was wrongfully arrested on the charges of participating in a bank robbery of Susquehanna Bank; the complaint alleges that Plaintiff's vehicle was chased by police officers from New Jersey to Pennsylvania, and that a Philadelphia detective executed a false report*fn2 on the basis of which Plaintiff was wrongfully indicted with this bank robbery offense in New Jersey and later acquitted of these New Jersey charges.*fn3 See Docket Entry No. 1. Correspondingly, Plaintiff challenges the actions of the bank employees, his New Jersey prosecutor who filed the indictment and the Philadelphia detective whose report, allegedly, served as the sole basis for this New Jersey indictment.*fn4 See id. Plaintiff seeks $20 million in damages from the bank and its employees, plus $10 million in compensatory and $20 million in punitive damages from the New Jersey Office of Prosecutor, Gloucester County Division. See id. at 7. No statement in the Complaint indicates that Plaintiff is in danger of imminent physical injury warranting grant of conditional in forma pauperis status.

IT IS THEREFORE on this 18th day of April 2011, ORDERED that Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE; and it is further

ORDERED that the Clerk shall administratively terminate this action, without filing the Complaint or assessing a filing fee, by making a new and separate entry on the docket reading "CIVIL CASE TERMINATED"; and it is further

ORDERED that administrative termination is not a "dismissal" for purposes of the statute of limitations, and that if this § 1983 case is reopened pursuant to the terms of this Order, it is not thereby subject to the statute of limitations bar, provided the original Complaint was timely. See Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266 (1988); McDowell v. Delaware State Police, 88 F.3d 188, 191 (3d Cir. 1996); Williams-Guice v. Board of Education, 45 F.3d 161, 163 (7th Cir. 1995); and it is further

ORDERED that Plaintiff may have the above-captioned case reopened if, within 30 days of the date of the entry of this Order, Plaintiff either pre-pays the $350.00 filing fee or files with the Clerk his affidavit of poverty containing signature of a duly authorised prison official (or Plaintiff's written statement detailing his efforts with regard to obtaining that signature and the reasons he was given by the approached prison officials as to their decisions to decline of his requests for such signature) and, in addition, his certified prison account statement for the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of the Complaint, as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a); and it is further

ORDERED that, in the event Plaintiff timely prepays his $350.00 filing fee or submits his affidavit of poverty and his certified prison account statement, then the Court will enter an order directing the Clerk to reopen the case; and it is further

ORDERED that, in the event Plaintiff timely prepays his $350.00 filing fee or submits his affidavit of poverty and his certified prison account statement, Plaintiff shall also include in his submission Plaintiff's amended complaint. Such amended complaint shall state, clearly and concisely: (a) all alleged underlying events; (b) all prosecutions that ensued from the alleged events (be these prosecutions undertaken in the State of New Jersey or in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania); (c) the outcomes of these prosecutions (including full or partial dismissal of charges); (d) the names/titles of all individuals (or entities) Plaintiff wishes to name as defendants in this matter (as well as clear designations of whether these entities or individuals reside/operate in the State of New Jersey or in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or any other state of the United States); and (e) how exactly these entities/ individuals participated in the alleged wrongs; and it is finally

ORDERED that the Clerk shall serve this Order upon Plaintiff by regular U.S. mail, together with: (a) a blank in forma pauperis application for incarcerated individuals seeking to file a civil complaint; and (b) a blank civil complaint form.

Renee Marie Bumb


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