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Kaseem Ali-X v. George Hayman

July 25, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Jerome B. Simandle


SIMANDLE, Chief Judge:


This matter comes before the Court on Defendant George Hayman's motion to dismiss himself from Plaintiff Kaseem Ali-X's second amended complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). [Docket Item 57.] Plaintiff, who initiated this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, filed no opposition to the instant motion. For the reasons discussed herein, the Court will dismiss Defendant Hayman from the present action with prejudice.


A.Plaintiff's Allegations

Plaintiff Kaseem Ali-X ("Plaintiff") is a prisoner incarcerated within the New Jersey Department of Corrections ("NJDOC") at the South Woods State Prison ("SWSP"). On September 13, 2010, Plaintiff filed his original complaint. [Docket Item 1.] Plaintiff has since filed two amended complaints, the most recent of which was filed on March 16, 2012. [Docket Item 54.] Plaintiff alleges that then NJDOC Commissioner George Hayman ("Commissioner Hayman"), inter alia, violated his Eighth Amendment rights by failing to protect Plaintiff from second-hand smoke produced by his cellmates and committed the state tort of "negligence [sic] failure to provide protection." (Pl.'s Sec. Am. Compl. ¶ 1.)

In analyzing this motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the Court will accept as true all of Plaintiff's factual allegations. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Plaintiff is "medically diagnosed as having high blood-pressure . . . and is prescribed medications" for the same. (Pl.'s Sec. Am. Compl. ¶ 16.) As a result, Plaintiff is very sensitive to tobacco smoke and exposure to it causes him to suffer elevated blood pressure, nausea, migraines, breathing problems, dizziness, and chest pains. (Id. at ¶ 16.) Plaintiff further contends that long-term exposure to environmental tobacco smoke*fn1 (ETS) puts him at risk for future health problems including heart attacks, strokes, or lung cancer, and that his exposure to these risks constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eight Amendment. (Id. at ¶¶ 16, 74.)

Plaintiff alleges that he was placed in a series of cell assignments with habitual smokers and that he was met with deliberate indifference from those officers to whom he presented his medical need for a non-smoking cellmate. (Id. at 6-14.) In some instances, it even appears that Plaintiff was specifically assigned a habitually smoking cellmate as a result of his requests to be assigned to a non-smoking cellmate.*fn2 Plaintiff further alleges deliberate indifference on the part of those supervisors to whom he submitted Inmate Remedy System Forms and other communications concerning the alleged ongoing violations of his constitutional rights. (Id. at 7-14.)

To summarize, Plaintiff alleges a string of interactions with Corrections Officers and supervisors who ignored and disregarded his medical needs and thus his constitutional rights. As a result of the NJDOC's failure to grant Plaintiff the requested accommodations, Plaintiff alleges he has suffered mental anguish, emotional distress, and physical pains and hardships. (Id. at ¶ 69.)

B.Procedural Background

Plaintiff's complaint was submitted to this Court on September 13, 2010 with an application to proceed in forma pauperis, which was approved by this Court on November 9, 2010. [Docket Items 1-3.] Plaintiff's complaint named as defendants Mr. George Hayman, Mr. Robert Paterson, Ms. Karen Balicki, Mr. Antoine Jester, Mr. Lawrence Faucett, Mr. Bryan Abbott, and Mr. Charles Saul, all administrators or employees of the New Jersey Department of Corrections. (Pl.'s Sec. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 3-9.) During the time period relevant to this lawsuit Defendant George Hayman was the Commissioner of the NJDOC, Defendant Robert Paterson was the Director of the Division of Operations of the NJDOC, Defendant Karen Balicki was the Administrator of SWSP, Defendant Antoine Jester was a Correctional Sergeant at SWSP, and Defendants Lawrence Fawcett, Bryan Abbott, and Charles Saul were Correctional Officers at SWSP. (Id.)

On December 10, 2010 Plaintiff filed a motion to amend, which was approved on May 24, 2011. [Docket Items 4, 8.] On October 16, 2011 Defendant Hayman filed his first motion to dismiss pursuant to 12(b)(6), alleging many of the same infirmities contained in his present motion. [Docket Item 35.] On January 10, 2012, prior to the Court's consideration of Defendant Hayman's motion, Plaintiff filed his second motion to amend the complaint. [Docket Item 48.] On March 16, 2012 the Court granted Plaintiff's motion to amend and filed Plaintiff's second amended complaint. [Docket Item 54.] As a result, on March 21, 2012 the Court denied as moot ...

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