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Ingram v. Ritcher

United States District Court, Third Circuit

April 30, 2013

NATHAN JAMIL INGRAM, Plaintiff,
v.
LT. ALBERT RITCHER, et al., Defendants.

NATHAN JAMIL INGRAM, #262118, Camden County Correctional Facility, Camden, N.J., Plaintiff pro se.

OPINION

NOEL L. HILLMAN, District Judge.

Plaintiff Nathan Jamil Ingram ("Plaintiff") seeks to bring this action in forma pauperis. Based on his affidavit of indigence, the Court will grant Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) and order the Clerk of the Court to file the complaint.[1]

At this time, the Court must review the complaint, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A, 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. For the reasons set forth below, the Court concludes that the complaint should be dismissed without prejudice at this time.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, incarcerated at the Camden County Correctional Facility in Camden, New Jersey at the time of filing, brings this civil rights action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against Defendants Lieutenant Albert Richter; Deputy Warden Chris Fossler; Deputy Warden Anthony Pizzaro; Warden Eric Taylor; Correctional Officer King; Sergeant Reginald Adkins; Inmate Emmanuel Romero; and the medical staff at Center for Family Guidance. The following factual allegations are taken from the complaint and are accepted for purposes of this screening only. The Court has made no findings as to the veracity of Plaintiff's allegations.

On July 14, 2012, Plaintiff alleges that he was attacked by inmate Emmanuel Romero while walking back from his sunset prayer. Plaintiff alleges that another inmate and Corrections Officer M. Turner tried to stop the fight, but Defendant Adkins and King "stood around and did nothing until after the situation was maintained." Plaintiff alleges that Ritcher, Fossler, Pizzaro and Taylor, in their supervisory positions, did not provide adequate staff to prevent the attack from happening. Plaintiff alleges that the medical staff of the Center for Family Guidance failed to provide him with a tetanus shot upon his admittance into the infirmary. Plaintiff is seeking injunctive and monetary relief.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

1. Standards for a Sua Sponte Dismissal

The Prison Litigation Reform Act, 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). This action is subject to sua sponte screening for dismissal under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A because Plaintiff is proceeding as an indigent and is a prisoner.

The Supreme Court refined the standard for summary dismissal of a complaint that fails to state a claim in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (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). Citing its 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, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555), the Supreme Court held that, to prevent a summary dismissal, a civil complaint must 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." Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009)(citing Iqbal ).

The Supreme Court's ruling in Iqbal emphasizes that a plaintiff must demonstrate that the allegations of his complaint are plausible. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. 677-679. See also Twombly, 505 U.S. at 555, & n. 3; Warren Gen. Hosp. v. Amgen Inc., 643 F.3d 77, 84 (3d Cir. 2011); Bistrian v. Levi, 696 F.3d 352 (3d Cir. 2012). "A complaint must do more than allege the plaintiff's entitlement to relief. A complaint has to show' such an entitlement with its ...


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