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Nash v. N.J. Dept. of Corrections

United States District Court, Third Circuit

May 13, 2013

LORENZO P. NASH, SR., Plaintiffs,
N.J. DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants.

LORENZO P. NASH, SR., #764310B, Southern State Correctional Facility, Delmont, NJ.


JEROME B. SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge.

Lorenzo P. Nash, Sr., an inmate who is confined at Southern State Correctional Facility ("SSCF"), seeks to file a Complaint asserting violation of rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 without prepayment of the filing fee. This Court will grant Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis. Having thoroughly reviewed the Complaint, as required by 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A, this Court will dismiss the federal claims raised in the Complaint and decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction.[1]


Lorenzo P. Nash, Sr., brings this Complaint for violation of his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the New Jersey Department of Corrections ("NJDOC"), NJDOC Hearing Officer Elizabeth DiBenedetto, and C. Ray Hughes, Administrator of SSCF. (ECF No. 1 at p.1.) The action arises from an administrative disciplinary proceeding against Nash while he was confined at SSCF. Nash asserts the following facts in the body of the Complaint:

On 12/21/2010, I appeared before Hearing Officer Elizabeth DiBenedetto for the disciplinary charges of.802/.754, I offered testimony as to my unawareness of the other inmate's attempt, and that I had no p[r]ior association or communication with the inmate. My testimony went ignored and I received 10 days detention an[d] 60 days loss of comp time. I was removed from my work detail as a paralegal. I appealed to the administrator C. Ray Hughes and after review he upheld the hearing officer's decision although it was arbitrary and not derived from any proof that I had attempted to circumvent the Department's rules. After appealing my case to the Superior Court Appellate Division, I was afforded a re-hearing and adjudicated not guilty.
After being adjudicated not guilty at the re-hearing, I submitted a remedy for reimbursement of my out-ofpocket expenses with the facility's administration. I was told that I would have to proceed further and I wrote the New Jersey Department of Corrections Commissioner and was told that I would need to file with the Court of New Jersey.... This civil Complaint comes after filing with the Bureau of Risk Management Tort and Contract Unit over 6 months prior and not receiving any response from them.

(ECF No. 1 at 3-4.)

For violation of his constitutional rights, Nash requests the following relief: reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses, including lost pay, and damages. (ECF No. 1 at 7.)


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.

To survive dismissal "a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.' A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citation omitted). The plausibility standard "asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully. Where a complaint pleads facts that are merely consistent with a defendant's liability, it stops short of the line between possibility and plausibility of entitlement to relief, " and will be dismissed. Id. at 678 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted); Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210-211 (3d Cir. 2009) ("a complaint must do more than allege the plaintiff's entitlement to relief. A complaint has to "show" such an entitlement with its facts") (emphasis supplied). The Court is mindful, however, that the sufficiency of this pro se pleading must be construed liberally in favor of the plaintiff, even after Iqbal. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89 (2007).


Section 1983 of Title 28 of the United States Code provides ...

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