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Myers v. Federico

United States District Court, Third Circuit

January 13, 2014

JAMAR MYERS, Plaintiff,
v.
ALFRED FEDERICO, et al., Defendants.

JAMAR MYERS, Plaintiff pro se, Ternton, N.J.

OPINION

PETER G. SHERIDAN, District Judge.

Plaintiff Jamar Myers ("Plaintiff'), a pretrial detainee confined at Mercer County Correction Center in Trenton, New Jersey at the time of filing, seeks to bring this action in forma pauperis. Based on his affidavit of indigence, the Court will grant Plaintiffs 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.

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 at this time.

I. BACKGROUND

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 or about April 27, 2012, Plaintiff submitted a "Notice of Motion for a Probable Cause Hearing" and a "Notice of Motion to proceed by indigent" to the Criminal Division Management Office of the Superior Court of New Jersey in Mercer County. (Compl. ¶ 15, ECF No. 1.) On or about August 10, 2012, Plaintiff submitted certified letters to Defendants requesting the status of his motions. ( Id. at ¶ 16.) Plaintiff did not receive a response. ( Id. ) On or about August 27, 2012, Plaintiff submitted a second "Notice of Motion for a Probable Cause Hearing" to the Criminal Division Management Office of Mercer County. ( Id. at ¶ 17.) Plaintiff followed up his submission with certified letters to Defendants requesting the status of said motion on September 19, 2012. ( Id. ) Again, Plaintiff did not receive any response. ( Id. ) Plaintiff alleges that he continues to send letters to the Criminal Case Management Office but they continue not to acknowledge his letters. ( Id. at ¶ 18.) Plaintiff is seeking injunctive and monetary relief.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

1. Standards for a Sua Spoute Dismissal

Per the Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub. L. No. 104-134, §§ 801-810, 110 Stat. 1321-66 to 1321-77 (April 26, 1996) ("PLRA"), district courts must review complaints in those civil actions in which a prisoner is proceeding in forma pauperis, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), seeks redress against a governmental employee or entity, Set 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), or brings a claim with respect to prison conditions, see 28 U.S.C. § 1997e. The PLRA directs district courts to sua sponte dismiss any claim that is frivolous, is 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. This action is subject to sua sponte screening for dismissal under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A because Plaintiff is a prisoner who is proceeding as an indigent.

According to the Supreme Court's decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, "a pleading that offers labels or conclusions' or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'" 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). To survive sua sponte screening for failure to state a claim, [1] the complaint must allege "sufficient factual matter" to show that the claim is facially plausible. Fowler v. UPMS Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009) (citation omitted). "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." Belmont v. MB Inv. Partners, Inc., 708 F.3d 470, 483 n.17 (3d Cir. 2012) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). Moreover, while pro se pleadings are liberally construed, " pro se litigants still must allege sufficient facts in their complaints to support a claim." Mala v. Crown Bay Marina, Inc., 704 F.3d 239, 245 (3d Cir. 2013) (citation omitted) (emphasis added).

2. Section 1983 Actions

A plaintiff may have a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for certain violations of his constitutional rights. ...


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