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Morrisey v. Nutley Police Dept.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

February 18, 2014

CLEVON MORRISEY, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
NUTLEY POLICE DEPT., et al., Defendants.

OPINION

ESTHER SALAS, District Judge.

Plaintiff Clevon Morrisey ("Plaintiff"), a prisoner confined at South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton, New Jersey at the time of filing, seeks to bring this action in forma pauperis. (D.E. No. 7). 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.

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.

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.

Plaintiff brings his complaint against the Nutley Police Department and the "State of New Jersey - Political Party of Governance." (D.E. No. 1, Compl. ¶ 4). With regard to the Nutley Police, he alleges that in September 2005, he was "racially biaslly [sic] arrested based upon flagrancy, ' without established probable cause as to no [sic] crime reported at scene." ( Id. ). With regard to the State of New Jersey, Plaintiff alleges that he was "tried on double jeopardy clause as well as miscarried justice by Essex County JSC Betty J Lester, Assist. District Attorney Dawn C Scott Public Defender John Johnson served 7 year sentence." ( Id. ). In the "Statement of Claims" section of his complaint, Plaintiff provides the following information: "false flagrant arrest in Nutley N.J. Nutley P.D. Victim and Defendant state no crime.' ADA Scott saw nor had evidence to proceed, such as state witness recanting Jan. 3, 2006 Rothchilds court violation of restraining order, state parole 8-31-12 false re-arrest for a case that was, false charges." ( Id. ¶ 6).

Plaintiff is seeking "quashment of charges all'!" ( Id. at ¶ 7). He is also seeking monetary damages and criminal prosecution of all parties involved. ( Id. ).

II. DISCUSSION

A. Legal Standard

1. Standards for a Sua Sponte 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, see 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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