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Faisal v. Rahway Police Department

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

February 20, 2014

SHAFI FAISAL, Plaintiff,
v.
RAHWAY POLICE DEPARTMENT, et al., Defendants.

OPINION

KEVIN McNULTY, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff, Shafi Faisal, is proceeding pro se with a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. I previously administratively terminated this case because Mr. Faisal had not paid the filing fee or submitted a complete application to proceed in forma pauperis. Subsequently, Mr. Faisal paid the filing fee and this matter was reopened.

At this time, I must review the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 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 suit. For the following reasons, I will dismiss the federal claims without prejudice and will decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims.

II. BACKGROUND

The allegations of the complaint will be accepted as true for purposes of screening the complaint. Mr. Faisal names the Rahway Police Department and two unnamed John Doe officers as defendants in this action.

Mr. Faisal asserts that, between 11 a.m. and 12 noon on June 9, 2011, he was at a 6-11 store in Rahway, New Jersey. Seven or eight officers then rushed into the store and arrested him. He was charged with various "CDS" (controlled dangerous substance) offenses. He was detained for several hours, then released.

Mr. Faisal denies the charges, which were ultimately dismissed on December 2, 2011. He is suing for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, police misconduct and emotional distress. He requests five million dollars in damages and an order that the Rahway Police Department be properly trained.

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

A. Standard for Sua Sponte Dismissal

District courts must review complaints in civil actions in which a prisoner seeks redress against a governmental employee or entity. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). Section 1915A(b) directs district courts to sua sponte dismiss any such prisoner 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.[1]

"[A] pleading that offers labels or conclusions' or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'" Ashcroft v. lqbal, 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[2], the complaint must allege "sufficient factual matter" to show that the claim is facially plausible. See Fowler v. UPMC 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 lqbal, 556 U.S. at 678).

A. 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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