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Monk v. State

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

October 2, 2014

NORWOOD MONK, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF NEW JERSEY, et al., Defendants.

OPINION

ROBERT B. KUGLER, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff was previously incarcerated at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Delmont, New Jersey. He is proceeding through counsel in this civil rights action. Plaintiff initially filed his complaint in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Camden County. Defendants, the State of New Jersey and the Southern State Correctional Facility, subsequently removed this action from the Superior Court to this Court on March 5, 2014. On March 14, 2014, the State of New Jersey and the Southern State Correctional Facility filed a motion to dismiss. On April 1, 2014, the New Jersey Department of Corrections joined in the State of New Jersey and the Southern State Correctional Facility's motion to dismiss. Thereafter, plaintiff filed a response in opposition to the motion to dismiss.

Before the Court analyzes the motion to dismiss, the complaint must be screened 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 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons set forth below, the complaint fails to state a federal claim for relief and will be remanded back to state court.

II. BACKGROUND

The allegations of the complaint will be construed as true for purposes of this screening. Plaintiff names as defendants the following: (1) the State of New Jersey; (2) the State of New Jersey Department of Corrections; (3) Southern State Correctional Facility; (4) Dr. Brennan; (5) Dr. Pommegrance; (6) UMDNJ; (7) Dr. John Doe(s); and (8) Nurse Jane Doe(s).

Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Southern State Correctional Facility in 2006 and 2007. At that time, he was treated for tuberculosis ("TB") after a false positive test result. Plaintiff was treated with medications, including one known as INH. He was treated with INH for a prolonged period of time without further definitive testing that would have revealed that plaintiff did not have TB.

Plaintiff's use of INH was stopped at one point due to unhealthy reactions that plaintiff was experiencing. However, he was subsequently placed back on the medication. Plaintiff then alleges that his:

medical care for the alleged TB, for his use of "INH", and for his overall medical conditions through the present date, including but not limited to the quality and frequency has been negligent, reckless palpably unreasonable and below the appropriate standard of medical/nursing care, resulting in Plaintiff experiencing (past, present and future), severe and/or permanent medical conditions, pain and suffering, emotional distress, prolonged care, disability, wage loss and an increased risk of death.

(Dkt. No. 1 at p. 6.)

Plaintiff claims that his improper care has been rendered by the UMDNJ, Dr. Brennan, Dr. Pommegrance, the Southern State Correctional Facility as well as John Doe doctors and Jane Doe nurses.

III. SCREENING

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(a). Section 1915A(b) directs district courts to dismiss sua sponte any claim that is frivolous, is malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks ...


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