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Brown v. United States

United States District Court, District of New Jersey

November 7, 2014

AMOS BROWN, III, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendants

AMOS BROWN, III, Plaintiff, Pro se, PINE HILL, NJ.

For UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant: PAUL A. BLAINE, LEAD ATTORNEY, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, CAMDEN, NJ.

OPINION

ROBERT B. KUGLER, United States District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff is a former federal prisoner. He is proceeding pro se with a civil rights complaint which the Court construes as being filed pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388, 91 S.Ct. 1999, 29 L.Ed.2d 619 (1971).[1] Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis is granted based on the information provided therein and the Clerk will be ordered to file the complaint.

The complaint must be screened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) 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 reasons set forth below, the complaint will be dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiff shall not be given leave to amend.

II. BACKGROUND

The allegations of the complaint will be construed as true for purposes of this screening. Plaintiff states that he was charged in 1983 in the District of Maryland of armed bank robbery, kidnapping and other related offenses. Ultimately, a jury convicted plaintiff and he was sentenced to thirty years imprisonment in 1984. Plaintiff was released from prison on July 16, 2014. See http://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/ (last visited on November 5, 2014).

On September 9, 2014, plaintiff submitted his complaint in this action. Plaintiff requests compensatory and punitive damages arising from his District of Maryland conviction. He seeks an award of monetary damages because " the prosecution's case-in-chief hinged 'solely' upon informant testimony derived from the crime of 'bribing a witness.'" (Dkt. No. 1 at p. 3.) He claims the government bribed witness at this trial by reducing their sentences in exchange for their testimony.

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

A. Standard for Sua Sponte Dismissal

District courts must review complaints in those civil actions in which a person is proceeding in forma pauperis, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The statute 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.

According to the Supreme Court's decision in 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. at 678 (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (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. 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 Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). Moreover, while pro se pleadings are liberally construed, " pro se ...


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