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Stewart v. City of Atlantic Police Department

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

March 10, 2015

JAMES STEWART, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF ATLANTIC POLICE DEPARTMENT, et al., Defendants.

James Stewart, Mays Landing, NJ, Plaintiff pro se.

OPINION

NOEL L. HILLMAN, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff is a state inmate confined at the Atlantic County Justice Facility in Mays Landing, New Jersey. Plaintiff brings this civil rights action pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and has submitted an application to proceed in forma pauperis. Based on the in forma pauperis application, the Court will grant Plaintiff's application and will order the Clerk to file the complaint.

At this time, the Court must review the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) 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 suit. Because each of Plaintiff's claims is insufficiently plead, the complaint will be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief will be granted. However, Plaintiff shall be given leave to file an amended complaint.

II. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff states that on January 31, 2014 he was accused of attempting to rob an attendant at a gas station. Plaintiff states that two police officers, "Officers Beradis and Larelli, " arrived on the scene and searched him. Plaintiff asserts that the search did not reveal any incriminating evidence. Plaintiff contends that Officers Beradis and Larelli then radioed to headquarters and had "detective Brown" obtain video surveillance footage of the alleged robbery. Plaintiff states that this footage was "logged and entered into Atlantic City property and evidence." Complaint at 5, Stewart v. City of Atlantic County Police Department, et al., No. 14-4700 (D.N.J. July 28, 2014), ECF No. 1. Plaintiff admits that the video shows him "walking in and out of the store[, ]" however, he argues that it does not show a robbery occurring. Id . Plaintiff contends that, despite the lack of evidence, he was arrested and later indicted and imprisoned under $200, 000 bail for "robbery charges[1]." Id. at 6. Plaintiff names several defendants in the complaint; specifically: the Atlantic City Police Department, the Atlantic County Justice Facility, the Superior Court of Atlantic County, the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, and the Atlantic County Grand Jury Committee.

With respect to the false arrest claim against the Atlantic County Police Department, Plaintiff argues that he was arrested despite the absence of evidence against him.

In the section of his Complaint naming the Atlantic County Justice Facility as a defendant, Plaintiff states that he was attacked by three inmates and that he suffers physically and emotionally as a result of the attack. The Court construes this as a failure to protect claim.

As to the Superior Court of Atlantic County, Plaintiff states that he was held in the Atlantic County Justice Facility with high bail under robbery charges with "[in]sufficient evidence."[2] Id. at 6-7.

Plaintiff next states that the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office is to blame "for the physical beatings, the stress, and emotional damages" that he and his family are enduring as a result of the Prosecutor's decision to indict him rather than release him. Id. at 7.

Finally, Plaintiff alleges that the Atlantic County Grand Jury Committee was coerced into indicting him by the Prosecutor's Office.

Plaintiff requests monetary damages in the amount of $3, 500, 000 related to the attack he suffered ...


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