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Cooper v. Cook

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

April 20, 2015

MORRIS M. COOPER, Plaintiff,
v.
TERRENCE COOK, et al., Defendants.

Morris Cooper, Plaintiff Pro Se Atlantic County Justice Facility Mays Landing, NJ,

OPINION

JEROME B. SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Morris Cooper, a pretrial detainee currently confined at Atlantic County Justice Facility ("ACJF"), Mays Landing, New Jersey, seeks to bring a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. 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. (Docket Entry 1).

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 will be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and for seeking damages from entities that are immune from suit. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2). Plaintiff shall, however, be permitted to amend certain claims of his complaint.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff brought this civil rights action against Defendants Terrence Cook, J.S.C., Michael V. Luciano, Philip G. Pagano, Lawrence Artis (improperly pled as "Artist") Warden of Burlington County Jail, Kevin Walke, Gina Y. Holmes, Amelia Estrella Rodriguez, Billie J. Moore, C.J.M.C., Atlantic City Police Department, Willingboro Township Municipal Court, Kenneth S. Domzalski, J.S.C., Joseph E. Krakora, H. Warner, J.M.C., Atlantic City Municipal Court, Officer Christoph Smith, Officer R. Wagner, Atlantic County Superior Court Law Division, Geraldine Cohen, Atlantic County Justice Facility, Teresa Ungaro, Julio Mendez, A.J.S.C., and Mark Sandson, J.S.C. (Docket Entry 1). Plaintiff states in his complaint:

Officers of BURLINGTON County in Conspiracy acting under color of law who have cause[d] me to be subjected to the deprivation of substantive due process and equal protection rights, [privileges] and immunities secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States and Constitution and laws of the State of New Jersey who have interfered by threat, intimidation and coercion through procedural rules of presumption while acting outside the bounds of their authority and jurisdiction manifesting a conscious disregard of risk and intent to cause harm pursuant to state-created theory.[1]

(Docket Entry 1 at 3). He elaborates:

Officers of BURLINGTON County has failed to reveal the correct communication sentence structure "Parse-Syntax" grammar[2] for the voidance of the purgery [sic] and fraud under Title ¶ 18 for false and misleading statements. The State has also failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and lacks subject matter Jurisdiction over the person.

(Docket Entry 1 at 6).

Plaintiff seeks $50, 000 compensatory and $50, 000 punitive damages from each defendant, as well as injunctive relief. (Docket Entry 1 at 3-4, 10; Docket Entry 6 at 1).

By Order dated February 24, 2015, this Court administratively terminated the complaint for failing to comply with the standard to proceed in forma pauperis as set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915. (Docket Entry 2). Plaintiff submitted a new IFP application on March 10, 2015, (Docket Entry 3), and submitted a motion to file an amended complaint, (Docket Entry 5), and for consolidation of this case with another matter pending before this Court. (Docket Entry 4).

II. DISCUSSION

A. 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 42 U.S.C. § 1997e. The PLRA directs district courts to sua sponte dismiss any claim that is frivolous, 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 proceeding in forma pauperis and seeks redress against governmental employees and entities.

In determining the sufficiency of a pro se complaint, the Court must be mindful to construe it liberally in favor of the plaintiff. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007) (following Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)); ...


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