United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Robinson Plaintiff Pro Se.
B. SIMANDLE Chief U.S. District Judge.
Plaintiff Eugene Robinson seeks to bring a complaint against
the New Jersey Department of Corrections (“NJDC”)
and the Camden County Correctional Facility
(“CCCF”). Complaint Docket Entry 1.
Section 1915(e)(2) requires a court to review complaints
prior to service in cases in which a plaintiff is proceeding
in forma pauperis. The Court must 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. This
action is subject to sua sponte screening for dismissal under
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) because Plaintiff is
proceeding in forma pauperis.
8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires pleadings
to contain “a short and plain statement of the grounds
for the court's jurisdiction . . . a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief; and demand for the relief sought . . . .”
Plaintiff has named CCCF and the NJDC as the defendants in
the complaint; however, the complaint itself is blank.
Complaint §§ III-V. As such, the Court cannot
discern what cause of action Plaintiff intends to pursue
against defendants. The complaint must therefore be dismissed
for failure to state a claim.
Plaintiff may amend the complaint within 30 days of the date
of this order. Any amended complaint must comply with
Rule 8 and must allege “sufficient factual
matter” to show that the claim is facially plausible.
Fowler v. UPMS 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.”
Fair Wind Sailing, Inc. v. Dempster, 764
F.3d 303, 308 n.3 (3d Cir. 2014) “[A] pleading that
offers ‘labels or conclusions' or ‘a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
Plaintiff is further advised that the NJDC and the CCCF
because defendants are not “state actors” within
the meaning of § 1983. See Crawford v.
McMillian, No. 16-3412, 2016 WL 6134846 (3d Cir. Oct.
21, 2016) (“[T]he prison is not an entity subject to
suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.”) (citing Fischer
v. Cahill, 474 F.2d 991, 992 (3d Cir. 1973)); Grabow
v. Southern State Corr. Facility, 726 F.Supp. 537,
538-39 (D.N.J. 1989) (correctional facility is not a
“person” under § 1983); Accord Glaspie
v. Gloucester County New Jersey, No. 15-7691, 2016 WL
4718140, at *2 (D.N.J. Sept. 7, 2016) (Department of
Corrections is not a “person” subject to §
1983 liability). Plaintiff must name someone with personal
involvement in the alleged violation as the defendant if he
intends to pursue monetary damages.
Second, Plaintiff's claims against the NJDC also must be
dismissed with prejudice on the basis of sovereign immunity.
Absent a clear waiver by a state of its Eleventh Amendment
immunity or a proper congressional abrogation of that
immunity, a federal court lacks jurisdiction to hear claims
brought by an individual against a state. Snyder v.
Baumecker, 708 F.Supp. 1451, 1455 (D.N.J. 1989) (citing
Pennhurst State School and Hosp. v. Halderman, 465
U.S. 89, 99, 104 S.Ct. 900, 907, 79 L.Ed.2d 67 (1984)). The
Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution
provides: “The Judicial power of the United States
shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or
equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United
States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or
Subjects of any Foreign State.” U.S. Const. amend. XI.
Plaintiff may not bring a suit against the State in federal
court unless Congress has expressly abrogated New
Jersey's sovereign immunity or the State consents to
being sued in federal court. Will v. Michigan Dep't
of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 66 (1989). Here, Congress
did not expressly abrogate sovereign immunity when it passed
§ 1983, see id., and there is no indication New
Jersey has consented to Plaintiff's suit. The claims
against the State of New Jersey must therefore be dismissed
Plaintiff should note that when an amended complaint is
filed, the original complaint no longer performs any function
in the case and cannot be utilized to cure defects in the
amended complaint, unless the relevant portion is
specifically incorporated in the new complaint. 6 Wright,
Miller & Kane, Federal Practice and Procedure 1476 (2d
ed. 1990) (footnotes omitted). An amended complaint may adopt
some or all of the allegations in the original complaint, but
the identification of the particular allegations to be
adopted must be clear and explicit. Id. To avoid
confusion, the safer course is to file an amended complaint
that is complete in itself. Id. The amended
complaint may not adopt or repeat claims that have been
dismissed with prejudice by the Court.
the reasons stated above, the Complaint is: (a) dismissed
with prejudice as to the CCCF and NJDC; and (b) dismissed
without prejudice for failure to state a claim.
appropriate order follows.