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Niblack v. Gould

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

March 23, 2017

STANLEY L. NIBLACK, Plaintiff,
v.
SCO WILLIAM GOULD, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION

          ROBERT B. KUGLER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         The plaintiff, Stanley L. Niblack, is a state prisoner currently incarcerated at the South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton, New Jersey. In November, 2015, Mr. Niblack filed a pro se civil rights complaint in the Superior Court of New Jersey, County of Hudson Law Division. Subsequently, that matter was removed to this Court in January, 2016. Thereafter, the two defendants who had been served with the complaint at that time, William Gould and Charles Ray Hughes, filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. That motion to dismiss was granted in part. Mr. Niblack's access to courts claim against Gould and Hughes was dismissed. Furthermore, this Court conducted a sua sponte screening of the remaining complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. This Court determined that Mr. Niblack failed to state a federal claim on the remainder of his complaint. Furthermore, this Court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over any state law claims that Mr. Niblack was attempting to bring. Mr. Niblack was given the opportunity to file an amended complaint and has done so. That amended complaint is again subject to this Court's screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b) to determine whether it should be dismissed as frivolous, malicious, or fails 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 following reasons, the amended complaint will be dismissed for failure to state a federal claim and this Court will decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Mr. Niblack's state law claims. Mr. Niblack shall be given one final opportunity to file a second amended complaint should he elect to do so that will also be subject to this Courts sua sponte screening pursuant to § 1915A(b).

         II. BACKGROUND

         The allegations of the amended complaint will be construed as true for purposes of this screening opinion. Mr. Niblack names five defendants in his amended complaint: (1) SCO William Gould; (2) Sergeant Moore; (3) Lieutenant Caliski; (4) SCO Mutcherson; and (5) Charles Ray Hughes.

         The allegations of the amended complaint concern the time Mr. Niblack was incarcerated at the Southern State Correctional Facility (“SSCF”). In late 2014 and early 2015, Mr. Niblack was having problems obtaining sufficient law library time at SSCF. Eventually, Mr. Niblack received permission to obtain a word processor.

         In May, 2015, his word processor was sent out for repairs. It was returned to him on June 21, 2015, after being repaired.

         Around this time, it appears that Mr. Niblack had a pending state matter pending. That matter involved a claim by Mr. Niblack for the destruction, stealing, losing or giving away of his property that included his food, radio, watch, sneakers, designer eyewear and headphones on or about April 3, 2014. A motion to dismiss was filed by the defendants in Mr. Niblack's state case on June 19, 2015. Mr. Niblack was informed about this motion on June 22, 2015.

         On June 22, 2015, Mr. Niblack sought to use his word processor to respond to the motion to dismiss. Mr. Niblack then alleges the following:

The plaintiff thereafter sought to use his word processor when SCO Mutcherson was on and she denied the plaintiff usage of his word processor as well in order to seek the filing of my opposition of defendants motion to dismiss in retaliation of my complaints regarding officers.
The plaintiff spoke to Lieutenant Caliski, in regards to him granting plaintiff or confirming my use of my word processor to address my legal matters and store legal information on it who then stated that he was not going against his officers. Although, he had acknowledged that it was the administration who had approved the use of a word processor for legal access.
On June 24, 2015, the plaintiff forwarded an inquiry form that was intercepted by Sergeant Moore who denied me usage and the ability to retrieve relevant and pertinent information regarding the dismis[s]al of my underlying claims. But, Sergeant Moore never sent a written response to the inquiry/grievance.

(Dkt. No. 16 at p.3-4) Mr. Niblack then states that he was unable to submit a timely opposition to the motion to dismiss in the state matter. Accordingly, his complaint was dismissed.

         Mr. Niblack states that the defendants frustrated, impaired and impeded his access to the courts. Furthermore, he asserts that the defendants retaliated against him for exercising his ...


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