United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Carnell Jermaine Taylor, Plaintiff Pro Se
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge.
Plaintiff Carnell Jermaine Taylor presumably seeks to bring a
civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
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
the reasons set forth below, the Court will dismiss the
complaint without prejudice for failure to state a claim. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii).
survive sua sponte screening for failure to state a
claim, the complaint 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 presumably brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 for alleged violations of Plaintiff's
constitutional rights. In order to set forth a prima
facie case under § 1983, a plaintiff must show:
“(1) a person deprived him of a federal right; and (2)
the person who deprived him of that right acted under color
of state or territorial law.” Groman v. Twp. of
Manalapan, 47 F.3d 628, 633 (3d Cir. 1995) (citing
Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980)).
Generally, for purposes of actions under § 1983,
“[t]he term ‘persons' includes local and
state officers acting under color of state law.”
Carver v. Foerster, 102 F.3d 96, 99 (3d Cir. 1996)
(citing Hafer v. Melo, 502 U.S. 21
(1991)). To say that a person was “acting
under color of state law” means that the defendant in a
§ 1983 action “exercised power [that the
defendant] possessed by virtue of state law and made possible
only because the wrongdoer [was] clothed with the authority
of state law.” West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 49
(1988) (citation omitted). Generally, then, “a public
employee acts under color of state law while acting in his
official capacity or while exercising his responsibilities
pursuant to state law.” Id. at 50.
Plaintiff has not named a defendant in the complaint. The
Complaint therefore must be dismissed.
Plaintiff may be able to amend the complaint to name a person
or persons who were personally involved in the alleged
unconstitutional conditions of confinement, however. To that
end, the Court shall grant Plaintiff leave to amend the
complaint within 30 days of the date of this order.
Plaintiff is advised that the amended complaint must plead
sufficient facts to support a reasonable inference that a
constitutional violation has occurred in order to survive
this Court's review under § 1915. The majority of
the complaint is blank. Plaintiff states that the events
giving rise to his claims occurred at the Camden County Jail,
but the remainder of the fact section of the complaint is
blank. Complaint § III. In Section IV, “Injuries,
” Plaintiff states: “I was climbing off of the
top bunk in seven day. I slipped and landed on the metal
table on my side breaking a rib and bruising 1 or 2 others.
The medical staff did a physical examination. The medical
diagnosis was bruised ribs. I was released Dec. 11th 2015 and
was later told by Cooper Emergency Physician that my rib was
indeed broken and 1 or 2 badly bruised.” Even accepting
these statements as true for screening purposes only, there
is not enough factual support for the Court to infer a
constitutional violation has occurred.
Because Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the
complaint must be liberally construed. Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). However, even liberally
construing Plaintiff's allegations, the complaint does
not set forth a prima facie case under § 1983.
Plaintiff's statement that he fell while climbing out of
a bunk does not allege or imply that any other person may be
liable or responsible for his fall. Moreover, it does not
appear that Plaintiff seeks to set forth a claim for denial
of medical care because he alleges that he was examined and
diagnosed by the medical staff. In sum, Plaintiff has not set
forth facts to demonstrate that a person acting under color
of state law deprived him of a federal right.
Plaintiff may be able to amend his complaint to address the
deficiencies noted by the Court, the Court shall grant
Plaintiff leave to amend the ...