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McNeal v. Hoerner

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

April 17, 2017

WILLIAM MCNEAL, Plaintiff,
v.
MEGHAN HOERNER; PATRICIA M. WILD; ODED WEINSTOCK, Defendants.

          William McNeal, Plaintiff Pro Se

          OPINION

          HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the Court is Plaintiff William McNeal's (“Plaintiff”), submission of a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 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 on grounds of judicial immunity and for failure to state a claim.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff brings this civil rights action against prosecutor Meghan Hoerner, Judge Patricia Wild, and public defender Oded Weinstock. The following factual allegations are taken from the complaint and are accepted for purposes of this screening only. The Court has made no findings as to the truth of Plaintiff's allegations.

         Plaintiff's statement of claims reads in its entirety:

I was sentence[d] outside of sentence guidelines which cause my constitutional civil rights to be violated under amendments of constitutional of Civil Rights Act. There was misconduct wrongdoing not for the truth but for there [sic] own reason of deliberately, wrongness reckless, disregard for the truth.

Complaint ¶ 6. He alleges Judge Wild “allowed [him] to received [sic] a sentence of 10y, over all due to crime and degree.” Id. ¶ 4(c). He further claims “Judge and Prosecutor and [his] Public Defender should have sentenced [him] to a term of 5y. Serious Civil Rights violation.” Id.

         Plaintiff seeks relief in the form of $180, 000, 000 in damages. Id. ¶ 7. He requests the appointment of pro bono counsel. Id.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         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, 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) and 1915A because Plaintiff is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis and is seeking relief from government employees.

         According to the Supreme Court's decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, “a pleading that offers ‘labels or conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'” 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). To survive sua sponte screening for failure to state a claim, [1] 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 ...


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