United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Taylor, Plaintiff Pro Se
B. SIMANDLE Chief U.S. District Judge.
Plaintiff Kyle Taylor seeks to bring a civil rights complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against McCray, first name
and position unknown, of Talbot Hall. Complaint, Docket Entry 1.
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) because Plaintiff is a prisoner
proceeding in forma pauperis.
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 states: “I was call [sic] by McCray to come
and go down stairs with my [sic] for a urine and that when
this took place of [sic] McCray asking me to drop my pants
and underwear down and turn around with my butt facing him
and he state to urine in the cup . . . .” Complaint
Plaintiff has not sufficiently alleged a Fourth Amendment
violation for an improper strip search. Under the Fourth
Amendment, inmates have a limited right of bodily privacy
“subject to reasonable intrusions necessitated by the
prison setting.” Parkell v. Danberg, 833 F.3d
313, 325 (3d Cir. 2016). This right is very narrow, however.
Id. at 326.
“The test of reasonableness under the Fourth Amendment
. . . requires a balancing of the need for the particular
search against the invasion of personal rights that the
search entails. Courts must consider the scope of the
particular intrusion, the manner in which it is conducted,
the justification for initiating it, and the place in which
it is conducted.” Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S.
520, 559 (1979). A prisoner search policy is constitutional
if it strikes a reasonable balance between the inmate's
privacy and the needs of the institution. Parkell,
833 F.3d at 326 (citing Florence v. Bd. of Chosen
Freeholders of Cty. of Burlington, 132 S.Ct. 1510, 1515,
Plaintiff's cursory allegations that the strip search was
illegal is insufficient to state a claim for relief. In the
absence of further facts regarding the circumstances of the
search, such as whether this urine test was random, conducted
in the view of other persons, or if Talbot Hall has policies
regarding conducting urine tests, the claim cannot proceed at
this time. Plaintiff may address these deficiencies in an
amended complaint, however.
Plaintiff further alleges the search constituted sexual
harassment. “While it is possible for sexual abuse of a
prisoner to violate the Eighth Amendment, a small number of
incidents in which a prisoner is verbally harassed, touched,
and pressed against without his consent do not amount to such
a violation.” Obiegbu v. Werlinger, 581
F.App'x 119, 121 (3d Cir. 2014) (internal citation
omitted). “Rather, ‘isolated episodes of
harassment and touching . . . are despicable and, if true,
they may potentially be the basis of state tort actions. But
they do not involve a harm of federal constitutional
proportions as defined by the Supreme Court.'”
Id. (quoting Boddie v. Schnieder, 105 F.3d
857, 861 (2d Cir. 1997)) (omission in original).
Plaintiff only alleges one instance of alleged harassment. He
has therefore not sufficiently pled a federal constitutional
violation. To the extent he alleges a state law claim, the
Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction as the
federal constitutional claims are being dismissed. 28 U.S.C.
Plaintiff may be able to allege facts that would cure the
deficiencies noted by the Court, he shall be given leave to
move to amend his complaint. Any motion to amend must include
a proposed amended complaint.
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