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Rose v. Atlantic County Justice Facility

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

May 5, 2017

CHESTER L. ROSE, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
ATLANTIC CTY. JUSTICE FACILITY, et al. Defendants.

          Chester L. Rose, Jr. Plaintiff Pro se

          OPINION

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         Plaintiff Chester L. Rose, Jr. (“Plaintiff”) seeks to bring a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1.) Based on his affidavit of indigence (ECF No. 1-1), the Court previously granted him leave to proceed in forma pauperis and ordered the Clerk of the Court to file the Complaint. (ECF No. 4.)

         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 should be dismissed without prejudice.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff brings this civil rights action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against Defendants Atlantic County Justice Facility and CFG Medical Center. 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 veracity of Plaintiff's allegations.

         On April 11, 2016, Plaintiff alleges that he fell from the top bunk in his cell and injured his ankle. (Compl. ¶ 4, ECF No. 1.) A correctional officer took him to the medical center, where Nurse Marie Affreni examined his leg and, because there was no swelling or bruising, determined that it was only a sprain. (Id.). The nurse provided Plaintiff with Motrin and he returned to his cell. (Id.) Plaintiff's foot swelled the next day, but he assumed it was still just sprained and waited until the following Monday to submit a “sick call slip.” (Id.) He was seen by another nurse, who sent him for x-rays, where it was determined that his ankle was broken. (Id.) Plaintiff was sent to the medical unit of the hospital. (Id.)

         Plaintiff is seeking $160, 000 in damages for his pain and suffering. (Compl. ¶ 5.)

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Legal Standard

         1. 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 who is proceeding as indigent.

         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 reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Belmont v. MB Inv. Partners, Inc., 708 F.3d 470, 483 n.17 (3d Cir. 2012) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). Moreover, while pro se pleadings are liberally construed, “pro se litigants still must allege sufficient facts in their complaints to support a claim.” Mala v. Crown Bay Marina, Inc., 704 F.3d 239, 245 (3d Cir. 2013) (citation omitted).

         2. ...


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