United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Montalvo, Plaintiff Pro Se.
B. SIMANDLE, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff Rafael Montalvo's
(“Plaintiff”), submission of a civil rights
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Complaint,
Docket Entry 1. Plaintiff also requests the appointment of
pro bono counsel.
time, the Court must review the complaint pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) 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
the complaint will be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
filed this complaint against various medical personnel at
Southern State Correctional Facility (“SSCF”)
including Dr. DeShawn, Dr. Jeffrey Pomerantz, as well as
Rutgers and the New Jersey Department of Corrections
(“DOC”). Complaint ¶ 4. 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
alleges he received an overdose of estrogen while confined in
SSCF. Id. ¶ 6. He states his levels went to 745
when they should have been between 100 and 200. Id.
He then refused further treatment due to the resulting mental
trauma. Id. He alleges that the high estrogen levels
“ate” at his stomach, preventing him from eating
solid foods, and weakened his bones. Id. He states
he no longer wishes to transition due to the traumatic
experience. Id. ¶ 4(b). He seeks relief in the
form of $120, 000, 000 for the medical malpractice of the
medical staff. Id. ¶ 7. He further requests the
appointment of pro bono counsel. Id.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Standards for a Sua Sponte Dismissal
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
proceeding in forma pauperis.
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,
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) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678).
determining the sufficiency of a pro se complaint, the Court
must be mindful to construe it liberally in favor of the
plaintiff. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89,
93-94 (2007) (following Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S.
97, 106 (1976)); see also United States v. Day, 969
F.2d 39, 42 (3d Cir. 1992). However, pro se litigants
“still must allege sufficient facts in their complaints