United States District Court, D. New Jersey
B. KUGLER United States District Judge
Jeffrey Drury, is a state prisoner who is proceeding pro
se with an amended complaint. Previously, this Court
screened Mr. Drury's original complaint and permitted it
to proceed only against defendant M. Debellis. Thereafter,
based on various filings by Mr. Drury, it appeared that he
wanted to amend his complaint. Therefore, this Court ordered
Mr. Drury to file one all-inclusive amended complaint. He did
so. (See Dkt. No. 37) Subsequently, and currently
pending before this Court, is M. Debellis' motion to
dismiss the amended complaint for failure to state a
claim. For the following reasons, the motion to
dismiss will be granted.
allegations of the amended complaint will be construed as
true for purposes of this opinion. M. Debellis is a senior
correctional officer at Bayside State Prison
(“BSP”) where Mr. Drury was previously
incarcerated. Mr. Drury had to go to the medical
department while incarcerated at BSP at various times due to
the fact that he has multiple sclerosis. Mr. Drury had a job
as a pot washer at BSP. He worked the 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
shift. Defendant M. Debellis did not like the fact that Mr.
Drury had to leave work sometimes during his shift to attend
medical appointments. M. Debellis harassed Mr. Drury
verbally. On January 30, 2015, Mr. Drury had a 10:00 am
medical appointment of approximately one hour. This
appointment was longer that his other appointments. Mr. Drury
returned to work after this appointment. The next day, Mr.
Drury was fired by M. Debellis from his pot washing job. M.
Debellis told him that he had not come back to work the
previous day. M. Debellis further told Mr. Drury that he was
sick of all of his medical appointments and that Mr. Drury
could take his “sick ass to whatever medical
appointments you want to now[.]” (Dkt. No. 37 at p. 38)
Drury brings his amended complaint under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, the Americans with Disabilities Act
(“ADA”), the Rehabilitation Act and the New
Jersey Administrative Code. He sues M. Debellis in both his
official and individual capacities. He seeks injunctive
relief and monetary damages in his amended complaint.
M. Debellis has filed a motion to dismiss the amended
complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Mr. Drury did not file a
response in opposition to the motion.
deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the Court
must “accept all factual allegations as true, construe
the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff,
and determine whether under any reasonable reading of the
complaint, the plaintiff may be entitled to relief.”
Fair Wind Sailing, Inc. v. Dempster, 764 F.3d 303,
308 n.3 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting Phillips v. Cnty. of
Allegheny, 515 F.3d 224, 233 (3d Cir. 2008)). 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 a motion
to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a complaint must
allege “sufficient factual matter” to show that
its claims are facially plausible. See Fowler v. UPMC
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, 764 F.3d at 308 (quoting Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 678).
it is worth noting that under the Prison Litigation Reform
Act, Pub.L. 104-134, §§ 801-810, 110 Stat. 1321-66
to 1321-77 (Apr. 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. see
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to
state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)
is the same as that for dismissing a complaint pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).” Schreane
v. Seana, 506 F. App'x 120, 122 (3d Cir. 2012)
(citing Allah v. Seiverling, 229 F.3d 220, 223 (3d
Cir. 2000)); Mitchell v. Beard, 492 F. App'x
230, 232 (3d Cir. 2012) (discussing 42 U.S.C. §
1997e(c)(1)); Courteau v. United States, 287 F.
App'x 159, 162 (3d Cir. 2008) (discussing 28 U.S.C.
se pleadings, as always, will be liberally construed.
See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972).
Nevertheless, “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).
plaintiff may have a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 for certain violations of constitutional rights. Section
1983 provides in relevant part:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or
the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be
subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person
within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any
rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution
and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action
at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for
redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial
officer for an act or omission taken in such officer's
judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted
unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory
relief was unavailable.
to state a claim for relief under § 1983, a plaintiff
must allege first, the violation of a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States, and second, that
the alleged deprivation was committed or caused by a person
acting under color of state law. See Harvey v. Plains
Twp. Police Dep't, 635 F.3d 606, 609 (3d Cir. 2011)
(citations omitted); see also West v. Atkins, 487
U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
Request for Injunctive Relief
extent that Mr. Drury is seeking injunctive relief from M.
Debellis, such claims for injunctive relief are now moot in
light Mr. Drury's transfer to SWSP. See, e.g.,
Hennis v. Varner, 544 F. App'x 43, 45 (3d Cir.
2013) (request for injunctive relief for loss of prison job
became moot upon transfer to another prison); Abdul-Akbar
v. Watson,4 F.3d 195, 206 (3d Cir. 1993) (holding that
the plaintiff's release from prison rendered the case
moot because “the district court could not provide
Abdul-Akbar with meaningful relief by entering an injunctive
order respecting the [prison] in which Abdul-Akbar no longer
was incarcerated”); Weaver v. Wilcox, 650 F.2d
22, 27 (3d Cir. 1981) (holding that the plaintiff's
prison transfer meant that he “lacks standing to seek
injunctive relief if he is no longer subject to the alleged
conditions he attempts to challenge”); see also
Carey v. Johnson, Civ. No. 05-1695, 2006 WL 3694476, at
*6 (W.D. Pa. Dec. 13, 2006) (“The transfer of Plaintiff
to SCI-Greensburg moots any ...