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Picott v. McCray

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

July 21, 2017

DARRELL PICOTT, Plaintiff,
v.
KEITH MCCRAY, Defendant.

          Darrell Picott, Plaintiff Pro se.

          OPINION

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         Plaintiff Darrell Picott (“Plaintiff”), a prisoner at a halfway house in Bridgeton, New Jersey, 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. 2.)

         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 Defendant Keith McCray. 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 October 19, 2015, Defendant McCray, who appears to be an employee at Talbot Hall, a halfway house, required Plaintiff to “drop his pants and underwear lift up his shirt trun [sic] around with his butt facing McCray and urine [sic] in the cup.” (Compl. ¶ 6.) Plaintiff is seeking $500, 000 in damages. (Id. at ¶ 7.)

         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) [1]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 claim1, 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. Section 1983 Actions

         A plaintiff may have a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for certain ...


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