United States District Court, D. New Jersey
G. Sheridan, U.S.D.J.
is proceeding, in forma pauperis, with a civil
rights complaint filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. At
this time, the Court must review the complaint pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) 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 suit. It
Court dismisses all claims against Defendants the State of
New Jersey and New Jersey Department of Corrections
("NJDOC"). The Eleventh Amendment to the United
States Constitution provides that, "[t]he Judicial power
of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any
suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of
the United States by citizens of another State, or by
Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State." U.S. Const,
amend. XI. As such, the Eleventh Amendment protects states
and their agencies and departments from suit in federal court
regardless of the type of relief sought. Pennhurst State
Sch. andHosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 100 (1984);
see P.R. Aqueduct & Sewer Auth. v. Metcalf& Eddy,
Inc., 506 U.S. 139, 146 (1993) (holding that the Ex
parte Young exception to Eleventh Amendment immunity is
inapplicable to "the States or their agencies, which
retain their immunity against all suits in federal
court"). Section 1983 does not override a state's
Eleventh Amendment immunity. Quern v. Jordan, 440
U.S. 332, 338 (1979). Courts have repeatedly held that NJDOC
is a state agency entitled to immunity. See, e.g.,
Chavarriaga v. N.J. Dep't of Corr., 806 F.3d 210,
224 n.9 (3d Cir. 2015) ("[T]he Court correctly dismissed
the NJDOC from this case on Eleventh Amendment
grounds."); Bell v. Holmes, No. 13-6955, 2015
WL 851804, at *3 (D.N.J. Feb. 23, 2015); Homan v. N.J.
Dep't of Corr., No. 13-1466, 2014 WL 4273304, at *3
(D.N.J. Aug. 28, 2014); Wimbush v. Jenkins, No.
13-4654, 2014 WL 1607354, at *4 (D.N.J. Apr. 22, 2014);
Love v. Dep't of Corr., No. 13-1050, 2014 WL
46776, at *2 (D.N.J. Jan. 6, 2014). As such, all claims
against the State of New Jersey and NJDOC are dismissed with
Court also dismisses all claims against Defendant Edna Mahan
Correctional Facility ("EMCF"). § 1983 permits
suits for alleged constitutional deprivations committed or
caused by a person acting under color of state law.
42 U.S.C. § 1983; Am. Mfrs. Mut. Ins. Co. v.
Sullivan, 526 U.S. 40, 50-1 (1999); Morrow v.
Balaski, 719 F.3d 160, 166-67 (3d Cir. 2013). A prison
is not a "person" for the purposes of § 1983.
Edwards v. Northampton Cty., 663 F.App'x 132,
136 (3d Cir. 2016). Accordingly, all claims against EMCF are
dismissed with prejudice.
balance of the Complaint, namely Plaintiffs claims against
the lone remaining Defendant Latika Holland, are permitted to
IS therefore on this 4 day of August, 2017,
ORDERED that all claims against Defendants
Edna Mahan Correctional Facility, NJDOC, and the State of New
Jersey are hereby DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE,
and these defendants are hereby DISMISSED
from the case; it is further
that, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d), the Clerk shall
issue summons and the United States Marshal shall serve
summons, the Complaint and this Order upon the remaining
Defendant, with all costs of service advanced by the United
States; it is further
that, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(g)(2), the remaining
Defendant shall file and serve an answer, see Fed.
R. Civ. P. 12(a)(1)(A); it is further
that, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(1) and § 4(a)
of Appendix H of the Local Civil Rules, the Clerk shall
notify Plaintiff of the opportunity to apply in writing to
the assigned judge for the appointment of pro bono counsel;
it is further
that, if at any time prior to the filing of a notice of
appearance by the remaining Defendant, Plaintiff seeks the
appointment of pro bono counsel or other relief, pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 5(a) and (d), Plaintiff shall (1) serve a copy
of the application by regular mail upon each party at his
last known address and (2) file a Certificate of
Service; and it is further
that the Clerk shall serve a copy of this Order upon
Plaintiff by regular mail.