United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Inspiration Blackwell, Plaintiff Pro Se #245280 Atlantic
County Justice Facility
B. SIMANDLE U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff Inspiration Blackwell's
(“Plaintiff”), submission of a civil rights
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Complaint,
Docket Entry 1. Plaintiff is currently confined at Atlantic
County Justice Facility (“ACJF”). He also
requests the appointment of pro bono counsel.
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 the complaint may proceed in part.
filed this complaint against ACJF Warden Geraldine Cohen, the
ACJF Medical Staff, the Atlantic County Freeholders, Atlantic
County Executive Dennis Levison, Freeholder Chairman Frank
Formica, and CFG (collectively “Defendants”).
Complaint ¶ 3. 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 allegations.
alleges he broke his right hand on June 26, 2016 when he
slammed it into a door. Id. ¶ 4. Medical staff
examined him approximately an hour later and transported him
to a hospital. Id. He was released from the hospital
and taken back to ACJF “where no compliance was with
the hospital's orders, I complain, stay in pain . . .
.” Id. He returned to the hospital a few weeks
later where his hand was rebroken “because proper care
had not been applied . . . .” Id. He was
prescribed “therapy, ” but he never received it.
He states he was placed in solitary confinement for
complaining. Id. Plaintiff further states he wrote
to the warden, spoke with officers, and tried to speak with
the director, but he was “thrown out of medical.”
Id. He also states the facility “stopped [his]
alleges Defendants were negligent in treating his hand and
violated his constitutional rights. Id. He seeks
$500, 000 in damages. Id. ¶ 5.
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) and 1915A because
Plaintiff is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis
and is seeking relief from governmental employees, and under
§ 1997e because Plaintiff is bringing claims regarding
the conditions of his confinement. 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,  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.” 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
to support a claim.” Mala v. Crown Bay Marina,
Inc., 704 F.3d 239, 245 (3d Cir. 2013) (citation