United States District Court, D. New Jersey
MCNULTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, Robert Washington, who was a pretrial detainee, is
proceeding pro se with a civil rights complaint
filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. At this time, this
Court must screen 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. For the
following reasons, the complaint will be dismissed without
allegations of the complaint will be construed as true for
purposes of this screening opinion. Mr. Washington names as
defendants (1) Essex County Sheriffs Department; (2)
Detective James Bradley; (3) Detective Noel Mendez; (4)
Detective Caicedo Fabian; (5) Detective Eduardo Moreno; and
(6) Eduardo Moreno. At the time he submitted his complaint,
Mr. Washington was a pretrial detainee housed at the Essex
County Correctional Facility.
Washington's allegations center on the aftermath of his
arrest by the Essex County Sheriffs Department on September
5, 2014. Bradley, the lead arresting officer, filed a police
report which contained the allegedly false statement that Mr.
Washington had certain evidence on his person at the time of
his arrest. (Dkt. No. 1 at p. 4) Later on in the complaint,
Mr. Washington states that the allegations against him were
that he sold drugs in Essex County. (See id.) The
detectives named in the complaint allegedly conspired to
plant evidence, manipulate the legal process, and pursue
trumped up charges. Mr. Washington also alludes generally to
medical problems for which he did not get attention while he
complaint seeks monetary damages. In a separate filing that
the Clerk has labeled an amended complaint, Mr. Washington
seeks $100, 000 from each defendant. (See Dkt. No.
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 Fed.Appx. 120, 122 (3d Cir. 2012) (citing
Allah v. Seiverling, 229 F.3d 220, 223 (3d Cir.
2000)). That standard is set forth in Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) and Bell Atlantic Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), as explicated by the
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. To
survive the court's screening for failure to state a
claim, the complaint must allege 'sufficient factual
matter' to show that the claim is 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, Inc. v. Dempster, 764 F.3d 303,
308 n.3 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678). "[A] pleading that offers 'labels or
conclusions' or 'a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.' "
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555).
se pleadings, as always, will be liberally construed.
See Haines v. Kermr, 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 as follows:
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, ...