United States District Court, D. New Jersey
DAVID T. JONES, Plaintiff,
DAVID S. OWENS; KAREN TAYLOR, Defendants.
T. Jones, Plaintiff Pro Se.
B. SIMANDLE U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiff David Jones'
(“Plaintiff”), submission of a civil rights
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Complaint,
Docket Entry 1. 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 will proceed in part.
brings this civil rights action against David Owens and Karen
Taylor, the former and current wardens of the Camden County
Correctional Facility (“CCCF”), for permitting
him to be admitted into the facility without a signed warrant
and for failing to release him when he brought the lack of a
warrant to their attention. 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.
states he entered the CCCF on April 21, 2015 on a warrant
signed only by the arresting officer, not by a judicial
officer. He filed a grievance with Mr. Owens about the lack
of a signed warrant but did not receive a response. Complaint
at 5. He also spoke with Ms. Taylor in February 2016.
Id. at 6. She responded that “the County had
other paperwork” to process Plaintiff's admission
into CCCF, and Plaintiff countered it was “facility
policy to have a warrant . . . .” Id. at 7.
Plaintiff requested a copy of the warrant from the Admissions
Office, but they only had the “defendant copy” of
the warrant. Id. at 6. Plaintiff continued to
request a signed copy of the warrant from various CCCF
officials. Eventually, Captain Franceschini went to the
prosecutor's office to get a signed warrant. He returned
with a warrant signed by a judicial officer dated April 20,
2015. Id. See also Exhibits Two and Three.
asks for a preliminary injunction and monetary relief for an
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 government employees.
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,
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). Although pro se
pleadings are liberally construed, plaintiffs “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).