United States District Court, D. New Jersey
plaintiff, Charles Torres, is imprisoned at South Woods State
Prison, in Bridgeton, New Jersey. He is proceeding pro se
with a civil rights complaint filed under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. This Court previously granted Mr. Torres leave to
proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF No. 2.)
Court must now review the complaint, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B), 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and 42 U.S.C.
§ 1997e, 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
the purposes of this opinion, Mr. Torres claims that on
October 15, 2014, when he was in pretrial custody at
defendant Essex County Correctional Facility, he
"sustained injuries caused by dangerous conditions
reasonably foreseeable within [the facility]." (Compl.,
ECF No. 1, at 5.) Mr. Torres further alleges that officers at
the facility "failed to warn or protect [him] from
injury." (Id.) Mr. Torres seeks damages
"in excess of 100, 000." The complaint includes no
further details regarding the factual circumstances that
allegedly underlie this claim.
plaintiff may have a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 for certain violations of his constitutional rights.
That section provides,
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.
42 U.S.C. § 1983. To state a claim 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 7, 635 F.3d 606, 609 (3d Cir.
2011) (citations omitted); see also West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
the Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub. L. 104-134,
§§ 801-810, 110 Stat. 1321-66 to 1321-77 (Apr. 26,
1996) ("PLRA"), a district court must review a
prisoner complaint when the prisoner (1) is proceeding in
forma pauperis, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), (2)
seeks redress against a governmental employee or entity,
see 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, or (3) asserts a claim
concerning prison conditions, see 42 U.S.C. §
1997e(c). The PLRA directs district courts to sua sponte
dismiss claims that are frivolous or malicious, that fail to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B),
1915A(b); 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c).
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) (per
curiam); see also Mitchell v. Beard, 492 Fed.Appx.
230, 232 (3d Cir. 2012) (per curiam) (discussing 42 U.S.C.
§ 1997e(c)(1)); Courteau v. United States, 287
Fed.Appx. 159, 162 (3d Cir.2008) (discussing 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(b)). 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). 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." Fowler v.
UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir.2009)
(internal quotation marks 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."
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; see also Fair Wind
Sailing, Inc. v. Dempster, 764 F.3d 303, 308 n.3 (3d
Cir. 2014). "A pleading that offers Mabels and
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).
pleadings, as always, will be liberally construed. See
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972) (per curiam);
Ghwkv. Noone, 689 Fed.Appx. 137, 139 (3d Cir. 2017)
(per curiam). 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).