United States District Court, D. New Jersey
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WOLFSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter has been opened to the Court by Plaintiff's filing
of a pro se Complaint alleging violations of his
civil rights in connection with his arrest on April 15, 2015.
(ECF No. 1.) The Court previously granted Plaintiff's
application to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF No.
9.) As explained in this Memorandum and Order, the Court will
proceed the Complaint in part and dismiss it in part pursuant
to its screening authority under 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B).
law requires this Court to screen Plaintiff's Complaint
for sua sponte dismissal prior to service, and to
dismiss any claim if that claim fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)
and/or to dismiss any defendant who is immune from suit.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The Court
construes Plaintiff to seek relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. In order to recover under § 1983, a
plaintiff must provide facts showing that each defendant,
under color of state law, subjected the plaintiff to a
deprivation of a right, privilege, or immunity secured by the
constitution or laws of the United States. See 42
U.S.C. § 1983; Harvey v. Plains Twp. Police
Dep't, 635 F.3d 606, 609 (3d Cir. 2011) (citations
time, the Court will proceed Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment
§ 1983 claims for false arrest, false imprisonment, and
illegal search against Kimberly Cavanaugh and Michelle Rey,
as Plaintiff has pleaded adequate facts against these
Defendants to suggest that they violated his civil rights.
Court, however, will dismiss without prejudice
Plaintiff's claims asserting violations of his
mother's civil rights. In his Complaint, Plaintiff
alleges that his mother's civil rights were also violated
when her home was searched. (ECF No. 1, at 9-10.) A litigant
in federal court has a right to act as his or her own
counsel. See Osei-Afriyie by Osei-Afriyie v. Med. Coll.
of Pennsylvania, 937 F.2d 876, 882 (3d Cir. 1991). It is
well settled, however, that a prisoner acting pro se
cannot assert claims on behalf of anyone but himself or
herself. With respect to the alleged violation(s) of
Plaintiff's mother's rights, Plaintiff lacks standing
to seek damages on his own behalf because litigants
“cannot rest a claim to relief on the legal rights or
interests of third parties.” Itiowe v. Robert Wood
Johnson Univ. Hosp. Hamilton, 556 Fed.Appx. 124, 125 (3d
Cir. 2014) (citing Powers v. Ohio, 499 U.S. 400, 410
(1991). Plaintiff also lacks the authority to assert claims
on his mother's behalf because a party may not represent
another pro se. See Id. (citing
Osei-Afriyie, 937 F.2d at 883).
also appears to allege that the Defendants violated his right
under Miranda to be free from custodial
interrogation. However, “questioning a plaintiff in
custody without providing Miranda warnings is not a
basis for a § 1983 claim as long as the plaintiff's
statements are not used against [him] at trial.”
Renda v. King, 347 F.3d 550, 557-58 (3d Cir. 2003);
see also Ojo v. Luong, No. 16-2287, 2017 WL 4022535,
at *3 (3d Cir. Sept. 13, 2017) (“it is the use of
coerced statements during a criminal trial, and not in
obtaining an indictment, that violates the
Constitution.”) (citing Renda, 347 F.3d at 559
(emphasis added). Because Plaintiff has not alleged that he
made any coerced statements, or that these statements were
used against him at trial, the Court will dismiss without
prejudice his Miranda claim.
extent Plaintiff is attempting to assert a malicious
prosecution claim, he has not adequately pleaded the elements
for that claim. To plead a claim for malicious prosecution, a
plaintiff must show that (1) the defendants initiated a
criminal proceeding; (2) the criminal proceeding ended in
plaintiff's favor; (3) the proceeding was initiated
without probable cause; (4) the defendants acted maliciously
or for a purpose other than bringing the plaintiff to
justice; and (5) the plaintiff suffered deprivation of
liberty consistent with the concept of seizure as a
consequence of a legal proceeding. Kossler v.
Crisanti, 564 F.3d 181, 186 (3d Cir. 2009) (quotation
marks omitted); see also Malcomb v. McKean, 535
Fed.Appx. 184, 186 (3d Cir. 2013). Here, Plaintiff has stated
only that he was arrested without probable cause and
“spent over 16 months in custody[.]” (ECF No. 1,
at 10.) As such, although he has pleaded elements three and
five, he has not adequately pleaded the remaining elements of
a malicious prosecution claim.
Court will also dismiss without prejudice the §
1983 claims against the remaining individual Defendants - P.O
Marquis Barron, P.O. James Perdoni, P.O. Jeffrey Sosnak, P.O.
Derek Turnure, P.O. Thomas Hyson, P.O. Michael Nunn,
Detective Kevin Lamonte, Officer Melanson, Officer Franchak.
Although Plaintiff has included these Defendants in his
“List of Defendants”, he has not provided any
facts to suggest that these particular Defendants were
involved in the alleged wrongs and/or are the unnamed
officers mentioned in his “Statement of Claims.”
To be individually liable under § 1983, “[a]
defendant in a civil rights action must have personal
involvement in the alleged wrongs; liability cannot be
predicated solely on the operation of respondeat
superior.” Rode v. Dellarciprete, 845
F.2d 1195, 1207 (3d Cir. 1988); see also C.H. ex rel.
Z.H. v. Oliva, 226 F.3d 198, 201 (3d Cir. 2000)
(“It is, of course, well established that a defendant
in a civil rights case cannot be held responsible for a
constitutional violation which he or she neither participated
in nor approved.”). At the very least, Plaintiff must
plead facts showing these Defendants were involved in the
alleged wrongs. The Court will dismiss the § 1983 claims
without prejudice against these Defendants.
Court will dismiss with prejudice the claims against
the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center,
Central Reception and Assignment Facility, and the New Jersey
State Parole Board, as these Defendants are not persons
amenable to suit under § 1983. See Will v. Michigan
Dept. of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 64, 70-71 and n. 10
(1989); Bendy v. Ross, No. CIV.A.08-0864(FLW), 2008
WL 2945979, at *3 (D.N.J. July 30, 2008) (citing Madden
v. New Jersey State Parole Board, 438 F.2d 1189, 1190
(3d Cir.1971) (stating that New Jersey Parole Board not a
person under § 1983)); Duran v. Merline, 923
F.Supp.2d 702, 713, fn. 4 (D.N.J. 2013) (citing Grabow v.
Southern State Correctional Facility, 726 F.Supp. 537,
538-39 (D.N.J. 1989) (New Jersey Department of Corrections is
not a person under § 1983)); Ingram v. Atl. Cnty.
Justice Fac., Civ. No. 10-1375, 2011 WL 65915, *3 (D.N
.J. Jan. 7, 2011) (citations omitted) (jail is not a person
under section 1983); Andre Simmons v. New Jersey
Dep't of Corr., No. CIV.A. 14-7205 FLW, 2015 WL
3488137, at *3 (D.N.J. June 2, 2015) (same).
may submit an Amended Complaint with respect to the claims
the Court has dismissed without prejudice. In this regard,
the Court notes that Plaintiff has submitted a number of
letters and exhibits in which he purports to supplement his
Complaint. (ECF Nos. 10, 11, 13.) These submissions do not
comply with the Federal Rules, and the Court will not
construe these letters and documents as supplements to
Plaintiff's Complaint. Instead, if Plaintiff so chooses,
he may, within 30 days of his receipt of this Memorandum and
Order, submit one all-inclusive Amended Complaint,
which would then supersede the current Complaint.
IS, THEREFORE, on this 28th day of November, 2017,
ORDERED that Plaintiff's Fourth
Amendment § 1983 claims for false arrest, false
imprisonment, and illegal search against Kimberly Cavanaugh
and Michelle Rey shall PROCEED at this time; and it is
Plaintiff's claims asserting violations of his
mother's civil rights are dismissed WITHOUT
PREJUDICE; and it is further
that Plaintiff's Miranda claim is dismissed
WITHOUT PREJUDICE; and it is further
that Plaintiff's malicious prosecution claim is dismissed