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Aruanno v. Main

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

December 12, 2017

DR. MERRILL MAIN, et al., Defendants.


          Madeline Cox Arleo, U.S.D.J.


         This matter has been opened to the Court by Plaintiff Joseph Aruanno's filing of a Second Amended Complaint ("SAC") in the above-titled action. (ECF No. 7.) He currently resides at the Special Treatment Unit ("STU") in Avenel, New Jersey. He has sued the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey and Dr. Merrill Main, alleging violations of his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 related to alleged inadequacy of sex offender treatment and other conditions at the STU. For the reasons explained in this Memorandum Opinion, the Court will dismiss the SAC in its entirety pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Because the Court previously dismissed the Complaint pursuant to Rule 8, and in light of Plaintiff s pro se status, the Court will provide Plaintiff with a final opportunity to amend his complaint before the Court dismisses his § 1983 claims with prejudice.


         This is Plaintiffs second attempt to amend his Complaint. The Court previously granted Plaintiffs application for in forma pauperis status pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. (ECF No. 3.) In that same Order and accompanying Memorandum, the Court also screened the Complaint for sua sponte dismissal under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and determined that the Complaint failed to provide a short and plain statement of his claims or plead enough facts, accepted as true, to plausibly suggest that he entitled to relief. (ECF No. 2, Memorandum Opinion at 3 (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a); Gibney v. Fitzgibbon, 547 Fed.Appx. 111, 113 (3d Cir. 2013)). The Court therefore dismissed the Complaint without prejudice and permitted Plaintiff to submit an amended Complaint within thirty (30) days of the date of the Order accompanying the Court's Memorandum Opinion. (See id; see also ECF No. 3.)

         Plaintiff subsequently filed an Amended Complaint (ECF No. 4), which the Court again dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) for failure to comply with Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a) and for failure to provide sufficient facts to suggest that he is entitled to relief. (ECF Nos. 5-6.) The Court again provided Plaintiff with the opportunity to file a Second Amended Complaint. Plaintiff has filed a SAC (ECF No. 7), which the Court now screens for dismissal.

         The SAC raises four "Points" that appear to respond to the Court's Memorandum Opinion dismissing his Amended Complaint. In Points I and IV, Plaintiff states that he is attempting to bring a § 1983 claim and requests the appointment of counsel. (ECF No. 7, SAC at 3-4, 7.) In Point II, Plaintiff states that the State decided to commit him to the STU two years before he completed his sentence, but failed to provide him with sex offender treatment during the last two years of his prison sentence. (SAC at 4.) In Point III, Plaintiff states that he is attempting to bring a claim pursuant to Thomas v. Adams, 55 F.Supp.3d 552 (2014). He also states that he has been denied treatment "many times." As an example of the denial of treatment, Plaintiff states that at his sentencing in the Superior Court, the state argued that he needed treatment, but it was not ordered by the sentencing court. The sentencing court then "contradicted itself by placing Plaintiff in the STU at the end of his sentence. Plaintiff further states that "there is not any valid treatment at the STU" and that his confinement is "purely punitive[.]" (Id. at 5.)

         Plaintiff has also submitted a typewritten Exhibit A, which lists 10 points for the Court's consideration.

         In Point 1, Plaintiff states that he has requested one-on-one treatment but has been told in writing that it is not available at the STU. (ECF No. 7-1, at 1.)

         In Point 2, Plaintiff states that he won a trivia tournament and a female staff member at the STU gave Plaintiffs prize - a watch - to a person with whom she was having a sexual relationship. Plaintiff states that this discourages him from participating. (Id.)

         In Point 3, Plaintiff states that he attempted to participate in recreation, by playing in the band and buying his own drum set, which was broken by unnamed "Defendants". At some point in 2014, Plaintiff played on "BANDNIGHT" but the snacks that were to be provided were given to others. (Id.)

         In Point 4, Plaintiff states that he is unable to participate in in educational programs because he is allegedly in treatment refusal. (Id.)

         In Point 5, Plaintiff states that one of his regular groups is run by a doctor who is a defendant in a personal lawsuit Plaintiff has filed. Plaintiff states that he informed the Administration, but they continue to assign Plaintiff to groups with Dr. Eiser. This individual allegedly interviewed Plaintiff about an incident where Plaintiff warned he was being threatened and permitted another assault to happen. (Id.)

         In Point 6, Plaintiff alleges that the construction of four therapy rooms should have taken place before Plaintiff and other patients arrived at the STU because there was noise and smoke from welding for an entire year. Plaintiff states that this environment was disruptive and harmful psychologically. Plaintiff also states that he was attempting to participate in a weekly trivia event, the guards were watching television at "full volume". The ...

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