United States District Court, D. New Jersey
B. KUGLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jerome Byrd, is a state prisoner at the South Woods State
Prison in Bridgeton, New Jersey. He is proceeding pro
se with an amended civil rights complaint filed pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court dismissed the original
complaint without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) on March 24, 2017 and gave plaintiff leave to
amend. See ECF No. 4. Thereafter, Mr. Byrd submitted
a proposed amended complaint. See ECF No. 5. For the
following reasons, Mr. Byrd's proposed amended complaint
will also be dismissed without prejudice for failure to state
a claim upon which relief may be granted.
allegations in Mr. Byrd's proposed amended complaint will
be construed as true for purposes of this screening opinion.
Mr. Byrd names as defendants: (1) Senior Corrections Officer
Brown; (2) Senior Corrections Officer Milbourne; (3) a third
unnamed Senior Corrections Officer, identified as John Doe;
(4) Willie Bonds, Administrator at the State of New Jersey
Department of Corrections, South Woods State Prison
(“SWSP”); and (5) SWSP inmate, Kevin
Byrd's allegations center on an incident that occurred at
SWSP Facility 1-H1-1R on December 20, 2014. Plaintiff claims
that on that date, Officers Brown and Milbourne were
supervising inmates in Facility 1-H1-1R when Officer John Doe
buzzed another inmate, Kevin Canfield, into that facility.
Proposed Am. Compl. at. paras. 13-15, ECF No. 5-1. Mr. Byrd
claims that Mr. Canfield then proceeded to pull Mr. Byrd from
his wheelchair and repeatedly punch and kick Mr. Byrd.
Id. at para. 16. Mr. Byrd asserts that he
“sustained injury to his ribs and buttocks area”
as a result. Id. Mr. Byrd alleges that Officers
Brown, Milbourne, and Doe were negligent in their supervision
of Mr. Canfield and improperly “allowed an unsupervised
interaction” between Mr. Canfield and Mr. Byrd.
Id. at para. 17. Mr. Byrd does not make any specific
factual allegations against Warden Bonds, other than to
allege generally that Warden Bonds is “legally
responsible for the proper conduct and management of [SWSP]
and for the conduct of all employees appointed by him and the
care and treatment of the inmates.” Id. at
para. 9. Mr. Byrd seeks monetary damages as relief.
Id. at p. 5.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub. L. No. 104-134,
§§ 801-810, 110 Stat. 1321-66 to 1321-77 (Apr. 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. See 28 U.S.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 F. App'x 120, 122 (3d Cir. 2012)
(citing Allah v. Seiverling, 229 F.3d 220, 223 (3d
Cir. 2000)); Mitchell v. Beard, 492 F. App'x
230, 232 (3d Cir. 2012) (discussing 42 U.S.C. §
1997e(c)(1)); Courteau v. United States, 287 F.
App'x. 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), as explicated by
the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
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. Kerner, 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:
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 ...