United States District Court, D. New Jersey
MCNULTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Leo Meronvil, a prisoner presently incarcerated at East
Jersey State Prison in Rahway, New Jersey, seeks to bring
claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants
Sgt. Oliver, G. Doyle, E. Vazquez, H. Silva, CO. Macardo, CO.
Gomez, and John Doe No. 7, for conduct relating to an alleged
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 will
allow the Complaint to proceed, except as to Plaintiffs
Eighth Amendment medical claim, which is dismissed without
prejudice for failure to state a claim. 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii) and 1915A.
filed his Complaint on October 5, 2017. ECF No. 1. It alleges
that on September 16, 2016, while Plaintiff was housed at
Northern State Prison, the defendants assaulted Plaintiff
without justification, and that the assault was motivated by
discrimination based on Plaintiffs race or national origin.
Compl. ¶ 2.
day, Plaintiff alleges, Defendant Sgt. Oliver ordered the
inmates in Plaintiffs housing unit to kneel with their hands
behind their heads; the reason for this directive is unknown.
Compl. ¶ 17. Some of the other inmates had difficulty
remaining in this position and requested to lie flat on their
stomachs, which Sgt. Oliver permitted them to do. Compl. f
17. Plaintiff also asked to lie flat on his stomach because
his knees hurt badly. Compl. U 18. Sgt. Oliver asked him,
"Where are you from?" to which Plaintiff replied,
"I'm from Haiti." Id. Plaintiff then
alleges that Sgt. Oliver said, "Only Americans get the
comforts of America -No, stay on your knees."
Id. Plaintiff eventually collapsed to his stomach
from the pain in his knees, after which Sgt. Oliver said,
"Didn't I tell your Haitian ass to stay on your
knees?" Compl. IK 18-19.
Oliver then directed Defendant G. Doyle to take Plaintiff to
the barber shop and ordered the other inmates to leave the
barber shop area. Compl. K 19. Once the area was cleared of
other inmates, Sgt. Oliver directed the defendants to
"Fuck his ass up, " whereupon they alternated
putting Plaintiff in a choke hold, slamming him to the
ground, punching him, kicking him, spitting on him, and
spraying him with pepper spray. Compl. 1ft 20-23. All
defendants are alleged to have participated in the beating.
See Compl. KK 21, 23.
the beating, Plaintiff alleges that the defendants took him
to the infirmary, where he received treatment. Compl. KK 23-24.
After leaving the infirmary, Plaintiff alleges that he was
left nude in a dry cell for three days. Compl. If 25. On
September 19, 2016, Plaintiff states that a special
investigation division officer visited Plaintiff and
determined that Plaintiff needed to be reexamined.
Compl.¶ 26. Upon reexamination, it was determined that
Plaintiff had broken ribs and lacerations and contusions to
his face, head, and body. Id.
alleges that after the beating, the defendants attempted to
fabricate a motive for inflicting force upon him. Defendants
allegedly told the infirmary staff that Plaintiff assaulted
Sgt. Oliver, a female. Compl. ¶ 24. In addition,
Plaintiff alleges that he received false disciplinary charges
to cover up the beating, but that he was found not guilty of
those charges. Compl. H 27. Plaintiff has since been
transferred to East Jersey State Prison, where he claims he
has twice been told to "leave that Northern State shit
alone." Compl. ¶ 29.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
1915(e)(2) and 1915A require a court to review complaints
prior to service in cases in which a plaintiff is proceeding
in forma pauperis and in which a plaintiff is
incarcerated, The Court must 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 proceeding in forma pauperis and is
also incarcerated. See ECF No. 2 (granting in
forma pauperis application).
survive sua sponte 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). '"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 Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009)). "[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 Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twambly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
Complaint, Plaintiff attempts to assert various federal civil
rights violations pursuant to the U.S. Constitution, as well