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Albright v. Cohen

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

February 23, 2018

ABDULLAH ALBRIGHT, Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN GERALDINE D. COHEN, et al., Defendants.

          Abdullah Albright, Atlantic County Justice Plaintiff Pro se.

          OPINION

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

         Plaintiff Abdullah Albright, presently incarcerated at the Atlantic County Justice Facility (the “Facility”) in Mays Landing, New Jersey, seeks to bring a claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against Warden Geraldine D. Cohen, Cheryle Deboise of Atlantic County Jail, Atlantic County Freeholder Dennis Levinson, Atlantic County Freeholder Frank Formica, and the State of New Jersey Risk Management. See ECF No. 1.

         At this time, the Court must review the Complaint, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) 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 dismiss the Complaint without prejudice for failure to state a claim, with leave to amend. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii).

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff challenges the conditions of confinement at the Atlantic County Justice Facility, which he generally describes as “hideous” and where he alleges he contracted chicken pox. ECF No. 1, Compl. at 4. Plaintiff references that he “requested medical assistance to no avail.” Id. In addition, he alleges that he is constantly being moved from one place to another within the facility, which he alleges is in retaliation for his refusal to “stay put” given the conditions of confinement at the facility. Id. He seeks compensation for contracting a contagious disease (chicken pox). Id. at 5.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Section 1915(e)(2) requires a court to review complaints prior to service in cases in which a plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis. 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) because Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis and is incarcerated.

         To 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. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Failure to State a Claim as to Defendants Deboise, Levinson, Formica, and the State of New Jersey Risk Management

         As to Defendants Deboise, Levinson, Formica, and the State of New Jersey Risk Management, Plaintiff has failed to allege any personal action upon which liability pursuant to § 1983 could be imputed. For liability under § 1983 to attach, a defendant must have personal involvement in a constitutional violation. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 676 (2009) (“Because vicarious liability is inapplicable to . . . § 1983 suits, a plaintiff must plead that each Government-official defendant, through the official's own individual actions, has violated the Constitution.). There are no allegations as to personal involvement by these defendants.

         As to Defendant State of New Jersey Risk Management Team, a state agency is not a person subject to suit under § 1983. See Will v. Michigan Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989). ...


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