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Germe v. State, Public Defender Office

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

April 3, 2018

LINUS GERME, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF NEW JERSEY PUBLIC DEFENDER OFFICE, MIDDLESEX REGION, et al., Defendants.

          Linus Germe, Plaintiff Pro Se

          OPINION

          ANNE E. THOMPSON U.S. District Judge.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the Court is Linus Germe's ("Plaintiff") civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Complaint, Docket Entry 1. At this 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 concludes that the complaint will be dismissed with prejudice.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff brings this civil rights action against the Public Defenders Office of Middlesex County, and attorneys Howard Barman and Luis Negron. The following factual allegations are taken from the complaint and are accepted for purposes of this screening only. The Court has made no findings as to the truth of Plaintiff's allegations.

         Plaintiff states that he was originally charged with talking with an undercover officer posing as a minor, but indicted for engaging in sexual conduct. Complaint ¶ 4. He states his attorneys, Barman and Negron, did nothing for him and just wanted him to take a plea. Id. at 5. He states he has an unspecified mental health issue. Ibid. Plaintiff alleges Mr. Barman told him that Plaintiff "that [he] should be glad to have them they saved [his] life." Ibid. He then alleges unspecified violations of his Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights and asserts there should have been a psychiatric evaluation. Ibid. He alleges Mr. Barman is withholding his medical report from Plaintiff and the trial court. "[I]n that report will prove that any evidence the state thought they have against me, cannot be use [sic] in court. No evidence no case." Id. at 7.

         Plaintiff asks for relief in the form of dismissal of the criminal indictment and $500, 000. Id. at 9.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A. Standards for a Sua Sponte Dismissal

         Per the Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub. L. No. 104-134, §§ 801-810, 110 Stat. 1321-66 to 1321-77 (April 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. 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.

         According to the Supreme Court's decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, "a pleading that offers 'labels or conclusions' or 'a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'" 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). To survive sua sponte screening for failure to state a claim, [1] the complaint must allege "sufficient factual matter" to show that the claim is facially plausible. Fowler v. UPMS 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).

         In determining the sufficiency of a pro se complaint, the Court must be mindful to construe it liberally in favor of the plaintiff. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007) (following Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)); see also United States v. Day, 969 F.2d 39, 42 (3d Cir. 1992). Although pro se pleadings are liberally construed, plaintiffs "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).

         B. ...


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