United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Charles Alford, Plaintiff Pro Se
B. SIMANDLE, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiff Charles Alford's
(“Plaintiff”), submission of a civil rights
complaint. Docket Entry 1. At this time, the Court must
review the complaint, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 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 without prejudice.
brings this civil rights action against the Camden County
Police Department, Officer Brian Razzi, Officer Ramelia
Villegas-Diaz, and the City of Camden. 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.
is a pretrial detainee presently confined at the Camden
County Correctional Facility. Complaint ¶ 6. He alleges
that on June 27, 2013, Officer Villegas-Diaz arrested him
without probable cause. Id. He alleges that on
October 30, 2013, Officer Razzi charged Plaintiff with
possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose and arrested
him without probable cause. Id. He further alleges
Officer Razzi put his hand down Plaintiff's pants and
touched Plaintiff's penis after Plaintiff had been
amendment to the complaint, Plaintiff alleges the City of
Camden is responsible for Officers Razzi's and
Villegas-Diaz's actions because Officer Razzi allegedly
testified “it is procedure to charge someone with
unlawful possession even without probable cause.”
Amendment to Complaint, Docket Entry 2, ¶
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Standards for a Sua Sponte Dismissal
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 because Plaintiff is a prisoner
proceeding in forma pauperis.
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). 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,
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).
Moreover, while pro se pleadings are liberally
construed, “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) (emphasis
Section 1983 Actions
plaintiff may have a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 for certain violations of his constitutional rights.