United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Hubbard, Plaintiff Pro Se
HONORABLE ANNE E. THOMPSON JUDGE
the Court is Frank Hubbard'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 proceed in part.
brings this civil rights action against New Jersey Department
of Corrections ("NJDOC") Commissioner Gary Lanigan,
New Jersey State Prison ("NJSP") Administrator
Steven Johnson, Administrative Director Mary Lang, and Dr.
Ralph Woodward. 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.
a convicted and sentenced prisoner at NJSP, has Hepatitis C
and has been recommended for treatment with Harvoni by a
specialist in 2015. Complaint ¶ 8. However, he was told
during a chronic care appointment in January 2017 that he was
not on NJSP's treatment list. Id. ¶ 9. In
September 2017, Dr. Hussein entered into Plaintiff's
record "you are a candidate for harvoni, waiting for
administrative approval." Id. ¶ 10. He was
confirmed to be on the treatment list on September 26, 2017.
Id. ¶ 11.
December 2, 2011, Plaintiff requested treatment in
accordance with the contract between NJDOC and its treatment
provider. Id. ¶ 12. He filed a grievance after
being told to discuss his concerns with the provider.
Id. ¶ 13; Exhibit B. Plaintiff spoke with a
nurse practitioner and was informed that it was policy not to
treat patients until a particular number reached 1.6
"which means [the patient's] liver is effectively
destroyed. That [he] should be treated but the administration
is working with a budget." Id. ¶ 14.
alleges violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.
He also raises violations of state law and the contract
between NJDOC and its medical provider.
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. § l9l5A(b),
or brings a claim with respect to prison conditions,
see 42 U.S.C. § l997e. 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.
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).
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 ...