United States District Court, D. New Jersey
BRIAN R. MARTINOTTI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
this Court is pro se prisoner Timothy Dunn's
(“Plaintiff”) civil rights complaint pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1.) Based on his affidavit of
indigence (ECF No. 1-1), the Court GRANTS
him leave to proceed in forma pauperis and orders
the Clerk of the Court to FILE the
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
Complaint is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
to the Complaint, on December 7, 2017, Plaintiff was
transferred from Bo Robinson Treatment Center (“Bo
Robinson”) to Saint Francis Medical Center for medical
purposes. (Compl. ¶ 6.) After his release from
the hospital, he was transferred to Garden State Correctional
Facility, instead of back to the halfway house.
(Id.) While he was at the halfway house, Plaintiff
had personal belongings, including clothing, appliances, etc.
(Id.) These items should have been packed up and
held in Bo Robinson's property room until his transfer
back to prison was complete. (Id.) However, when
Plaintiff returned to Bo Robinson two weeks later, he learned
that Shift Supervisor Joey Turner (“Turner”) had
“neglected his responsibility” to ensure that his
belongings were packed up and stored because the property
room had no record of Plaintiff's personal items being
logged in. (Id.)
is seeking “compensation and punitive damage for the
unnecessary and undeserved suffering that [he] is going
through since that incident.” (Id. ¶ 7.)
Standard for a Sua Sponte Dismissal
to 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) and 1915A because Plaintiff is
a prisoner who is proceeding as indigent.
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, 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.” Belmont v. MB
Inv. Partners, Inc., 708 F.3d 470, 483 n.17 (3d Cir.
2012) (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)
Section 1983 Actions
plaintiff may have a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 for certain violations of his constitutional rights.
Section 1983 provides in relevant part:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory . . .
subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the
United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof
to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities
secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the
party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other
proper proceeding for redress. . . .
to state a claim for relief under § 1983, a plaintiff
must allege, first, the violation of a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States and, second, that
the alleged deprivation was committed or caused by a person
acting under color of state law. See West v. ...