United States District Court, D. New Jersey
BRIAN R. MARTINOTTI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
this Court is pro se prisoner Donnell Freeman's
(“Plaintiff”) civil rights complaint, filed
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1.) Based on his
affidavit of indigence (ECF No. 1-1), Plaintiff is granted
leave to proceed in forma pauperis and the Clerk of
the Court shall file the Complaint.
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 the Complaint should be dismissed without
29, 2015, Plaintiff was taken to Monmouth County Correctional
Facility following his release from Bayshore Hospital after a
car crash. (Compl. (ECF No. 1) ¶ 6.) He sought medical
attention from providers at the jail regarding left leg pain,
for which he was given medication. (Id.) The
condition worsened and, during an exam on December 2, 2015,
an x-ray was taken of his left hip. (Id.) The doctor
informed him it was a fracture healing from a previous
operation where he had a screw put into his thigh.
(Id.) He was given medication for the pain.
(Id.) Eventually the pain became unbearable, to the
point where his walk was affected. (Id.) He
requested a referral to an orthopedist, but the doctors
continued to deny him and would not refer him for additional
medical care. (Id.) The doctors said they did not
see a need for medical care and his problem was not severe.
(Id.) Plaintiff continued to request help for two
years. (Id.) In April 2017, Plaintiff was
transferred to South Woods State Prison, and in December
2017, he received hip replacement surgery. (Id.)
Plaintiff is seeking compensatory damages. (Id.
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. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Malleus v. George, 641 F.3d
560, 563 (3d Cir. 2011).