United States District Court, D. New Jersey
B. KUGLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Plaintiff, Osha Dabney, was a former state prisoner
incarcerated at South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton, New
Jersey. The plaintiff is proceeding pro se with a
civil rights complaint filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
time, this Court must screen the complaint pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A to determine
whether it should be dismissed as frivolous or malicious, for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or
because it seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from suit. For the following reasons, the complaint
will be dismissed without prejudice for failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted.
allegations of the complaint will be construed as true for
purposes of this screening opinion. The complaint names three
defendants: (1) New Jersey Department of Corrections; (2)
Willie Bonds, Administrator of the South Woods State Prison;
and (3) DEPTCOR.
was incarcerated at the South Woods State Prison for a period
of time during 2014. While there, Plaintiff was assigned to
work in the prison's printing shop. As part of
Plaintiff's job, he was instructed to clean the printing
machine. This task required Plaintiff to spray a cleaning
solution onto a rag, and “hold the rag onto the rollers
until the ink was removed from the rollers.” (Dkt. No.
1 at pg. 6). On October 31, 2014, at approximately 11:40 a.m.
while Plaintiff was cleaning the roller, the tip of his
left-hand plastic glove was “sucked into the
machine.” (See id.). As a result, the tip of
Plaintiff's left-hand ring finger was severed. Plaintiff
was unable to stop the machine because the “stop
button” was located on the left-hand side, the same
side as Plaintiff's caught hand.
Plaintiff was eventually freed from the machine, the tip of
his finger was located and placed on ice by prison officials.
Orders were allegedly given for Plaintiff to be sent to the
hospital. However, Plaintiff was not taken to a hospital
until 3:20 p.m., several hours later after the incident.
Later that same day, October 14, 2014, Plaintiff filed a
Notice of Tort claim with the State of New Jersey's
Division of Risk Management. Plaintiff stated in the instant
Complaint simply that “the claims investigator [in his
tort action] found no liability against the Agency
DOC/SWSP.” (Dkt. No. 1 at pg. 5).
the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act, Pub.L. 104-134,
§§ 801-810, 110 Stat. 1321-66 to 1321-77 (Apr. 26,
1996) (“PLRA”), district courts must review
complaints in those civil actions in which a person 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. See 28
legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to
state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)
is the same as that for dismissing a complaint pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).” Schreane
v. Seana, 506 Fed.Appx. 120, 122 (3d Cir. 2012) (citing
Allah v. Seiverling, 229 F.3d 220, 223 (3d Cir.
2000)); Mitchell v. Beard, 492 Fed.Appx. 230, 232
(3d Cir. 2012) (discussing 28 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1));
Courteau v. United States, 287 Fed.Appx. 159, 162
(3d Cir. 2008) (discussing 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)). That
standard is set forth in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662 (2009) and Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544 (2007), as explicated by the United States Court of
Appeals for the Third Circuit. To survive the court's
screening for failure to state a claim, the complaint must
allege ‘sufficient factual matter' to show that the
claim is facially plausible. See Fowler v. UPMC
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). “[A]
pleading that offers ‘labels or conclusions' or
‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action will not do.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
se pleadings, as always, will be liberally construed.
See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972).
Nevertheless, “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).