United States District Court, D. New Jersey
ERIC K. DAWKINS, JR., Plaintiff,
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, et al., Defendants.
K. Dawkins, Jr., No. 48710 Cumberland County Courthouse
Plaintiff Pro se.
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
Eric K. Dawkins, Jr., a prisoner presently confined at the
Cumberland County Department of Corrections in Bridgeton, New
Jersey, seeks to bring a claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983, against the Office of the Attorney General of New
Jersey, the Cumberland County Courthouse, the Director of the
Division of Criminal Justice, the Bridgeton State Police
Department, and Christopher S. Porrino, former Attorney
General. See ECF No. 1.
time, the Court must review the Complaint, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) 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 will
dismiss the Complaint without prejudice for failure to state
a claim, with leave to amend granted. 28 U.S.C. §
lists as defendants in the caption of the Complaint the
Office of the Attorney General of New Jersey, the Cumberland
County Courthouse, the Director of the Division of Criminal
Justice, the Bridgeton State Police Department, and
Christopher S. Porrino, the now former state Attorney
General. See ECF No. 1. The sole allegation of the
Complaint is that
Each defendant directly, indirectly, administrative and
judicially deprive me of life, liberty, and pursuit of
happiness by conspiring together to keep me unlawful
incarcerated. Each defendant utilized their positions to
advocate and perpetuate wrongful imprisonment. I have been
subjected to post dramatic stress, anxiety, frustration, poor
medical treatment, and loss custody of my sons while
involuntarily incarcerated at the Cumberland County Jail. All
above parties indirectly, directly, administratively,
judicially deliberately created [illegible] tort against me
real party of interest cruelly.
ECF No. 1 at 4. As for relief, Plaintiff requests $1, 500,
000, release from the Cumberland County Department of
Corrections, and bail reform. Id. at 5.
1915(e)(2) requires a court to review complaints prior to
service in cases in which a plaintiff is proceeding
in forma pauperis. The Court must 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. See ECF No. 2 (granting in forma
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). “‘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 Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009)). “[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 Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
Complaint must be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted. In order to state a claim
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the plaintiff must show
that “‘(1) the conduct complained of was
committed by a person acting under color of state law; and
(2) that the conduct deprived a person of rights, privileges,
or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws of the
United States.'” Calhoun v. Young, 288
Fed.Appx. 47, 49 (3d Cir. 2008) (quoting Robb v. City of
Phila., 733 F.2d 286, 290-91 (3d Cir. 1984)).
the Office of the Attorney General of New Jersey, the
Cumberland County Courthouse, the Director of the Division of
Criminal Justice, and the Bridgeton State Police Department
must be dismissed with prejudice because they are not
“persons” within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. §
1983. See Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police,
491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989) (state agencies not subject to suit
under § 1983); Carroway v. New Jersey, 202
Fed.Appx. 564, 565 (3d Cir. 2006) (noting that New Jersey
county courts are not subject to suit under § 1983);
Grabow v. S. State Corr. Facility, ...