United States District Court, D. New Jersey
LEROY H. LEE, Plaintiff,
DET. V. WILLIAMS et al., Defendants.
MCNULTY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
pro se, Leroy H. Lee, commenced this action on October 5,
2018, by filing a civil-rights complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. (DE 1.) The action was initially
administratively terminated because the complaint included
neither a proper filing fee nor an application to proceed
in forma pmtperis. (DE 3, 4.) Mr. Lee subsequently
paid the full filing fee, and the Court now undertakes an
initial screening of the complaint under 28 U.S.C. §
alleges claims against Det. V, Williams and Sgt. W. Wilson of
the Newark Police Department, as well as Ras Baraka, the
mayor of Newark, and Assistant Deputy Essex County Prosecutor
Jessica Yanette. (DE 1 ¶ 4.) He alleges he was arrested
on May 7, 2018, and that Det. Williams "wrote a false
report causing continued confinement" in which Williams
"falsified, alter[ed] or changed" statements from
witnesses and the alleged victim. (Id. ¶¶
4, 6.) Mr. Lee contends that Assistant Prosecutor Yanette
"should have called for a separate investigation knowing
that the alleged victim stated 'she did not know who shot
her' 'Mr. Lee did not shoot her."'
(Id. ¶ 6.) Mr. Lee alleges that Sgt. Wilson
should bear supervisory liability, because he signed a report
knowing it had been falsified. (Id. ¶ 4(c).) He
contends that Mayor Baraka should be liable because "he
is the supervising commander and chief of all official city
departments." (Id. ¶ 4(d).)
the Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub. L. 104-134,
§§ 801-810, 110 Stat. 1321-66 to 1321-77 (Apr. 26,
1996) ("PLRA"), district courts must review
prisoner complaints when the prisoner seeks redress against a
governmental employee or entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. The
PLRA directs district courts to sua sponte dismiss claims
that are frivolous or malicious, that fail to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.
legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to
state a claim pursuant to § 1915A is identical to the
legal standard employed in ruling on 12(b)(6) motions."
Courteau v. United States, 287 Fed.Appx. 159, 162
(3d Cir. 2008). 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). 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." Fowler v.
UPMC Shady side, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009)
(internal quotation marks 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."
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; see also Fair Wind
Sailing, Inc. v. Dempster, 764 F.3d 303, 308 n.3 (3d
Cir. 2014). "A pleading that offers 'labels and
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).
pleadings, as always, will be liberally construed. See
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); Glunk v.
Noone, 689 Fed.Appx. 137, 139 (3d Cir. 2017).
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).
plaintiff may have a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 for certain violations of his constitutional rights.
That section provides,
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or
the District of Columbia, 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, except that in any action brought against a judicial
officer for an act or omission taken in such officer's
judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted
unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory
relief was unavailable.
42 U.S.C. § 1983. To state a claim 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 Harvey
v. Plains Twp Police Dep 't, 635 F.3d 606, 609 (3d
Cir. 2011); see also West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42,
construe Mr. Lee's Complaint as asserting a
constitutional claim of for malicious
prosecution. To state a ...