United States District Court, D. New Jersey
DeJesus, Plaintiff Pro se.
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
Oscar DeJesus, a prisoner presently confined at the Cape May
County Correctional Center in Cape May Court House, New
Jersey, seeks to bring a claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983, against Defendants Sergeant Corrections Officer Thomas
Rucci, Corrections Officer J. Tallerico, and Middle Township
Police Officer Akke Alison centered upon and interrogation
that occurred while Plaintiff was being processed into the
Cape May County Jail after arrest. See ECF No. 1.
time, the Court must review the Complaint, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 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 will
dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a claim, with
leave to amend granted. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
alleges that on September 8, 2014, he was arrested and
transported to the Cape May County Jail Facility where he was
being processed for intake. ECF No. 1 at 8. Defendant
Tallerico was the processing officer in charge of his intake.
Id. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Tallerico
initiated an interrogation of Plaintiff in violation of his
rights after he had already invoked his right to remain
silent and his right not to answer questions without the
presence of his lawyer. Id. at 11. In addition,
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Tallerico disregarded the
directive of his superior, Defendant Rucci, to terminate the
interrogation. Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant Alison
possessed the power to prevent the interrogation and the
statements it elicited because it was reasonably foreseeable
that an incriminating statement might result from the
comments made by Defendant Tallerico to Plaintiff.
Id. at 12.
states that the incriminating statements were utilized at his
grand jury hearing, after which he was indicted. Id.
Plaintiff attaches to his Complaint various documents
including his police report, the correctional officers'
reports, transcript of his intake processing, and transcript
from his suppression hearing. According to the suppression
hearing transcript, the statements made by Plaintiff as a
result of the custodial interrogation during his intake were
suppressed. ECF No. 1 at 70. It does not appear that
Plaintiff has gone to trial on his criminal charges, as
Plaintiff identifies himself as a pre-trial detainee.
1915A requires a court to review complaints prior to service
in cases in which an incarcerated plaintiff seeks redress
from a governmental entity, officer, or employee. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). 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. 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b). This action is subject to sua
sponte screening for dismissal under 28 U.S.C. §
1915A because Plaintiff is incarcerated and seeks redress
from governmental entities.
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)).
failure of a state actor to provide proper Miranda
warnings during custodial interrogation, or to provide a
lawyer during interrogation once one is requested, does not,
in and of itself, give rise to a claim under § 1983.
See Chavez v. Martinez, 538 U.S. 760, 773 (2003);
Giuffre v. Bissell, 31 F.3d 1241, 1256 (3d Cir.
1994) (“violations of the prophylactic Miranda
procedures do not amount to violations of the constitution
itself . . . the 'right to counsel' during custodial
interrogation recognized in Miranda . . . is merely
a procedural safeguard, and not a substantive right”);
Renda v. King, 347 F.3d 550, 557 (3d Cir. 2003)
(upholding Giuffre). A Miranda claim only
becomes actionable under § 1983 when a statement
elicited in the absence of those warnings is used at
Plaintiff's criminal trial. Chavez, 538 U.S. at
773; see also Large v. Cnty. Of Montgomery, 307
Fed.Appx. 606, 607 (3d Cir. 2009).
state a claim for relief, Plaintiff must allege that the
Defendants violated Miranda and that the statements
elicited were then introduced at trial, thus violating
Plaintiff's right against self-incrimination.
Large, 307 Fed.Appx. at 607; Renda 347 F.3d
at 559. Here, there is no allegation that the alleged
incriminating statements that resulted from the interrogation
during intake were used at Plaintiff's trial; indeed, it
appears that Plaintiff has not yet proceeded to trial in his
criminal case. Furthermore, that the statement will be