United States District Court, D. New Jersey
McNULTY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Eugeny Cango, is currently a state prisoner incarcerated at
the South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton, New Jersey. At the
time of the events giving rise to his pro se civil
complaint, Mr. Cango was a pretrial detainee at the Bergen
County Jail ("BCJ").
Court must screen the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A to determine whether the
complaint is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from suit. For the following
reasons, the complaint will be permitted to proceed in part.
factual allegations of the complaint will be construed as
true for purposes of this screening opinion. Mr. Cango names
several John Does as defendants in his complaint; they are:
(1) BCJ Administrator - John Doe 1; (2) BCJ Warden - John Doe
2; (3) Bergen County Sheriffs Officers - John Does 3-12; (4)
BCJ Classification Committee Members, Officials & Civil
Employees-John Doe's 13-18; and BCJ Healthcare
Administrator & Staff- John Does 19-22.
states that he was a pretrial detainee lodged at the BCJ. He
was detained on sexual assault charges. Upon his arrival at
BCJ, Mr. Cango was placed on suicide watch. However, he was
cleared to general population by the John Does from BCJ
Healthcare and the John Does of the BCJ Classification
Committee. Mr. Cango was then moved into a general population
cellblock where he was immediately threatened with harm by
other prisoners. Mr. Cango states that these threats were a
result of the media coverage surrounding his sexual assault
Cango informed the John Does of the Bergen County Sheriffs
Officers about these threats. They gave Mr. Cango of
protective custody housing or being moved to a different
general population cellblock. Mr. Cango opted to try a
different general population cellblock.
being moved to a different cellblock, Mr. Cango was again
threatened with harm by inmates for the same reason. Mr.
Cango again notified John Does from the Sheriffs Office about
these threats. This time, the Sheriffs Office transferred Mr.
Cango to protective custody.
this transfer, Mr. Cango suffered a psychological traumatic
episode as a result of being segregated. After the John Does
from BCJ Healthcare and the Classification Committee cleared
him, he was transferred out of protective custody back to a
general population cellblock.
general population, Mr. Cango was again threated with harm by
inmates. He again complained to the John Does from the
Sheriffs Office. In this instance, the Sheriffs Office John
Does told Mr. Cango to accept his current cellblock and deal
with the threats, or else be prepared to receive a
disciplinary charge along with an immediate transfer to the
administrative segregation unit. Mr. Cango accepted his
general population cellblock.
thereafter, John Does from the Sheriffs Office entered Mr.
Cango's cellblock and announced to all inmates that if
they harmed Mr. Cango, they would face jail misconduct and
"street" charges. Within a week, Mr. Cango alleges,
inmates confronted him and offered to protect him from harm
if they paid them in commissary items. They stated that if
Mr. Cango did not pay them, the inmates would beat and rape
Mr. Cango or kill him and his family. Mr. Cango paid these
inmates off as demanded.
this time, Mr. Cango witnessed fights amongst inmates in his
cellblock. Most occurred without the knowledge of the John
Doe Sheriffs Officers, but the John Does intervened in some
three months of residing in the cellblock, Mr. Cango was
sexually assaulted by one of the inmates. Mr. Cango was
threatened with harm if he informed anyone about the assault.
Mr. Cango did not report the assault at the time. Ultimately,
the inmate who assaulted Mr. Cango was involved in another
altercation with another inmate, was apprehended by the John
Does, and transferred out of the cellblock.
the assaulter was moved to a different cellblock, Mr. Cango
disclosed the sexual assault on a nurse call medical slip. He
did not want to disclose it to the Sheriffs Office John Does
based on their prior responses to his complaints. A criminal
investigation was initiated. Mr. Cango ...