United States District Court, D. New Jersey
B. Kugler, United States District Judge.
James Michael Farrell, is a federal inmate currently
incarcerated at F.C.I. Fort Dix, in Fort Dix, New Jersey.
Previously, this Court dismissed the portion of this action
where plaintiff sought habeas corpus relief with prejudice.
Furthermore, this court dismissed plaintiff's claims
against the United States and the individual defendants in
their official capacities with prejudice. Plaintiff's due
process claim was also dismissed with prejudice. The
remaining claims were dismissed without prejudice. Plaintiff
was given the opportunity to file a proposed amended
complaint that addressed the deficiencies of the original
complaint. Plaintiff has now submitted a proposed amended
complaint such that the Clerk will be ordered to reopen this
Court must screen the amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A to determine whether the complaint is frivolous
or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or whether it seeks monetary relief from a defendant
who is immune from suit. For the following reasons, the
amended complaint will proceed in part.
allegations of the amended complaint will be construed as
true for purposes of this screening opinion. The amended
complaint names two defendants: (1) Warden David Ortiz; and
(2) Lieutenant Atkinson. Both defendants are being sued in
their individual capacity.
was a member of the food service warehouse while incarcerated
at F.C.I. Fort Dix. On November 21, 2017, Atkinson, along
with other officers conducted a search of the warehouse which
resulted in cellphones and other contraband being found.
Ultimately, plaintiff was placed in the Special Housing Unit
(“SHU”) or “the hole.”
alleges that for the first two-and-one-half weeks he was in
the SHU, he was housed in a freezing two-man cell with walls
that were covered with mold and mildew. There was no heat and
cold air was rushed into the cells. Inmates were given two
sheets and two thin blankets and were only clothed in short
sleeve jumpers. Plaintiff states that it was so cold that he
could not leave his bed except to retrieve food and go to the
bathroom. Plaintiff states that Ortiz and Atkinson visited
the SHU almost weekly and that plaintiff personally
complained to these two defendants. According to plaintiff,
“Ortiz acknowledged the [f]reezing conditions and cell
wall mold but did nothing.” (ECF No. 5 at 5).
states that he put in requests to visit the law library on
November 22, 2017 and for “legal call.” However,
his requests were ignored.
also alleges he was denied social visits, access to property,
access to phones and recreation time while housed in the SHU.
Furthermore, plaintiff states that he was taken to showers in
shackles and handcuffs three times a week. He states he
suffered injuries to his wrists due to the handcuffs.
states that he spent fifty days in the SHU. (See ECF
No. 5 at 19).
brings three claims in his amended complaint. First, he
asserts a Fifth Amendment due process claim. Second, he
brings an Eighth Amendment conditions of confinement claim
against both defendants. Finally, plaintiff brings a First
Amendment access to courts claim. Plaintiff seeks monetary
damages in his amended complaint.
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
complaints in those civil actions in which a prisoner 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 ...