United States District Court, D. New Jersey
L. Wolfson, United States District Judge.
Rashir Abner (“Abner” or
“Plaintiff”), is proceeding pro se with
this Complaint asserting violations of his civil rights under
42 U.S.C. § 1983. (See Compl., ECF No. 1.) The
Court previously granted Abner leave to proceed in forma
pauperis. (ECF No. 4.) The Court now screens the
Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). For the reasons
stated herein, Abner's Complaint as a whole is dismissed
without prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, and his claims are dismissed with
prejudice insofar as they are asserted against the Somerset
is presently held as a pretrial detainee at the Somerset
County Jail, and his claims concern the circumstances of his
detention there. (See ECF No. 1.) Abner, a
practicing Muslim, claims that defendant, the Somerset County
Jail, violated his right to free exercise of religion under
the First Amendment. (Id.) Specifically, Abner
challenges the Jail's provisions for Friday and Saturday
prayer and alleges that the Jail does not permit community
prayer. (Id.) He further contends that
the Jail does not permit inmates to order prayer rugs or
prayer oils and restricts the wearing of kufis outside of the
inmate day room. (Id.) Abner seeks one million
dollars in damages and, seemingly, various forms of
Complaint was initially terminated because it included
neither a filing fee nor an application to proceed in
forma pauperis. (See ECF No. 2.) Abner
subsequently submitted a proper in forma pauperis
application, and the action was reopened. (ECF Nos. 3-4.) The
Court now undertakes a screening of Abner's Complaint
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
THE SCREENING STANDARD
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 is proceeding in
forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). 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. See 28 U.S.C. §
legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to
state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)
is the same as that for dismissing a complaint pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).” Schreane
v. Seana, 506 Fed.Appx. 120, 122 (3d Cir. 2012). 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 Shadyside,
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).
involvement by a defendant in an alleged constitutional
violation is central to a § 1983 claim, and liability
cannot rest on a theory of respondeat superior.
See Chavarriaga v. N.J. Dep't of Corr., 806 F.3d
210, 222 (3d Cir. 2015). Pleading supervisory liability
generally requires some affirmative conduct by the
supervisor, such as a supervisor's implementation or
maintenance of a policy, practice, or custom that caused the
plaintiff constitutional harm. Parkell v. Danberg,
833 F.3d 313, 330 (3d Cir. 2016); Santiago v. Warminster
Township, 629 F.3d 121, 129 n.5 (3d Cir. 2010).
se 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 ...