United States District Court, D. New Jersey
L. WOLFSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Frank Rodriguez (“Rodriguez” 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 initially administratively terminated the action due to
deficiencies in Rodriguez's application to proceed in
forma pauperis. (ECF Nos. 3 & 4.) Rodriguez
subsequently paid the $400 filing fee. The Court now screens
the Complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. For the reasons
stated herein, Rodriguez's claims against the State
Parole Board are dismissed with prejudice, but Rodriguez will
be permitted an opportunity to file an amended complaint.
explains that sometime around 2004 he pleaded guilty to
endangerment of a child and was sentenced to a suspended
prison sentence and parole supervision for life. (ECF No. 1
at 5.) He seems to indicate that he was punished for parole
violations in April 2007, January 2011, and February 2018.
The Court infers that his present incarceration stems from
his most recent parole violation. Rodriguez alleges,
“My rights was violated sense 2005, the Amendments
which was violated 5th 8th 9th 14th. [Since] I was on parole
I didn't commit no new crime, so parole keeps violating
me for the same offense.” (Id. at 6.) By
filing this lawsuit, Rodriguez seeks as relief “change
of laws, class action suit, early release, compensation to be
determined at a future date.” (Id.)
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. See 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. See 1915A(b)).
legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to
state a claim pursuant to § 1915A is identical to the
legal standard employed in rule 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 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).
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 officer's
judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted
unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory
relief was unavailable.
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, 48
names the State Parole Board as the only defendant to this
action. (See ECF No. 1.) The State Parole Board,
however, is not a person amenable to suit under § 1983.
See Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491
U.S. 58, 64, 70-71 & n.10 (1989); Madden v. N.J.
State Parole Bd., 438 F.2d 1189, 1190 (3d Cir.
1971); see also Corradi v. N.J. State Parole Bd.,
No.16-5076, 2017 WL 5762391, at * 2 (D.N.J. Nov. 28, 2017).
As such, the Court will dismiss Rodriguez's claims
against the State Parole Board with prejudice, as that entity
is not a proper defendant to a § 1983
claim. The Court will, however, permit Rodriguez
to file an amended complaint against a proper defendant
within 30 days.
reasons explained above, Rodriguez's claims against the
State Parole Board are dismissed with prejudice. Rodriguez
has leave to file an amended complaint asserting factual
allegations against a proper defendant within 30 days from
the entry of the accompanying Order.
 Instead, a plaintiff must sue the
specific government officials who allegedly violated his
civil rights. Rodriguez should note that government officials
may not be held vicariously liable for the actions of their
subordinates under a theory of respondeat superior
in a § 1983 action. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 675-76 (2009). Because § 1983 claims do not permit
recovery for vicarious liability, Plaintiff must “plead
that each Government-official defendant, ...