United States District Court, D. New Jersey
TORMU E. PRALL, Plaintiff,
SUPREME COURT, et al., Defendants.
E. Prall, Plaintiff Pro se
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
matter comes before the Court upon Plaintiff's unopposed
Motion for Reconsideration of the Opinion and Order granting
Defendants' summary judgment motion. See ECF No.
74. The Motion will be denied.
December 1, 2011, Plaintiff filed a complaint against
numerous state officials based on his “conscientious
object[ion] to New Jersey[‘s] criminal injustice
system.” ECF No. 1 ¶ 26. He alleges that he was
transported to state court proceedings in Mercer County
Superior Court on April 19, 2011 by Defendants Judson,
Witzel, Delvalle, and Santiago. See Amended
Complaint, ECF No. 26 ¶ 10. He states that he was
restrained by steel leg shackles, steel hand shackles, a
belly chain, “and a black box through which the belly
chain and hand shackles were bound.” Id.
appeared before the Honorable Edward M. Neafsey, J.S.C.
Id. ¶ 11. At some point, Judge Neafsey ordered
Plaintiff to be removed from the courtroom. Id.
¶ 12. Plaintiff alleged that “[d]efendants Judson,
Witzel, Delvalle, and Santiago pulled Prall out of his chair,
kicked his shoes off, stepped on his leg restraints and made
him walk so fast that it caused him to fall to the ground,
hit, slammed and pressed his head into the courthouse walls .
. . .” Id. Plaintiff further alleges he was
made to walk in the rain with bare feet and that his face was
scraped along the fence in the court parking lot.
Id. Plaintiff states that the shackles cut off
circulation in his hands, arms, and legs. Id. ¶
13. He reported the use of force to the New Jersey Department
of Corrections and was informed an investigation would occur.
Id.; see also ECF No. 1-2. Plaintiff
alleged no investigation ever took place. ECF No. 26 ¶
moved for summary judgment and asserted that Plaintiff had
failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as required by
the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995
(“PLRA”). See 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a).
On December 20, 2018, the Honorable Jerome B. Simandle,
D.N.J., to whom this case was formerly assigned, found that
Plaintiff had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies
before filing his federal lawsuit and, in the alternative,
that Defendants were entitled to judgment as a matter of law
on Plaintiff's excessive force claim. ECF No. 73.
filed this Motion for Reconsideration on December 27, 2018.
ECF No. 74. Defendants have not opposed the motion.
may grant a motion for reconsideration if the moving party
shows one of the following: (1) an intervening change in the
controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that
was not available when the court issued its order; or (3) the
need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent
manifest injustice. Johnson v. Diamond State Port
Corp., 50 Fed.Appx. 554, 560 (3d Cir. 2002) (quoting
Max's Seafood Café v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d
669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999)). Local Rule 7.1 provides that
motions to reconsider shall be filed within fourteen (14)
days from the date of the entry of the order or judgment to
be reconsidered unless otherwise provided by
statute. See D.N.J. Loc. R. 7.1.
Motion for Reconsideration, Plaintiff first argues that the
Court ignored his November 8, 2018 submission in determining
whether he had exhausted his available administrative. ECF
No. 74 at ¶ 1. See also ECF No. 71-2 at 3. He
asserts that his inquiry to the grievance coordinator seeking
clarification as to how to file a grievance against the
transportation officers shows that the Department of
Corrections required him to go to the Ombudsman's Office,
not New Jersey State Prison as claimed by defendants.
Simandle explicitly referenced taking “Plaintiff's
supplemental materials [consisting of] his November 26, 2018
Declaration, [Docket Entry 65], and November 3, 2018 inquiry,
[Docket Entry 71-2]” into consideration for the
exhaustion question. ECF No. 72 at 10-11 (first alteration
added). The court did not “ignore” the submission
merely because Plaintiff disagrees with the outcome.
Likewise, Plaintiff's argument that “slamming,
bumping and pressing [his] head roughly into the courthouse
walls” was sufficient proof of excessive force is
simply disagreement with ...