United States District Court, D. New Jersey
MADELINE COX ARLEO, U.S.D.J.
Carlton Green, currently confined at the Special Treatment
Unit ("STU") in Avenel, New Jersey, has filed the
instant Complaint, alleging violations of his constitutional
rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff also
filed a motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis ("IFP"). The Court will grant
Plaintiffs IFP application.
time, the Court must also screen the Complaint pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) to determine whether it should be
dismissed as frivolous or malicious, for failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, or because it seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. For the reasons explained below, the Court will
dismiss the Complaint's federal claims for failure to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted under §
1915(e)(2)(B) and decline to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over the state law claims. The Court will grant
Plaintiff leave to submit a proposed Amended Complaint that
would also be subject to screening within 30 days with
respect to those claims that are dismissed without prejudice.
has sued the following individuals employed by the STU in
their individual and official capacities: STU Administrator
J. Slaughter; STU Associate Administrator Keisha Fisher; STU
Assistant Superintendent C. Raupp; Senior Corrections Officer
("SCO") Amaker; Dr. Sumulatha Mannava; and Medical
Director Hesham Soliman, as well as nurses Yvonne P. Paden
and Jane Doe. Plaintiff seeks declaratory judgment and
monetary damages from each defendant. (ECF No. 1, Complaint
at ¶ 155.) Plaintiff also seeks injunctive relief from
Defendants Slaughter, Fisher, and Raupp in the form of
repairs to the elevator in the STU. (Id.) Plaintiff
alleges that on or about April 29, 2017 at around 5:45 a.m.,
he began to suffer from chills and shakes while in his cell.
(Id. at ¶ 42.) Plaintiff states that when he
attempted to use the bathroom, he lost consciousness and fell
to the floor. (Id. at ¶¶ 42-44.) Plaintiff
contends that although Defendant Amaker was supposed to
conduct security rounds at approximately 6:00 a.m., Defendant
Amaker never passed by Plaintiffs cell. (Id. at
¶ 47.) As a result, Plaintiff states he remained
sprawled on the floor until another resident noticed him at
around 8:25 a.m. and alerted Defendant Amaker to Plaintiffs
condition. (Id. at ¶¶ 48-50) Defendant
Amaker then summoned medical personnel. (Id. at
Defendant Paden arrived at Plaintiffs cell, Plaintiff was
largely unresponsive. (Id. at ¶¶ 52-53.)
Defendant Amaker subsequently enlisted two other STU
residents to place Plaintiff in a wheelchair and carry him
down the stairs to the medical unit. (Id. at ¶
54.) Plaintiff states that because the elevator in the STU
was in disrepair, the other residents were forced to carry
him down the stairs in the wheelchair. (Id. at
¶¶ 54-58.) Plaintiff alleges that due to the
combined weight of the wheelchair and his person, the
residents assisting him lost their grip, dropping the
wheelchair. (Id. at ¶ 56.) Plaintiff states he
"almost" fell out of the wheelchair and down the
remaining stairs. (Id. at ¶ 57.)
STU's medical unit, Plaintiffs vital signs were taken, he
was provided with oxygen, and medical personnel called 9-1-1.
(Id. at ¶¶ 67-68.) Plaintiff states
Defendant Paden then administered three doses of Narcan to
him. (Id. at ¶ 69.) Plaintiff admits he was
temporarily revived, but only because the Narcan caused him
to feel as though he was drowning, (Id.) Once
Plaintiff was taken to the hospital, medical staff determined
he was suffering from sepsis due to a complication from a
urinary tract infection ("UTI"). (Id. at
¶ 73.) Plaintiff alleges hospital medical staff
indicated he had been suffering from a UTI for a prolonged
period of time. (Id. at ¶74.)
further alleges that prior to the events of April 29, 2017,
he had been chronically ill and seen by Defendant Mannava at
least three times. (Id. at ¶ 76.) Each time,
Plaintiff states he complained of abdominal pain and
difficulty urinating and he requested to visit with a
urologist. (Id. at ¶ 77.) Plaintiff alleges
Defendant Mannava did not send him to a urologist, but rather
had Plaintiffs blood drawn and tested on each of those three
visits. (Id. at ¶¶ 78-79.) Plaintiff
states that at no time did Defendant Mannava diagnose him as
suffering from a UTI. (Id. at ¶ 79.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"),
district courts must review complaints in those civil actions
in which a person is proceeding in forma pauperis.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The PLRA directs
district courts to sua sponte dismiss any claim that
is frivolous, is malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. Id.
"The legal standard for dismissing a complaint for
failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
l9l5(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) (citing Allah v. Seiverling,
229 F.3d 220, 223 (3d Cir. 2000)); Courteau v. United
States, 287 Fed.Appx. 159, 162 (3d Cir. 2008)
(discussing 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)).
Plaintiffs Complaint is subject to screening under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B). When reviewing a complaint under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), courts first separate the factual and
legal elements of the claims and accept all of the
well-pleaded facts as true. See Fowler v. UPMC
Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210-11 (3d Cir. 2009). All
reasonable inferences must be made in the plaintiffs favor.
See In re Ins. Brokerage Antitrust Litig., 618 F.3d
300, 314 (3d Cir. 2010). The complaint must also allege
"sufficient factual matter" to show that the claim
is facially plausible. Fowler, 578 F.3d at 210.
"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." Fair Wind Sailing, Inc. v.
Dempster, 764 F.3d 303, 308 n.3 (3d Cir. 2014) (citation
are required to liberally construe pleadings drafted by pro
se parties. See Tucker v. Hewlett Packard, Inc., No.
14-4699, 2015 WL 6560645, at *2 (D.N.J. Oct. 29, 2015)
(citing Haines v. Kerner,404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972)).
Such pleadings are "held to less strict standards than
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers." Id.
Nevertheless, pro se litigants must still allege facts, which
if taken as true, will suggest the required elements of any
claim that is asserted. Id. (citing Mala v.
Crown Bay Marina, Inc., 704 F.3d 239, 245 (3d Cir.
2013)). To do so, [a plaintiff] must plead enough facts,
accepted as true, to plausibly suggest entitlement to
relief." Gibney v. Fitzgibbon, 547 Fed.Appx.
111, 113 (3d Cir. 2013) (citing Bistrian v. Levi,696 F.3d 352, 365 (3d Cir. 2012)). "Liberal construction
does not, however, require the Court to credit a pro se
plaintiffs 'bald assertions' or 'legal
conclusions."' Id. (citing Morse v.
Lower Merion Sch. Dist.,132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir.
1997)). That is, "[e]ven a pro se complaint may