HOLLAND V STATE OF NEW JERSEY
ORDER Clerk shall administratively terminate this matter, without filing the complaint Ordered if within thirty days of the date of this Order,Plaintiff pays the $400 filing fee or submits a properly executed IFP application and submits an amended complaint to the Clerk of the Court, Court will Direct Clerk to reopen this matter.(Memorandum Order and blank IFP, 42:1983 mailed 10/23/2015). Signed by Judge Renee Marie Bumb on 10/22/2015. (jbk, )
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
State of New Jersey et al.,
CIV. ACTION NO. 15-7289(RMB)
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
RENÉE MARIE BUMB, U.S. District Judge
Plaintiff, a prisoner incarcerated in Bridgeton, New Jersey,
submitted a civil rights complaint on October 2, 2015. (ECF No. 1.)
Plaintiff’s complaint was unaccompanied by either the $400.00 filing
fee1 for a civil action or a properly executed application to proceed
The Clerk of Court will not file a civil complaint unless the
person seeking relief pays the entire applicable filing fee in
advance or the person applies for and is granted in forma pauperis
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1914(a), there is a $350.00 filing fee for
a civil complaint, and there is a $50.00 administrative fee.
status pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. See Local Civil R. 5.1(f).
Prisoners filing civil rights cases without prepayment of the filing
fee are required to submit with their IFP application, a certified
copy of their prison trust fund account statement for the six-month
period immediately preceding the filing of the complaint. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(2). Plaintiff neither paid the filing fee nor submitted
an IFP application.
The Court will administratively terminate this action, but
Plaintiff may reopen the matter by paying the filing fee or submitting
an IFP application, in conformance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Plaintiff,
however, should be advised that if IFP status is granted, he will
be required to pay the filing fee in monthly installments deducted
from his prison trust account, even if the case is dismissed. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1), (2).
In the event Plaintiff seeks to proceed IFP, 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) requires the Court to review the complaint and dismiss
the case, in whole or in part, if it finds that the action is: (1)
frivolous or malicious; (2) fails to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted; or (3) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who
is immune from such relief. The present complaint is deficient in
several respects, as described below. If Plaintiff qualifies for IFP
status and chooses to proceed, he may wish to correct deficiencies
in the complaint to avoid summary dismissal under § 1915(e)(2)(B).
Plaintiff’s complaint is in a letter format, and it is difficult
to understand what information is provided as background, and what
information is related to the claims Plaintiff is attempting to
bring. 2 It appears that Plaintiff wishes to file a civil rights
complaint related to his 2007 state court criminal proceedings. (ECF
No. 1 at 3-4.) Plaintiff seeks to sue his state court trial judge
for failing to recuse himself from Plaintiff’s criminal case because,
in past proceedings, he had represented Plaintiff as his lawyer.
Plaintiff should be aware that judges have absolute immunity
from Section 1983 damage claims arising from their judicial acts.
Gallas v. Supreme Court of Pa., 211 F.3d 760, 768 (3d Cir. 2000)
(citing Mireles v. Waco, 502 U.S. 9, 9 (1991)). Judges have absolute
In August 2014, Plaintiff submitted a letter to this Court
complaining about events that occurred in the course of his state
court criminal proceedings. See Holland v. State of New Jersey,
14cv5202(RMB). The Court construed Plaintiff’s letter as seeking
federal habeas relief from a state court judgment, and explained that
his submission was premature because he had not exhausted his state
court remedies. Id. (ECF No. 2.) The Court construes Plaintiff’s
present letter as a civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
However, if Plaintiff is now seeking federal habeas review of his
state court judgment and conviction, he should file a habeas petition
under 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
immunity over decisions to deny motions for recusal, and presiding
in matters over which they have jurisdiction. Catanzaro v. Cottone,
228 F. App’x 164, 166-67 (3d Cir. 2007) (per curiam). If Plaintiff
is granted IFP status and brings his present claim against the state
trial court judge, it is likely to be dismissed under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) based on immunity.
Plaintiff also wishes to sue a detective of the Millville Police
Department for falsifying documents related to a search warrant. (ECF
No. 1 at 4.) “A complaint pursuant to § 1983 is ‘characterized as
a personal injury claim and thus is governed by the applicable state's
statute of limitations for personal-injury claims.’” Woodyard v.
County of Essex, 514 F. App’x 177, 184 (3d Cir. 2013) (per curiam)
(quoting Dique v. N.J. State Police, 603 F.3d 181, 185 (3d Cir. 2010)
(citing Cito v. Bridgewater Twp. Police Dep't, 892 F.2d 23, 25 (3d
Cir. 1989)). “In New Jersey, § 1983 claims are subject to New Jersey's
two-year statute of limitations on personal injury actions.” Id.
(citing Dique, 603 F.3d at 185); see also N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2A:14–
2(a). “[F]ederal law controls when a § 1983 claim accrues.” Id.
(citing Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 388 (2007). “Accrual occurs
‘when the plaintiff has a complete and present cause of action.’”
Id. (quoting Wallace, 549 U.S. at 388) (citations omitted) (internal
quotation marks omitted)). “Accrual of Plaintiff’s claim of false
arrest occurred when [he] indisputably [knew] about the faults of
the search.” Id. (citing Dique, 603 F.3d at 185–86). If Plaintiff
knew of the alleged falsity in the search warrant more than two years
before he filed the present action, on August 20, 2015, the claim
will be barred by the statute of limitations, unless there is a basis
to equitably toll the statute of limitations. See Dique, 603 F.3d
at 185 (“[u]nder New Jersey law, a statute of limitations can be
tolled based upon equitable principles”).
The Court will direct the Clerk to send Plaintiff a blank civil
rights complaint form. Plaintiff may wish to submit an amended
complaint, as discussed above. If Plaintiff files an amended
complaint, he should set forth when and how each defendant was
describing only the pertinent facts surrounding the claim.
IT IS, therefore, on this 22nd day of October 2015,
ORDERED that the Clerk shall administratively terminate this
matter, without filing the complaint, by making a new and separate
entry reading, “CIVIL CASE TERMINATED.” Plaintiff is informed that
administrative termination is not a “dismissal” for purposes of the
statute of limitations, and that if the case is reopened, it is not
subject to the statute of limitations time bar if it was originally
filed timely. See Dasilva v. Sheriff's Dept., 413 F. App’x 498, 502
(3rd Cir. 2011) (“[The] statute of limitations is met when a complaint
is submitted to the clerk before the statute runs”) (citations
omitted); and no statement in this Memorandum and Order shall be
construed as withdrawal of this Court’s jurisdiction over this
matter; and it is further
ORDERED that, if within thirty days of the date of this Order,
Plaintiff pays the $400 filing fee or submits a properly executed
IFP application and submits an amended complaint to the Clerk of the
Court, Mitchell H. Cohen Building & U.S. Courthouse, 4th & Cooper
Streets, Camden, NJ 08101, the Court will direct the Clerk of Court
to reopen this matter; and it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall serve this Memorandum and
Order upon Plaintiff, together with a blank form “Prisoner Applying
Case”(DNJ-ProSe-007-A.pdf); and a blank form “Prisoner Civil Rights
s/Renée Marie Bumb
RENÉE MARIE BUMB
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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