FINNEMAN v. MAURICE et al
OPINION. Signed by Judge Renee Marie Bumb on 1/10/2017. (dmr)(n.m.(
[Dkt. No. 1]
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Civil No. 16-1368 (RMB/JS)
MAURICE POLLARD; JOHN
BUJANOWSKI; JAMAR; JANINE,
This matter comes before the Court on the filing of a civil
action by Plaintiff Nasir Finnemen (the “Plaintiff”) on March
10, 2016 against Defendants Maurice Pollard, “Jamar”, “Janine”,
and John Bujanowski (collectively, the “Defendants”).
at 2 [Dkt. No. 1]).
In so bringing this action, Plaintiff has
been granted in forma pauperis status.
(Order [Dkt. No. 2]).
The Court now screens Plaintiff’s Complaint pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2).
Plaintiff appears to be pursuing the above-captioned cause
of action because his postal carrier, Defendant Maurice Pollard,
has refused to deliver his mail.
As set forth in the Complaint,
on December 3, 2015, Pollard told Plaintiff that his mail would
not be delivered to his mailbox, but rather could be picked up
at the post office.
(Compl. at 3).
The reason given for this
change, according to a difficult-to-read notice attached to the
Complaint, appears to be that Plaintiff’s mailbox is broken.
(Compl. Ex. at 1 [Dkt. No. 1-4]).
Defendant “Jamar,” who
appears to work at the post office based upon the factual
allegations, seems to have told Defendant “Janine” that the
reason for the non-delivery of mail to Plaintiff’s resident was
that his mailbox was broken.
(Compl. at 3).
In January and
February of 2016, Plaintiff alleges that he visited the post
office and was sometimes able to pick up mail and sometimes
there was no mail for him.
(Compl. at 3).
Plaintiff does not contest that his mailbox is broken.1
LEGAL STANDARD FOR SUA SPONTE DISMISSAL
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), the Court must
preliminarily screen in forma pauperis filings, and must dismiss
any filing that is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires that a
[A] short and plain statement of the grounds for the
court's jurisdiction, unless the court already has
Plaintiff does generally allege that Defendant “Jamar” told
Defendant “Janine” “a lie,” but does not elaborate on what that
lie is, nor does he allege the condition of his mailbox.
jurisdiction and the claim needs no new jurisdictional
[A] short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief; and
[A] demand for the relief sought, which may include
relief in the alternative or different types of
“[A] complaint must do more than allege the plaintiff's
entitlement to relief. A complaint has to ‘show’ such an
entitlement with its facts.”
203, 311 (3d Cir. 2009).
Fowler v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d
However, in screening a complaint to
verify whether it meets this standard, this Court is mindful of
the requirement that pro se pleadings must be construed
liberally in favor of the plaintiff.
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S.
519, 520-21 (1972).
Plaintiff’s complaint fails to state a cause of action
against any of the Defendants.
Assuming, as Plaintiff alleges
in a document attached to his Complaint, that he seeks to bring
a claim for mail tampering, (Compl. Ex. at 2), the allegations
Plaintiff has fundamentally alleged who
participated in this supposed scheme to tamper with his mail,
but not how it was done or even how it amounts to tampering with
For instance, Plaintiff has not alleged that his
mailbox was in fact in working order and that the re-routing to
the post office was a part of a scheme to tamper with the mail.
He additionally has not alleged that any mail was not turned
over to him, that it was opened, or that it was delayed in
reaching him because of this scheme.
He has, in fact, only
alleged that he was required to pick up his mail at the post
office and that the reason given for this was that his mailbox
Such allegations do not state a claim for mail
See generally Abulkhair v. U.S. Postal Serv., 610
Fed. App’x 96, at 97-98 (3d Cir. 2015) (dismissing claim of mail
tampering where allegations failed to “nudge his claim of a
decade-long mail tampering scheme across the line from
conceivable to plausible.”).2
As set forth above, the Court rules that Plaintiff’s
Complaint is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.
Plaintiff may seek to
file an amended complaint within thirty (30) days of the entry
To the extent Plaintiff instead seeks to bring a claim of
discrimination, perhaps alleging that he has been required to
pick up his mail where others have not, he has also failed to
state such a claim because he has not alleged, inter alia, that
he was treated differently than others or there was not a
rational basis for such treatment. See Baker v. Dept. of Corr.,
2008 WL 5227458, at *5 (D.N.J. Sept. 8, 2015) (“Where a
plaintiff fails to identify a suspect class to which he belongs
or show that Defendants violated a fundamental right, his claim
must be brought pursuant to a ‘class of one’ theory.”); id. (“To
state a claim under such a theory, a plaintiff must show that
‘(1) the defendant treated him differently from others similarly
situated, (2) the defendant did so intentionally, and (3) there
was no rational basis for the difference in treatment.’”)
(quoting Overly v. Garman, 599 F. App’x 42, 43 (3d Cir. 2015)).
of the Order accompanying this Opinion remedying the
deficiencies outlined above, if he so chooses.
DATED: January 10, 2017
s/Renée Marie Bumb
RENÉE MARIE BUMB
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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