BELCHER v. NO DEFENDANT LISTED
OPINION. Signed by Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle on 3/6/2017. (tf, n.m.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE
No. 16-cv-08221 (JBS-AMD)
NO DEFENDANT LISTED,
Teresa Belcher, Plaintiff Pro Se
242 Ablett Village
Camden, NJ 08105
SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge:
Plaintiff Teresa Belcher seeks to bring a civil rights
complaint pursuant to the 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and has not listed a
defendant. Complaint, Docket Entry 1. Based on Plaintiff’s
affidavit of indigency, the Court will grant her application to
proceed in forma pauperis.
Section 1915(e)(2) requires a court to review
complaints prior to service in cases in which a plaintiff is
proceeding in forma pauperis. The Court must 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. This action is
subject to sua sponte screening for dismissal under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) because Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis.
Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
requires pleadings to contain “a short and plain statement of
the grounds for the court's jurisdiction . . .
a short and
plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief; and demand for the relief sought . . . .”
Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(1)-(3).
Plaintiff has not named a defendant in her complaint
and the complaint itself is blank. Complaint §§ III-V. As such,
the Court cannot discern what cause of action Plaintiff intends
to pursue and the complaint must therefore be dismissed for
failure to state a claim.
Plaintiff may amend the complaint within 30 days of
the date of this order. Any amended complaint must comply with
Rule 8 and must allege “sufficient factual matter” to show that
the claim is facially plausible. Fowler v. UPMS Shadyside, 578
F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009) (citation 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.” Fair Wind
Sailing, Inc. v. Dempster, 764 F.3d 303, 308 n.3 (3d Cir. 2014)
“[A] pleading that offers ‘labels or conclusions’ or ‘a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will
not do.’” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
Plaintiff is further advised that she must name
someone with personal involvement in the alleged violation as
the defendant if she intends to pursue monetary damages.
Plaintiff should note that when an amended complaint
is filed,1 the original complaint no longer performs any function
in the case and cannot be utilized to cure defects in the
amended complaint, unless the relevant portion is specifically
incorporated in the new complaint. 6 Wright, Miller & Kane,
Federal Practice and Procedure 1476 (2d ed. 1990) (footnotes
omitted). An amended complaint may adopt some or all of the
allegations in the original complaint, but the identification of
the particular allegations to be adopted must be clear and
explicit. Id. To avoid confusion, the safer course is to file an
amended complaint that is complete in itself. Id. The amended
complaint may not adopt or repeat claims that have been
dismissed with prejudice by the Court.
For the reasons stated above, the complaint is
dismissed without prejudice for failure to state a claim. The
Court will reopen the matter in the event Plaintiff files an
amended complaint within the time allotted by the Court.
The amended complaint shall be subject to screening prior to
An appropriate order follows.
March 6, 2017
s/ Jerome B. Simandle
JEROME B. SIMANDLE
Chief U.S. District Judge
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