HARRISON v. FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS
OPINION. Signed by Judge Renee Marie Bumb on 10/23/2017. (rtm, )
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS,
Civ. Action No. 17-4296 (RMB)
BUMB, District Judge:
Plaintiff Jonathan Harrison, a prisoner incarcerated in FCI
Fort Dix, in Fort Dix, New Jersey, filed this civil action under
the Federal Tort Claims Act on June 13, 2017.
(Compl., ECF No.
Plaintiff seeks to proceed without prepayment of fees (“in
or “IFP”), pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).
financial eligibility to proceed in forma pauperis.
28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b) require courts to
review a prisoner’s complaint in a civil action and sua sponte
dismiss any claims that are (1) frivolous or malicious; (2) fail
to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or (3) seek
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
For the reasons discussed below, the Court will permit the
complaint to proceed against the United States of America.
Sua Sponte Dismissal
Courts must liberally construe pleadings that are filed pro
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle
v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).
(internal quotation marks omitted).
Thus, “a pro se complaint,
“Court personnel reviewing
deciphering why the submission was filed, what the litigant is
seeking, and what claims she may be making.”
See Higgs v. Atty.
Gen. of the U.S., 655 F.3d 333, 339-40 (3d Cir. 2011) (quoting
Jonathan D. Rosenbloom, Exploring Methods to Improve Management
and Fairness in Pro Se Cases: A Study of the Pro Se Docket in
the Southern District of New York, 30 Fordham Urb. L.J. 305, 308
review complaints filed by persons proceeding in forma pauperis
in civil actions, and dismiss any claim that is frivolous or
granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune
from such relief.
A pleading must contain a “short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2).
“To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.’”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556.)
contained in a complaint[.]”
Legal conclusions, together
with threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action,
conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth.”
“While legal conclusions can provide the framework of a
complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations.”
If a complaint can be remedied by an amendment, a district court
may not dismiss the complaint with prejudice, but must permit
Grayson v. Mayview State Hospital, 293 F.3d 103,
108 (3d Cir. 2002).
Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1346(b).
(Compl., ECF No. 1, ¶1.)
Plaintiff alleges he filed an administrative tort claim with the
Federal Bureau of Prisons on June 15, 2016, and it was denied on
January 3, 2017.
The defendants are the Federal
Bureau of Prisons, Dr. Debra Spotts, Jay Miller, J. Reid, S.
Bradley, Mr. Perkins, and Dr. McKenzie.
(Compl., ECF No. 1,
The Court accepts the following factual allegations as true
1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b).
On June 25, 2010, Plaintiff was
Allenwood Correctional Facility.
(Compl., ECF No. 1, ¶5a-c.)
Dr. Miller diagnosed Plaintiff with an enlarged optical nerve.
No report was generated indicating that Plaintiff needed
a retina examination.
examined by an optometrist at FCI Estill, South Carolina.
Plaintiff alleges Dr. Jay Miller, Dr.
Debra Spotts, Dr. Estos, and J. Reid were negligent in providing
Plaintiff further alleges Defendants
Regina Bradley, Mr. Perkins, and Dr. McKenzie were negligent in
requests money damages for relief.
The only proper defendant to an FTCA claim is the United
Federal Bureau of Prisons and the federal employees from this
The FTCA claim against the United States of America
will be allowed to proceed.
none of the alleged misconduct occurred in New Jersey.
raises the issue of whether New Jersey is the most convenient
venue for this action. 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) provides:
witnesses, in the interest of justice, a
district court may transfer any civil action
to any other district or division where it
might have been brought or to any district
or division to which all parties have
An FTCA claim “may be prosecuted only in the judicial district
complained of occurred.”
28 U.S.C. § 1402(b).
Estill, South Carolina.1
All of the
Therefore, the Court will require the
It is not clear from the Complaint where each of the medical
professionals who are accused of negligence treated Plaintiff.
parties to show cause why the case should not be transferred to
the United States District Court, District of South Carolina or
For the reasons stated above, the Complaint may proceed
against the United States of America as the sole defendant.
parties shall show cause why the case should not be transferred
to the United States District Court, District of South Carolina,
An appropriate order follows.
October 23, 2017
s/Renée Marie Bumb
RENÉE MARIE BUMB
United States District Judge
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