PARKS v. CFG HEALTH SERVICES et al
OPINION. Signed by Judge Noel L. Hillman on 10/13/2020. (rss, n.m.)
Case 1:19-cv-21984-NLH-JS Document 4 Filed 10/13/20 Page 1 of 7 PageID: 17
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
No. 19-cv-21984 (NLH) (JS)
CFG HEALTH SERVICES, et al.,
South Woods State Prison
215 South Burlington Road
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
Plaintiff Pro se
HILLMAN, District Judge
Plaintiff Nathaniel Parks, a state prisoner presently
incarcerated in South Woods State Prison, New Jersey, filed a
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
See ECF No. 1.
At this time, the Court must review 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 set forth below, the Court will dismiss the
Case 1:19-cv-21984-NLH-JS Document 4 Filed 10/13/20 Page 2 of 7 PageID: 18
complaint without prejudice.
Plaintiff may move for leave to
file an amended complaint.
Plaintiff raises claims regarding his detention at the
Atlantic County Justice Facility in January and February of
ECF No. 1 at 4.
He states he “was assigned to the mental
health housing unit . . . because of serious medical issues upon
his admission to the Atlantic County Justice Facility was
assaulted by Correction Officers because he was unable to walk
to medical appointments at the facility.”
He states he reported the assault to CFH Health Systems
Supervisor Cheryl Dubois, who denied Plaintiff any treatment.
He also asserts that he contracted an intestinal infection
that turned into a bowel obstruction due to lack of treatment.
He also states he was wrongfully arrested.
Id. at 5.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Section 1915(e)(2) requires a court to review complaints
prior to service in cases in which a plaintiff is proceeding in
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.
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To survive sua sponte screening for failure to state a
claim, the complaint must allege “sufficient factual matter” to
show that the claim is facially plausible.
Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009).
Fowler v. UPMC
“‘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.’”
Sailing, Inc. v. Dempster, 764 F.3d 303, 308 n.3 (3d Cir. 2014)
(quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)).
pleading that offers ‘labels or conclusions’ or ‘a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.’”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
A plaintiff may have a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 for certain violations of his constitutional rights.
Section 1983 provides in relevant part:
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory
... subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of
jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution
and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an
action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding
for redress ....
Thus, to state a claim for relief under § 1983, a
plaintiff must allege, first, the violation of a right secured
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by the Constitution or laws of the United States and, second,
that the alleged deprivation was committed or caused by a person
acting under color of state law.
See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S.
42, 48 (1988); Malleus v. George, 641 F.3d 560, 563 (3d Cir.
Plaintiff asserts he was assaulted by corrections officers
and was denied medical care.
ECF No. 1 at 4.
to assert that he was falsely arrested.
He also appears
Id. at 5.
entirely clear, the Court presumes Plaintiff was a pretrial
detainee at the time of the alleged denial of care, meaning his
claim would be analyzed under the Fourteenth Amendment.
v. Camden Cty. Corr. Facility, 318 F.3d 575, 581 (3d Cir. 2003).
The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment “affords
pretrial detainees protections at least as great as the Eighth
Amendment protections available to a convicted prisoner . . . .”
Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).
therefore provide facts in his complaint indicating “(i) a
serious medical need, and (ii) acts or omissions by prison
officials that indicate deliberate indifference to that need.”
Id. at 582.
The Court assumes that Plaintiff’s intestinal
infection qualifies as a serious medical need for screening
Plaintiff has stated few, if any, facts in his complaint
that indicate Defendants acted with deliberate indifference to
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his medical needs.
Plaintiff does not indicate what necessary
treatment he was denied and how the named Defendants denied him
“[T]he pleading standard Rule 8 announces does
not require ‘detailed factual allegations,’ but it demands more
than an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Court cannot infer the Defendants acted with the required state
of mind without more information.
The claim is dismissed
without prejudice, and Plaintiff may move to amend his complaint
by correcting the factual deficiencies.
Plaintiff’s allegation that he was assaulted is likewise
Claims of excessive force at the time an individual
is a pretrial detainee are evaluated based on the Due Process
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
576 U.S. 389, 397 (2015).
Kingsley v. Hendrickson,
“[A] pretrial detainee must show only
that the force purposely or knowingly used against him was
Id. at 396–97.
reasonableness turns on the ‘facts and circumstances of each
Id. at 397 (quoting Graham v. Connor, 490
U.S. 386, 396 (1989)).
Plaintiff does not say what happened
during his encounter with corrections officers other than he was
ECF No. 1 at 4-5.
“Assault” is a legal
conclusion, and the Court is “not bound to accept as true a
legal conclusion couched as a factual allegation.”
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Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986).
The claim is dismissed
without prejudice, and Plaintiff may move to amend this claim.
To the extent Plaintiff raises a false arrest claim, it is
dismissed without prejudice.
“To state a claim for false arrest
under the Fourth Amendment, a plaintiff must establish: (1) that
there was an arrest; and (2) that the arrest was made without
James v. City of Wilkes-Barre, 700 F.3d 675,
680 (3d Cir. 2012).
“Probable cause to arrest exists when the
facts and circumstances within the arresting officer’s knowledge
are sufficient in themselves to warrant a reasonable person to
believe that an offense has been or is being committed by the
person to be arrested.”
Orsatti v. New Jersey State Police, 71
F.3d 480, 482 (3d Cir. 1995).
There are no facts in the
complaint about Plaintiff’s arrest other than Defendants broke
his car window, breaking the glass.
ECF No. 1 at 5.
Generally, “plaintiffs who file complaints subject to
dismissal under [§ 1915] should receive leave to amend unless
amendment would be inequitable or futile.”
Grayson v. Mayview
State Hosp., 293 F.3d 103, 114 (3d Cir. 2002).
As Plaintiff may
be able to correct the deficiencies noted by the Court by
alleging more facts, the Court will grant Plaintiff leave to
amend his complaint.
Plaintiff should note that when an amended complaint is
filed, the original complaint no longer performs any function in
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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
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
To avoid confusion, the safer course is to file
an amended complaint that is complete in itself.
For the reasons stated above, the complaint is dismissed
without prejudice for failure to state a claim.
move to file an amended complaint within 45 days.
An appropriate order follows.
Dated: _October 13, 2020
At Camden, New Jersey
__s/ Noel L. Hillman ____
NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
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