HARKER v. CORNELIUS et al
OPINION. Signed by Judge Noel L. Hillman on 11/21/2022. (jab,N.M.)
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
SALVATORE CLARK HARKER,
No. 21-20284 (NLH) (MJS)
SHANNON CORNELIUS, et al.,
Salvatore Clark Harker
1 Westbrook Dr.
Swedesboro, NJ 08085
Plaintiff Pro se
HILLMAN, District Judge
Plaintiff Salvatore Clark Harker filed this complaint
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging “excessive abuse of judicial
authority, official oppression, false arrest, false
imprisonment, [and] unlawful extradition,” as well as denial of
medical care and “the tort[s] of kidnapping, assault and
battery, pain and suffering, mental anguish and negligence.”
ECF No. 1 at 1.
At this time, the Court must review the complaint in
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) to determine whether it
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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
For the reasons set forth below, the Court will allow
Plaintiff’s denial of medical care claims to proceed.
remainder of the claims will be dismissed for failure to state a
According to the complaint, “[o]n or, about November 8,
2019, the plaintiff, Salvatore Clark Harker arrived at the Logan
Township Police Department, in Bridgeport New Jersey, to post
bail for failure to appear in court for a motor vehicle
violation in New Jersey.”
ECF No. 1 at 19.
informed that he could not post bail due to an outstanding no
bail fugitive warrant in Northampton County Pennsylvania.
Moreover that the Northampton County Sherriff confirmed, that
they will extradite him to Pennsylvania.”
“transported and remanded over to the custody of the Salem
County Correctional Facility [“SCCF”] along with a copy of the
warrant so that extradition proceedings could be scheduled in
the Gloucester County Superior Court.”
The SCCF Intake Officer interviewed Plaintiff and took down
Plaintiff’s medical conditions and current medications.
Plaintiff was “placed in a holding cell, in the isolation ward,
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along with eleven other inmates, this holding cell was designed
to house only five inmates.
and twelve mattresses.”
It contained 1 toilet, five bunk[s]
Over the next six days, Plaintiff
“repeatedly requested to be seen by a doctor to inform him of
the urgency of his medical needs in order to receive his
necessary medications . . . .”
Id. at 20.
Plaintiff was moved
to A-Block of the Intake Unit on November 14, 2019 “where he was
given Librium and told that due to protocol he would have to
wait to be seen by the nursing staff.”
He was moved to C-
Block of the Observation Unit on November 15, 2019.
requests to see a doctor were denied.
Plaintiff was moved to B-Block in General Population on
November 18, 2019.
He was taken to the Medical Department
“Plaintiff described his medical condition
and medications prescribed by his primary health care provided
for COPD, emphysema, asthma, cholesterol, and anxiety.
clinical staff stated that the County does not treat pre-trial
detainees for these types of conditions due to budget
Plaintiff appeared in court for his motor vehicle violation
on approximately November 19, 2019.
Id. at 21.
prosecutor read the charge’s [sic] against the plaintiff wherein
the plaintiff’s counsel stated that discovery had not been
provided to the defense and was not prepared to proceed.
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court date was rescheduled for December 8, 2019.
was returned to the Salem County Correctional Facility.”
He returned to court on November 20, 2019 for his extradition
The court “explained the [process] for
extradition, informed the plaintiff of the charges in that
Chester County [Pennsylvania] wanted plaintiff to answer to the
charges of DUI related offenses as a felony.”
informed the court that the charges were out of Northampton
County, not Chester County.
“The Court stated that Chester
would pick up the plaintiff and convey him to the appropriate
The plaintiff waived extradition.”
told Plaintiff that Chester County had ten days to pick him up,
and Plaintiff returned to SCCF after signing the extradition
Plaintiff was taken before a different New Jersey Superior
Court judge on November 27, 2019.
Id. at 22.
Cornelius, a Gloucester County Assistant Prosecutor, informed
the court that “we are here to correct some typos on the prior
extradition order in that Northampton County Pennsylvania wanted
[Plaintiff] to answer for DUI related offenses, moreover that
the charges were reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor,
furthermore that they would need until December 3, 2019 to pick
Plaintiff objected to the request,
stating he was due to be released on November 29, 2019.
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“The plaintiff explained that he already informed the court that
the warrant was from Northampton County Pennsylvania and the
judge ordered the extradition for Chester County to pick up the
The court did not amend the extradition order.
On November 29, 2019, Plaintiff asked Defendant Michael
Hand, a SCCF correctional officer, if he was going to be
Defendant Hand told Plaintiff he would have
to ask the booking sergeant, Defendant Andrew Biddle.
Defendant Biddle told Plaintiff that Plaintiff “wasn’t being
released in that it wasn’t up to him.”
Id. at 23.
On December 3, 2019, Plaintiff “was told to gather his
belongings in that he was being released, at which time he was
escorted to the property room and was given his cloth’s [sic]
key’s and wallet.”
“The plaintiff was then directed to the
sally port where he was accosted by two men who stated that they
were Northampton County PA. detective’s, wherein the plaintiff
took a defensive posture and backed away from them and informed
them that the time had expired on the warrant . . . .”
detectives “produced an order faxed from the Gloucester County
The order was tampered with in that it had a
notation to P/U 12-3-19.”
Id. at 24.
Plaintiff objected to the
arrest and was told that if he did not assume the stop-and-frisk
position he would be charged with resisting arrest.
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Plaintiff complied and was taken to the Northampton County Jail
in Easton, Pennsylvania.
Plaintiff asks the Court to issue a declaratory judgment
against Defendants Cornelius, SCCF Warden John Cuzzue, SCCF
Deputy Warden Hobart Riley, Biddle, Hand, Jane Doe Medical
Staff, and SCCF Corrections Officer John Doe for “official
oppression, unlawful restraint, false arrest, false
imprisonment, unlawful extradition, and kidnapping, the denial
of adequate medical care” as well as “assault and battery, pain
and suffering, mental anguish, negligence and undue hardship
under state law.”
Id. at 27.
He also seeks damages.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
To survive a sua sponte screening for failure to state a
claim, the complaint must allege “sufficient factual matter” to
show that the Plaintiff’s claims are facially plausible.
v. UPMC Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir. 2009).
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.’”
Wind Sailing, Inc. v. Dempster, 764 F.3d 303, 308 n.3 (3d Cir.
2014) (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)).
“[A] pleading that offers ‘labels or conclusions’ or ‘a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will
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Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
In determining the sufficiency of a pro se complaint, the
Court must be mindful to construe it liberally in favor of the
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520–21 (1972);
United States v. Day, 969 F.2d 39, 42 (3d Cir. 1992).
must “accept as true all of the allegations in the complaint and
all reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom, and view
them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.”
Lower Merion Sch. Dist., 132 F.3d 902, 906 (3d Cir. 1997).
Denial of Medical Care
Plaintiff alleges that he was denied adequate medical care
during his stay at SCCF.
Claims by pretrial detainees for
failing to provide adequate medical care arise under the
Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause and are analyzed “under
the standard used to evaluate similar claims brought under the
Natale v. Camden Cty. Corr. Facility, 318
F.3d 575, 582 (3d Cir. 2003).
Plaintiff must allege facts
indicating “(i) a serious medical need, and (ii) acts or
omissions by prison officials that indicate deliberate
indifference to that need.”
Id. (citing Rouse v. Plantier, 182
F.3d 192, 197 (3d Cir. 1999)).
Plaintiff alleges he requested
medical treatment for COPD, emphysema, asthma, cholesterol, and
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ECF No. 1 at 20.
He alleges “[t]he clinical staff
stated that the County does not treat pre-trial detainees for
these types of conditions due to budget constraints.”
Court will permit the denial of medical care claim to proceed
against Defendants Jane Doe Medical Director, Cuzzue, Riley, and
Salem County1 this time.2
Plaintiff alleges violations in connection with the
He argues that Northampton County’s
time to pick him up from SCCF expired on November 29, 2019,
making his December 3, 2019 arrest and his imprisonment between
November 29, 2019 and December 3, 2019 unlawful.
Defendants conspired to falsify the extradition order.
Plaintiff names SCCF as a defendant in this matter. A
correctional facility is not a “person” within the meaning of §
1983. As Plaintiff alleges it was a county policy to deny
certain medical treatments to pre-trial detainees, the Court
considers this claim to be raised against Salem County under
Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978)
along with Plaintiff’s claims against the jail officials in
their official capacities.
The Court’s preliminary review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 does not
determine whether the allegations in the complaint would survive
a properly supported motion to dismiss filed by a defendant
after service. See Richardson v. Cascade Skating Rink, No. 1908935, 2020 WL 7383188, at *2 (D.N.J. Dec. 16, 2020) (“[T]his
Court recognizes [a] § 1915(e) screening determination is a
preliminary and interlocutory holding, subject to revision at
any time prior to entry of final judgment.” (internal quotation
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The Extradition Clause of the U.S. Constitution requires
that “[a] person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or
other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in
another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the
State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the
State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.”
2, cl. 2.
U.S. Cont. art. IV, §
“The Extradition Clause was intended to enable each
state to bring offenders to trial as swiftly as possible in the
state where the alleged offense was committed.”
Doran, 439 U.S. 282, 287 (1978).
“Interstate extradition was
intended to be a summary and mandatory executive proceeding . .
Id. at 288.
Congress set forth the procedures to carry out the
extradition process in the Extradition Act.
18 U.S.C. § 3182.
Under the Extradition Act, “when the executive authority of one
state demands of the executive authority of another state a
person as a fugitive from justice, and produces an indictment or
affidavit made before a magistrate which charges the person with
a crime, the executive authority of the asylum state is required
to arrest the fugitive, notify the demanding state, and confine
the fugitive for a minimum of 30 days.”
Soto v. Bartkowski, No.
11-3631, 2014 WL 4854605, at *4 (D.N.J. Sept. 30, 2014).
Jersey and Pennsylvania have implemented these procedures
through their adoption of the Uniform Criminal Extradition Law,
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N.J.S.A. § 2A:160-9, et seq.; 42 Pa.C.S.A., § 9121–9171.
the Uniform Act carries with it the preemptive lineage of the
United States Constitution and a Congressional enactment.”
State v. Morel, 602 A.2d 285, 287 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div.
“It follows that any provision in the New Jersey
Constitution or New Jersey Rules of Court that is contrary to
the rendition process of the Uniform Act must yield to the Act.”
Under the Uniform Act, a prisoner has the right to appear
before a criminal court judge wherein he must be informed of his
right to counsel and the ability to contest the legality of his
N.J.S.A. § 2A:160-18.
Petitioner waived this right:
“I, specifically state that I do not desire to contest my return
to the demanding State, and do hereby WAIVE all my rights
incidental to the extradition proceedings and agree to be
delivered to the Agent(s) of the demanding State that I may
return to that jurisdiction as provided by the Uniform Criminal
Extradition [N.J.S.A. § 2A:160-10].”
ECF No. 7 at 20.
Plaintiff waived his right to challenge Pennsylvania’s authority
to extradite him, New Jersey officials were required to turn him
over to Pennsylvania officials.
See 18 U.S.C. § 3182 (requiring
executive authority of asylum state to “cause the fugitive to be
delivered to such agent [of the demanding state] when he shall
appear”); N.J.S.A. § 2A:160-30 (“If and when such consent has
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been duly executed . . . [t]he judge shall direct the officer
having such person in custody to deliver forthwith such person
to the duly accredited agent or agents of the demanding state,
and shall deliver or cause to be delivered to such agent or
agents a copy of such consent.”).
Under federal law, Pennsylvania had thirty days to retrieve
Plaintiff from New Jersey.
18 U.S.C. § 3182 (“If no such agent
appears within thirty days from the time of the arrest, the
prisoner may be discharged.”); Soto v. Bartkowski, No. 11-3631,
2014 WL 4854605, at *4 (D.N.J. Sept. 30, 2014) (“[T]he executive
authority of the asylum state is required to arrest the
fugitive, notify the demanding state, and confine the fugitive
for a minimum of 30 days.”).
Federal law supersedes the New
Jersey court’s instructions.
As alleged by Plaintiff he was
first arrested in New Jersey on November 8, 2019 and held no
later than December 3, 2019, less than 30 days.
not stated a claim for relief under § 1983 even after accepting
all the alleged facts as true.
“‘[F]ailure to comply with established procedures does not
deprive the fugitive of any protected right.’”
Algarin, 350 F. App’x 703, 709 n.10 (3d Cir. 2009) (quoting
Barton v. Norrod, 106 F.3d 1289, 1295 (6th Cir. 1997))
(alteration in original).
“[T]o establish a § 1983 claim for
monetary relief, including a showing of damages, [Plaintiff]
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will have to prove that he suffered some deprivation of liberty
greater than that which he would have suffered through
extradition in full compliance with the UCEA.”
Thompson, 207 F.3d 907, 909 (7th Cir. 2000).
Plaintiff has not
“Where a person has been charged with a crime in another
state, New Jersey law expressly authorizes arrest without a New
Allen v. Wrightson, 800 F. Supp. 1235, 1239
(D.N.J. 1992) (citing N.J.S.A. § 2A:160–22).
authority to arrest and extradite Plaintiff did not evaporate on
November 29, 2019.
See 18 U.S.C. § 3182 (“Nothing in this
section shall be deemed to limit the rights of the accused
person to return voluntarily and without formality to the
demanding state, nor shall this waiver procedure be deemed to be
an exclusive procedure or to limit the powers, rights or duties
of the officers of the demanding state or of this state.”);
Stynchcombe v. Whitley, 242 S.E.2d 720, 721 (Ga. 1978) (“We see
no reason why the warrant should become stale or void merely
because it was not executed during the period of detention
allowed to facilitate arrest thereunder.”).
Plaintiff was still charged with a crime in Pennsylvania
and could have been lawfully rearrested and extradited from New
Jersey on those charges.
See Rivera, 350 F. App’x at 709 n.10
(“[T]he Commonwealth could have cured the arguable procedural
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flaw by releasing and immediately re-arresting Rivera.”).
“Because Plaintiff has not alleged facts showing that defendants
violated the Extradition Act or the Extradition Clause, and he
has not alleged facts showing that he was injured,” McGeachy v.
Doe, No. 10-3342, 2011 WL 2182728, at *4 (D.N.J. June 2, 2011),
the Court will dismiss all claims related to the extradition
proceedings for failure to state a claim upon which relief may
The Court declines to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over related state law claims.
28 U.S.C. §
The Court will also dismiss Plaintiff’s request for
“The purpose of a declaratory judgment
is to ‘declare the rights of litigants.’
definition prospective in nature.”
The remedy is thus by
CMR D.N. Corp. v. City of
Phila., 703 F.3d 612, 628 (3d Cir. 2013) (quoting Wilton v.
Seven Falls Co., 515 U.S. 277, 286 (1995)).
judgments “cannot be issued to address past wrongs.”
Senato, 704 F. App’x 122, 125 (3d Cir. 2017).
The Court will
The Court also notes that Defendant Cornelius has absolute
prosecutorial immunity for claims arising from the extradition
proceedings. See Rivera, 350 F. App’x at 708 (holding
prosecutor’s “efforts to initiate extradition proceedings
against [plaintiff] are prosecutorial in nature and entitle her
to immunity from liability”); Burke v. MacArthur, No. 15-6093,
2015 WL 5970725, at *4 (D.N.J. Oct. 13, 2015) (“Absolute
immunity also attaches to a prosecutor’s activity of seeking
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dismiss Plaintiff’s requests for declaratory judgments as he
does not request any prospective relief.
Motion for Pro Bono Counsel
Plaintiff moves for the appointment of pro bono counsel.
ECF No. 2.
Appointment of counsel is a privilege, not a
statutory or constitutional right, Brightwell v. Lehman, 637
F.3d 187, 192 (3d Cir. 2011), and is governed by the factors
enumerated in Tabron v. Grace, 6 F.3d 147 (3d Cir. 1993).
determining whether to appoint counsel, “the district court must
consider as a threshold matter the merits of the plaintiff’s
Tabron, 6 F.3d at 155.
The Court is proceeding
Plaintiff’s denial of medical care claims; therefore, the
complaint satisfies this threshold inquiry.
The Court must now
consider: (1) the plaintiff’s ability to present his or her own
case; (2) the complexity of the legal issues; (3) the degree to
which factual investigation will be necessary and the ability of
the plaintiff to pursue such investigation; (4) the amount a
case is likely to turn on credibility determinations; (5)
whether the case will require the testimony of expert witnesses;
and (6) whether the plaintiff can attain and afford counsel on
his own behalf.
See id. at 155–56, 157 n.5; see also Cuevas v.
United States, 422 F. App’x 142, 144–45 (3d Cir. 2011)
(reiterating the Tabron factors).
Plaintiff’s motion simply recites the Tabron factors:
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The Plaintiff is indigent and unable to afford
The issues involved in this case are complex.
The Plaintiff has a very limited knowledge of the
restrictions and has limited access to the prison law
library and research materials.
The interest of jurisprudence demands no less than
qualified counsel to present this matter.
ECF No. 2 at 1. The fourth reason no longer applies because
Plaintiff appears to have been released from custody.
will deny the motion without prejudice, and Plaintiff may
reapply for counsel by addressing the Tabron factors by
explaining how they apply in his case rather than merely
For the reasons stated above, the Court will proceed
Plaintiff’s denial of medical care claims.
stemming from the extradition proceedings will be dismissed.
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii)-(iii).
The motion for counsel will
be denied without prejudice.
An appropriate Order follows.
Dated: November 21, 2022
At Camden, New Jersey
s/ Noel L. Hillman
NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
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