HAYES v. CHRISTIE
OPINION filed. Signed by Judge Peter G. Sheridan on 9/30/2015. (mmh)
*NOT FOR PUBLICATION*
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
ROBERT L. HAYES, JR.,
Civil Action No. 13-4635 (PGS)
ROBERT L. HAYES, JR., Plaintiff pro se
Middlesex County Adult Correction Center
P.O. Box 266
New Brunswick, N.J. 08903
SHERIDAN, District Judge
Plaintiff Robert L. Hayes, Jr. (“Plaintiff’), a pre-trial detainee currently being held at
Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey at the time of filing,
seeks to bring this action informa pauperis. Based on his affidavit of indigence, the Court will
grant Plaintiffs application to proceed inforina pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 19 15(a) and
order the Clerk of the Court to file the complaint.
At this time, the Court must review the complaint, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2) and
191 5A, 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.
complaint should be dismissed.
For the reasons set forth below, the Court concludes that the
Plaintiff brings this civil rights action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
1983, against Defendant
Chris Christie, The following factual allegations are taken from the complaint, and are accepted
for purposes of this screening only.
The Court has made no findings as to the veracity of
Plaintiff asserts that Governor Christie has violated his constitutional rights “by allowing
the Old Bridge police station in Old Bridge, New Jersey to violate [his] rights with [ani illegal
tactic law called the inevitable discovery doctrine.” (Complaint,
¶ 4(b).) By way of further
explanation, Plaintiff alleges that, on April 8, 2010, officers of the Old Bridge police department
conducted a search of Plaintiff and his home without a warrant and took Plaintiff’s cell phone,
clothes, and other property. Plaintiff alleges that the officers conducted this allegedly illegal
search and seizure because they anticipated being able to use the “inevitable discovery” doctrine to
use the evidence against him in a criminal proceeding, despite its having been obtained illegally.
Plaintiff seeks monetary damages in the amount of $300,000,000.00.
A. Legal Standard
1. Standards for a Sua Sponte Dismissal
Per the Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub. L. No. 104-134,
§ 801-810, 110 Stat. 1321-66
to 132 1-77 (April 26, 1996) (“PLRA”), district courts must review complaints in those civil
actions in which a prisoner is proceeding informa pauperis, see 28 U.S.C.
redress against a governmental employee or entity, see 28 U.S.C.
with respect to prison conditions, see 28 U.S.C.
§ 191 5(e)(2)(B), seeks
§ 191 5A(b), or brings a claim
§ 1997e. The PLRA directs district courts to 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. §S l915(e)(2)(B) and
191 5A because Plaintiff is proceeding as an indigent and is a prisoner.
According to the Supreme Court’s decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, “a pleading that offers
‘labels or conclusions’ or ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.”
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting BellAtlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). 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. 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.” Belmont v. MB mv. Partners, Inc., 708 F.3d 470, 483 n. 17 (3d
Cir. 2012) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). Moreover, while pro se pleadings are liberally
construed, “pro se litigants still must allege sufficient facts in their complaints to support a claim.”
Mala v. Crown Bay Marina, Inc., 704 F.3d 239, 245 (3d Cir. 2013) (citation omitted) (emphasis
Section 1983 Actions
A plaintiff may have a cause of action under 42 U.S.C.
1983 for certain violations of his
constitutional rights. Section 1 983 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
“The legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is the same as that for dismissing a complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6).” Schreane v. Seana, 506 F. App’x 120, 122 (3d Cir. 2012) (citing Allah v.
Seiverling, 229 F.3d 220, 223 (3d Cir. 2000)); Mitchell v. Beard, 492 F. App’x 230, 232 (3d Cir.
2012) (discussing 28 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(l)); Courteau v. United States, 287 F. App’x 159, 162 (3d
Cir. 2008) (discussing 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)).
the United States or other person within the 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 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, 108 S.Ct. 2250, 101 L.Ed.2d 40 (1988); Malleus v. George, 641 F.3d 560, 563 (3d Cir.
The allegations contained in this complaint are virtually identical to those raised against
President Barack Obama in Hayes v. Obama, Civil Action No. 13-4636 (AET), 2014 WL 413567
(D.N.J. Feb. 4, 2014). The court stated the following with regard to Plaintiffs claim:
It has long been the rule in American criminal jurisprudence that evidence obtained
illegally, or which is the tainted “fruit” of illegal government conduct, must be
excluded from use by the government in a criminal trial. See, e.g., Un ited States v.
Wade, 388 U.S. 218(1967); WongSunv. UnitedStates,371 U.S. 471 (1963); Mapp
v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 (1961); Silverthorne Lumber Co. v. United States, 251 U.S.
385 (1920); Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383 (1914). The “core rationale” for
the exclusion of such illegally-obtained evidence is “that this admittedly drastic and
socially costly course is needed to deter police from violations of constitutional and
statutory protections.” Nix v. Williams, 467 U.S. 431, 442—43 (1984).
In Nix v. Williams, however, the Supreme Court adopted an “inevitable discovery”
exception to the exclusionary rule.
If the prosecution can establish by a preponderance of the evidence
that the information ultimately or inevitably would have been
discovered by lawful means—... then the deterrence rationale has so
little basis that the evidence should be received. Anything less
would reject logic, experience, and common sense.
467 U.S. at 444 (footnote omitted).
Plaintiffs suggestion here that the President of the United States is liable to him for
an allegedly unlawful search and seizure by local police officers, on the theory that
the judicially-created “inevitable discovery” exception to the exclusionary rule
induced the police to violate Plaintiffs rights, is utterly devoid of any factual or
legal basis. This Court will dismiss the Complaint with prejudice as frivolous.
Hayes, 2014 WL 413567, at *2. The court also found that in the alternative, the complaint is
time-barred since the alleged violation of Plaintiffs rights occurred in April 2010. Id.
This Court sees no basis for departing from the decision and findings of Judge Thompson
on these nearly identical facts. Therefore, for the reasons stated in Civil Action No. 13-4636, the
Court will dismiss the instant complaint.
For the reasons set forth above, the Complaint will be dismissed with prejudice pursuant to
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) and 1915A(b)(1). It is not conceivable that Plaintiff could cure the
defects in this Complaint by amendment. Plaintiffs request for appointment of pro bono counsel
is dismissed as moot. An appropriate order follows.
Peter G. Sheridan, U.S.D.J.
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