BRAGG v. PATTERSON et al
OPINION filed. Signed by Judge Anne E. Thompson on 11/18/2015. (kas, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
BRIAN KEITH BRAGG,
No. 15-6292 (AET-TJB)
RAQUEL PATTERSON, et al.,
NOV 18 2015
Brian Keith Bragg, Plaintiff Pro Se
Mercer County Correctional Center
PO Box 8068
Trenton, New Jersey 08650
WILLIAM T. WALSH
THOMPSON, District Judge:
Before the Court is Plaintiff Brian Keith Bragg's
("Plaintiff"), submission of a civil rights complaint pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
(Docket Entry 3). Plaintiff is a pretrial
detainee currently confined at Mercer County Correctional Center
("MCCC"), Trenton, New Jersey. By Order dated October 14, 2015,
this Court granted Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma
pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).
(Docket Entry 13).
At this time, the Court must review the complaint pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e) (2) and 1915A 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 concludes
that the complaint shall be dismissed in part and shall proceed
I . BACKGROUND
Plaintiff filed this complaint against several employees of
MCCC, including Counselor Raquel Patterson, Officer Brown,
Officer Crawford, Officer Christie, Sergeant Friel, and
Lieutenant John Doe, alleging violations of his First, Fifth,
Eighth, and Eleventh Amendment rights.
(Docket Entry 1 at 7-8).
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's
Plaintiff alleges that on August 7, 2015, he signed himself
into protective custody due to harassment and threats of
physical violence from MCCC employees.
(Docket Entry 1 at 8).
Plaintiff asserts these threats were done out of retaliation for
filing lawsuits against MCCC and its employees.
(Docket Entry 1
at 8). He specifically alleges Officers Brassel and Doe 1 "subject
This appears to be a separate person from Lieutenant Doe. The
Clerk of the Court shall be ordered to add Officer Doe to the
case caption as a Defendant.
Plaintiff to harassment and threats of violence and death on a
daily basis causing Plaintiff to suffer fear, anxiety, loss of
sleep, appetite and nightly nightmares." (Docket Entry 1 at 8).
On that same date, Plaintiff was involved in an altercation
with his cellmate.
(Docket Entry 1 at 8). Officers Brown,
Christie, Doe, and Crawford handcuffed Plaintiff and moved him
to another cell.
(Docket Entry 1 at 9). Upon entering the new
cell, the officers proceeded to strike Plaintiff on his chest
(Docket Entry 1 at 9). Plaintiff alleges that he fell
to the ground, and the officers continued to assault Plaintiff
by kicking him and stomping on him with their steel-toed boots.
(Docket Entry 1 at 9).
After the officers locked Plaintiff into the cell, Officer
Doe handed Plaintiff a blanket and sheets through the food port
and proceeded to slam the port door on Plaintiff's fingers.
(Docket Entry 1 at 9). According to the complaint, Sergeant
Friel and Lieutenant Doe witnessed the entire episode but did
(Docket Entry 1 at 9). Lieutenant Doe told
Plaintiff "'that will teach you for filing law suits against my
officers.'" (Docket Entry 1 at 9). Plaintiff asserts he was
denied any medical attention for his injuries.
(Docket Entry 1
at 10). He states Warden Charles Ellis knew about assaults
against him in the past, but failed to take any steps to protect
him against the officers' use of excessive force.
1 at 8).
Plaintiff filed this action on August 17, 2015.
Entry 1). On September 3, 2015, he submitted an amended
complaint that incorporated his previous claims and added new
(Docket Entry 3). He added that on August 10, 2015,
Officer Doe returned Plaintiff's property, minus his prayer rug,
kufi, and Quran.
(Docket Entry 3
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