BRAGG v. DAVIS et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION filed. Signed by Judge Anne E. Thompson on 1/14/2016. (eaj)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
JAN 15 2016
WILLIAM T. WALSH
BRIAN KEITH BRAGG,
No. 15-8781 (AET-TJB)
COUNTY OFFICER DAVIS, et al.,
Thompson, District Judge
_On December 21, 2015, Brian Keith Bragg, submitted a
civil complaint alleging violations of his constitutional rights
pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
1983 by various employees of the Mercer
County Correctional Center ("MCCC").
(Docket Entry 1).
In his complaint, Plaintiff alleges the MCCC employees
have engaged in a widespread conspiracy to harass, intimidate,
and retaliate against Plaintiff.
(Docket Entry 1
On December 23, 2015, the Court administratively
terminated the complaint as Plaintiff had not paid the filing
fee or submitted an application to proceed in forma pauperis.
(Docket Entry 2).
On January 4, 2016, the Clerk's office received an
application to proceed in forma pauperis and letter motion to
reopen Plaintiff's case.
(Docket Entries 3 and 4). The matter
was reopened for this Court's review.
Plaintiff's in forma pauperis application is
incomplete. The account statement submitted with the application
only lists medical, prescription drug, and dental expenses. It
does not include any other information, such as the monthly
balances of his trust account. The application therefore does
not contain a complete statement of Plaintiff's assets as
required under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) (2).
Plaintiff has been advised by this Court on several
previous occasions that his account statement must include the
monthly balances of his trust account. See Bragg v. Hundley, et
al., No. 15-8326 (D.N.J. Dec. 2, 2015)
terminating case) ;
(Dec. 2 9, 2015)
(Jan. 5, 2016)
(order denying motion to
(order administratively terminating
In support of his motion to reopen, Plaintiff states
he submitted an account certification to be signed by prison
officials, but "upon information and belief" that request was
thrown away by unidentified officials.
(Docket Entry 4 ! ! 3-4).
Plaintiff's complaint is dated December. 17, 2015.
(Docket Entry 1 at 14). The envelope for Plaintiff's motion to
reopen his case is stamped December 22, 2015.
(Docket Entry 4 at
3). Plaintiff gave prison official less than a week to respond
to his request for a certified account statement. Indeed it
would appear Plaintiff moved to reopen his case before this
Court even administratively terminated the complaint.
Plaintiff's in forma pauperis application is dated
December 29, 2015,
(Docket Entry 3 at 4), and indicates he
submitted his request to prison officials on December 14 and 17,
(Docket Entry 3
2). The first request was three days
before submitting his complaint, and the second was the same
(Docket Entry 1 at 14). In all, Plaintiff gave prison
official less than two weeks to respond to his request.
Entry 2). Plaintiff must give prison officials sufficient time
to respond to his request before alleging it was "to no avail."
Moreover, Plaintiff does not identify the official(s)
who allegedly threw away his request for an account
certification, or what is the basis for his "information and
belief" his requests were thrown away.
To the extent Plaintiff asserts he would have no other
remedy if this Court were to deny his motion, the Court notes
that the conspiracy alleged in the complaint is substantively
identical to the conspiracy alleged in his motion for injunctive
relief that is presently the subject tif an Order to Show Cause
in Bragg v. El.Lis, et al., No. 15-7638 (D.N.J. Dec. 8, 2015)
(motion for preliminary injunction and temporary restraints),
(Dec. 9, 2015)
(order to show cause). It is clear that Plaintiff
has other remedies available to him.
Moreover, the complaint is subject to reopening upon
Plaintiff's compliance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915 and this Court's
As Plaintiff has not complied with the in forma
pauperis requirements as set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a) (2),
his application is denied without prejudice, and his motion to
reopen is denied without prejudice.
Plaintiff may move to reopen his case upon the
submission of an in forma pauperis application that is complete
with a certified six-month statement that includes the monthly
balances of his trust account. Plaintiff must give prison
officials a reasonable amount of time to respond to his request.
If Plaintiff is unable to obtain a statement, he must
submit another affidavit setting forth the specific
circumstances of his request for a certified institutional
account statement and the correctional officials' refusal to
comply, including but not limited to the dates of such events
and the names of the individuals involved. Generalized
statements will not be sufficient.
An appropriate Order follows.
U.S. District Judge
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