Campbell v. New York City Department Of Corrections
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: Campbell's request to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 is granted. On 1/2/2014, Campbell filed a 5 "supplemental complaint," and on 1/27/2014, he filed an 8 "a mended complaint." Campbell's amended complaint is dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Although Campbell's amended complaint is dismissed, in light of this Court's duty to liberally con strue pro se complaints, Campbell is given 30 days leave to file a second amended complaint. The amended complaint must be captioned as a "Second Amended Complaint," and bear the same docket number as this Order. No summons shall issue at this time and all further proceedings shall be stayed for 30 days. If Campbell fails to amend his complaint within 30 days as directed by this Order, the Court shall enter judgment. The Court certifies pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 167; 1915(a)(3) that any appeal from this Order would not be taken in good faith and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for purpose of an appeal. SO ORDERED by Chief Judge Carol Bagley Amon, on 1/29/2014. C/mailed to pro se Plaintiff. (Latka-Mucha, Wieslawa)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
NOT FOR PUBLICAnON
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
13-CV -7088 (CBA) (LB)
-againstNEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF
CORRECTIONS, RIKERS ISLAND,
AMON, Chief United States District Judge:
On November 27,2013, plaintiff Glen Campbell, currently incarcerated at Nassau County
Correctional Center, filed this pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On January 2,
2014, Campbell filed a "supplemental complaint," and on January 27,2014, he filed an
"amended complaint." Campbell's request to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915 is granted. For the reasons stated below, Campbell's amended complaint is dismissed for
failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Campbell is granted thirty (30) days
leave to submit a second amended complaint.
Campbell alleges that on November 3, 2013, he suffered injuries while an inmate at
Rikers Island Correctional Facility. (Supp. CompI.
IV.) He alleges that he received a cut on his
face which was improperly treated, resulting in swelling, an infection, and a scar. (ld.
Campbell seeks monetary damages.
Standard of Review
Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, a district court "shall review, before docketing, if feasible or,
in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a
prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or employee of a governmental entity." 28
U.S.C. § 1915A. Upon review, a district court shall dismiss a prisoner complaint sua sponte if
the complaint is "frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted"
or "seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief." 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(b); Abbas v. Dixon, 480 FJd 636, 639 (2d Cir. 2007); see also Liner v. Goord, 196
F.3d 132, 134 & n.l (2d Cir. 1999) (noting that under Prison Litigation Reform Act, sua sponte
dismissal of frivolous prisoner complaints is not only permitted but mandatory).
At the pleadings stage of the proceeding, the Court must assume the truth of "all wellpleaded, nonconclusory factual allegations" in the complaint. Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum
Co., 621 F.3d 111, 123 (2d Cir. 2010) (citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,678 (2009)). A
complaint must plead sufficient facts to "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell
At!. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
It is axiomatic that pro se complaints are held to less stringent standards than pleadings
drafted by attorneys, and the Court is required to read a pro se plaintiff's complaint liberally and
interpret it as raising the strongest arguments it suggests. See Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5,9
(1980); Grullon v. City of New Haven, 720 F.3d 133, 139 (2d Cir. 2013).
In order to state a § 1983 claim, a plaintiff must allege (1) that the challenged conduct
was "committed by a person acting under color of state law, '" and (2) that such conduct
"'deprived [the plaintiff] of rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws
of the United States.'" Cornejo v. Bell, 592 F.3d 121, 127 (2d Cir. 2010) (quoting Pitchell v.
Callan, 13 F.3d 545, 547 (2d Cir. 1994)). Section 1983 does not create any independent
substantive rights; but rather is a vehicle to "redress ... the deprivation of [federal] rights
established elsewhere." Thomas v. Roach. 165 F .3d 137, 142 (2d Cir. 1999).
The New York City Charter provides that "[a]ll actions and proceedings for the recovery
of penalties for the violation of any law shall be brought in the name of the city of New York and
not in that of any agency, except where otherwise provided by law." N.Y.C. Admin. Code &
Charter Ch. 17 § 396. The New York City Department of Correction is an agency of the City of
New York. As such, it lacks an independent legal existence and therefore is not a suable entity.
See Adams v. Galletta, 966 F. Supp. 210,212 (S.D.N.Y. 1997). Likewise, although the caption
of Campbell's supplemental complaint purports to include "Rikers Island" as a defendant to the
case (Supp. Compl. at 1), "a claim against Riker's Island must be brought as a claim against the
City of New York," Charles v. Riker's Island Corr. Fac.-C-95/AMKC, No. 95 Civ. 10499, 1996
WL 442884, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 5, 1996). Accordingly, Campbell's claims against both the
New York City Department of Correction and Rikers Island are dismissed. See 28 U.S.C.§
Leave to Amend
Although Campbell's amended complaint is dismissed, in light of this Court's duty to
liberally construe pro se complaints, Campbell is given thirty (30) days leave to file a second
amended complaint. Should Campbell elect to file a second amended complaint, he must name
as proper defendants those individuals who have some personal involvement in the action he
alleges in the amended complaint and provide relevant dates. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676 ("[A]
plaintiff must plead that each Government-official defendant, through the official's own
individual actions, violated the Constitution."). If Campbell wishes to bring claims against a
defendant and does not know the name of the individual, he may identify each of them as John or
Jane Doe, identifY their place of employment, and to the best of his ability describe each
individual and the role he or she played in the alleged deprivation of his rights.
The amended complaint must be captioned as a "Second Amended Complaint," and bear
the same docket number as this Order. No summons shall issue at this time and all further
proceedings shall be stayed for thirty days. If Campbell fails to amend his complaint within thirty
days as directed by this Order, the Court shall enter judgment.
The Court certifies pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that any appeal from this order
would not be taken in good faith and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for purpose of
an appeal. See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45 (1962).
/S/ Chief Judge Carol B. Amon
CAROL B. ~ON----Chief Unite States District Judge
Dated: Brooklyn, New York
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