Tucker v. I'Jama, 012010 FED3, 09-2788
|Opinion Judge:||RENDELL, HARDIMAN and ALDISERT, Circuit Judges|
|Party Name:||MATTHEW TUCKER, Appellant v. COLLINS I'JAMA, CLERK OF COURT, SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY; DANIELLE BARNAVE; BEVERLY BAILEY, JOHN AND JANE DOE, Employees of the Mail Room, Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, State of New Jersey|
|Judge Panel:||Before: RENDELL, HARDIMAN and ALDISERT, Circuit Judges|
|Case Date:||January 20, 2010|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit|
Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a) December 24, 2009
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (D.C. Civil No. 04-cv-00277) District Judge: Honorable William H. Walls
Matthew Tucker, who is involuntarily committed to Greystone Psychiatric Hospital, appeals pro se from the District Court's order granting defendants' motions for summary judgment. For the reasons that follow, we will affirm.
In January 2004, Tucker filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that his right to access the courts was violated. Tucker alleged that "Collins I'Jama, Clerk of the Superior Court of N. Jersey, Newark, N. NJ", had not filed or processed three complaints that Tucker allegedly submitted "over a year and a half and counting." Tucker claimed that this amounted to a deprivation of due process and equal protection. The District Court permitted Tucker to amend his complaint in July 2007, and Tucker added as defendants Greystone employees Beverly Bailey and Danielle Barnave. Tucker alleged that Bailey and Barnave also deprived him of his constitutional right to access the courts by negligently mishandling his complaints and failing to mail them to the Superior Court.
All defendants moved for summary judgment, which the District Court granted. The court noted that the parties did not dispute that the defendants performed any deliberate acts to violate Tucker's rights. Even if Tucker could show that defendants intentionally interfered with the mailing or filing of his complaints, he failed to show that he sustained any actual injury. Specifically, the court noted that Tucker chose not to re-file his complaints after discovering that the original filings had not been received, which foreclosed any claim that he was injured by defendants' acts. The court also cited defendants' unrebutted evidence that Tucker had filed similar complaints in federal court, which disposed of his claims. Because Tucker failed to carry his...
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