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Sanders v. United States

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

December 18, 2017

Christopher Sanders
v.
United States of America

          Christopher Sanders, pro se

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          ANDREA K. JOHNSTONE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Christopher Sanders, a federal prisoner proceeding pro se, has filed a complaint (Doc. No. 1), pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (“FTCA”), alleging violations of his rights while he was a prisoner at the Federal Correctional Institution, Berlin, New Hampshire (“FCI-Berlin”).[1] Sanders initially filed this case in the District of Tennessee, but that court transferred the matter here. Sanders's complaint is before the court for preliminary review, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a) and LR 4.3(d)(1).

         Standard

         In determining whether a pro se pleading states a claim, for the purposes of this court's preliminary review of prisoner pleadings under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(2), the court construes the pleading liberally. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). Disregarding any legal conclusions, the court considers whether the factual content in the pleading and inferences reasonably drawn therefrom, taken as true, state a claim to relief. Hernandez-Cuevas v. Taylor, 723 F.3d 91, 102-03 (1st Cir. 2013) (citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)).

         Background

         Sanders alleges that while he was incarcerated at FCI-Berlin, hygiene supplies distributed to inmates in his housing unit burned his skin. Sanders states that the products were provided by the FCI-Berlin store to him and/or his cellmate, whose products he used, but were manufactured and/or distributed elsewhere.

         Discussion

         I. FTCA Claims

         Sanders names the United States as a defendant to this claim, and the court construes the assertions in the complaint as an attempt to proceed under the FTCA, alleging that one or more FCI-Berlin employees were negligent in connection with the harms he alleges he suffered at FCI-Berlin. To invoke the subject matter jurisdiction of this court, a plaintiff seeking to proceed under the FTCA “must demonstrate that he has exhausted the administrative presentment requirements for filing his claim in the district court.” Hooker v. United States, No. 12-CV-346-JL, 2014 WL 120659, at *2 (D.N.H. Jan. 13, 2014); see also 28 U.S.C. § 2675; Skwira v. United States, 344 F.3d 64, 71 (1st Cir. 2003).

         Sanders has filed documents in this case suggesting that he has commenced administrative exhaustion of one or more of his claims here. However, Sanders has not demonstrated that he has fully exhausted his claims. As Sanders's pleadings do not demonstrate such exhaustion, he has not established that this court has jurisdiction over his FTCA claims. The FTCA claims should therefore be dismissed without prejudice to being refiled once the claims are exhausted, unless Sanders demonstrates, within thirty days of the date of this Report and Recommendation, that he has fully exhausted his FTCA claims.[2]

         II. Claims Against Manufacturers/Distributors

         Apparently intending to bring suit against the manufacturers and/or distributors of the hygiene products of which he complains, Sanders asks the court to provide him with information to assist him in filing such an action. The court does not research potential claims or defendants on behalf of litigants before this court. Sanders has failed to state any claims within this court's original jurisdiction against the manufacturers and/or distributors of the hygiene products in his complaint here. Accordingly, any claims Sanders may have intended to assert in this action against those ...


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