United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Taylor, Plaintiff Pro Se
B. SIMANDLE Chief U.S. District Judge
Plaintiff Kwanie Taylor seeks to bring a civil rights
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Camden
County. Complaint, Docket Entry 1.
Section 1915(e)(2) requires a court to review complaints
prior to service in cases in which a plaintiff is proceeding
in forma pauperis. The Court must sua
sponte dismiss any claim that is frivolous, is
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. This action is subject to sua
sponte screening for dismissal under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) because Plaintiff is proceeding in forma
the reasons set forth below, the Court will dismiss the
complaint without prejudice for failure to state a claim. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii).
survive sua sponte screening for failure to state a
claim, the complaint must allege “sufficient factual
matter” to show that the claim is facially plausible.
Fowler v. UPMS Shadyside, 578 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir.
2009) (citation omitted). “A claim has facial
plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that
allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the
defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Fair Wind Sailing, Inc. v. Dempster, 764 F.3d 303,
308 n.3 (3d Cir. 2014). “[A] pleading that offers
‘labels or conclusions' or ‘a formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
Plaintiff alleges she experienced unconstitutional conditions
of confinement during her detention at the Camden County
Correctional Facility on multiple occasions. Complaint §
III. She states: “Sleeping in unbearable conditions
causing pain in my lower back and hips. Urine splashing on me
when other inmates use the bathroom.” Id. Even
accepting the statement as true for screening purposes only,
there is not enough factual support for the Court to infer a
constitutional violation has occurred.
Plaintiff's cursory allegation that she slept in
“unbearable conditions” is insufficient to state
a claim for relief. More is needed to demonstrate that the
conditions Plaintiff encountered, for a pretrial detainee,
shock the conscience and thus violate due process rights.
See Hubbard v. Taylor, 538 F.3d 229, 233 (3d Cir.
2008) (noting due process analysis requires courts to
consider whether the totality of the conditions
“cause[s] inmates to endure such genuine privations and
hardship over an extended period of time, that the adverse
conditions become excessive in relation to the purposes
assigned to them.”). Some relevant factors are the
dates and length of the confinement(s), whether Plaintiff was
a pretrial detainee or convicted prisoner, etc.
Moreover, Plaintiff has not pled sufficient facts to impose
liability on Camden County. “There is no respondeat
superior theory of municipal liability, so a city may not be
held vicariously liable under § 1983 for the actions of
its agents. Rather, a municipality may be held liable only if
its policy or custom is the ‘moving force' behind a
constitutional violation.” Sanford v. Stiles,
456 F.3d 298, 314 (3d Cir. 2006) (citing Monell v. N.Y.C.
Dep't of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 691 (1978)).
See also Collins v. City of Harker Heights, 503 U.S.
115, 122 (1992) (“The city is not vicariously liable
under § 1983 for the constitutional torts of its agents:
It is only liable when it can be fairly said that the city
itself is the wrongdoer.”).
Plaintiff must plead facts showing that the relevant Camden
County policy-makers are “responsible for either the
affirmative proclamation of a policy or acquiescence in a
well-settled custom.” Bielevicz v. Dubinon,
915 F.2d 845, 850 (3d Cir. 1990). In other words, Plaintiff
must set forth facts supporting an inference that Camden
County itself was the “moving force” behind the
alleged constitutional violation. Monell, 436 U.S.
Plaintiff may be able to amend her complaint to address the
deficiencies noted by the Court, the Court shall grant
Plaintiff leave to amend the complaint within 30 days of the
date of this order.
Plaintiff should note that when an amended complaint is
filed, the original complaint no longer performs any function
in the case and cannot be utilized to cure defects in the
amended complaint, unless the relevant portion is
specifically incorporated in the new complaint. 6 Wright,
Miller & Kane, Federal Practice and Procedure 1476 (2d
ed. 1990) (footnotes omitted). An amended complaint may adopt
some or all of the allegations in the original complaint, but
the identification of the particular allegations to be
adopted must be clear and explicit. Id. To avoid
confusion, the safer course is to file an amended complaint
that is complete in itself. Id.
the reasons stated above, the complaint is dismissed without
prejudice for failure to state a claim. The Court will reopen
the matter in the event Plaintiff files an ...