United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Malave, Jr. Plaintiff Pro Se
B. SIMANDLE Chief U.S. District Judge
Plaintiff Adan Malave seeks to bring a civil rights complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Camden County Jail
(“CCJ”) for allegedly unconstitutional conditions
of confinement. 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 pauperis.
First, the Complaint must be dismissed with prejudice as to
claims made against the CCJ because defendant is not a
“state actor” within the meaning of § 1983.
See Crawford v. McMillian, No. 16-3412, 2016 WL
6134846 (3d Cir. Oct. 21, 2016) (“[T]he prison is not
an entity subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. §
1983.”) (citing Fischer v. Cahill, 474 F.2d
991, 992 (3d Cir. 1973)); Grabow v. Southern State Corr.
Facility, 726 F.Supp. 537, 538-39 (D.N.J. 1989)
(correctional facility is not a “person” under
Second, for 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).
present Complaint does not allege sufficient facts to support
a reasonable inference that a constitutional violation has
occurred in order to survive this Court's review under
§ 1915. Even accepting the statements in § III of
Plaintiff's Complaint as true for screening purposes
only, there is not enough factual support for the Court to
infer a constitutional violation has occurred.
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)). Moreover, while pro se pleadings are
liberally construed, “pro se litigants still
must allege sufficient facts in their complaints to support a
claim.” Mala v. Crown Bay Marina, Inc., 704
F.3d 239, 245 (3d Cir. 2013) (citation omitted) (emphasis
Here, Plaintiff's Complaint states in its entirety:
“[F]our people in a room. No meds for my injury, no
access to law library.” Complaint § III. Plaintiff
claims to have “fractured a rib coming off the top bunk
which had no step 1289, 2017 WL 26884, slip op. at *2 (D.N.J.
Jan. 3, 2017) (citing Schreane v. Seana, 506 F.
App'x 120, 122 (3d Cir. 2012)); Allah v.
Seiverling, 229 F.3d 220, 223 (3d Cir. 2000));
Mitchell v. Beard, 492 F. App'x 230, 232 (3d
Cir. 2012) (discussing 28 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1));
Courteau v. United States, 287 F. App'x 159, 162
(3d Cir. 2008) (discussing 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)).
stool.” Id. at § IV. Plaintiff alleges
that the events giving rise to these claims occurred
“August 2015, June 2015.” Id. at §
Plaintiff's claims must be dismissed because the
Complaint does not set forth enough factual support for the
Court to infer that a constitutional violation has occurred.
construing the Complaint as seeking to bring an action
against “the warden” (id.), any such
purported claims must be dismissed because the Complaint does
not set forth enough factual support for the Court to infer
that a constitutional violation has occurred.
mere fact that an individual is lodged temporarily in a cell
with more persons than its intended design does not rise to
the level of a constitutional violation. See Rhodes v.
Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 348-50 (1981) (holding
double-celling by itself did not violate Eighth Amendment);
Carson v. Mulvihill, 488 F.App'x 554, 560 (3d
Cir. 2012) (“[M]ere double-bunking does not constitute
punishment, because there is no ‘one man, one cell
principle lurking in the Due Process Clause of the Fifth
Amendment.'” (quoting Bell v. Wolfish, 441
U.S. 520, 542 (1979))). More is needed to demonstrate that
such crowded conditions, for a pretrial detainee, shocks the
conscience and thus violates 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 length of the
confinement(s), whether plaintiff was a pretrial detainee or
convicted prisoner, any specific individuals who were
involved in creating or failing to remedy the conditions of
confinement, any other relevant facts regarding the
conditions of confinement, etc.
There are also not enough facts for the Court to infer
Plaintiff was denied adequate medical care. In order to set
forth a cognizable claim for violation of his right to
adequate medical care, an inmate must alleged: (1) a serious
medical need; and (2) behavior on the part of prison
officials that constitutes deliberate indifference to that
need. See Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106
(1976); Natale v. Camden Cnty. Corr. Facility, 318
F.3d 575, 582 (3d Cir. 2003). A mere assertion that Plaintiff
had “no meds for my injury” (Complaint §
III) is insufficient to meet the pleading standard in the
absence of any facts. If Plaintiff wishes to pursue this
claim, Plaintiff should provide facts supporting both of the
requirements in an amended complaint.
Plaintiff may be able to amend the Complaint to particularly
identify adverse conditions that were caused by specific
state actors, that caused Plaintiff to endure genuine
privations and hardship over an extended period of time, and
that were excessive in relation to their purposes. To that
end, the Court shall ...