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Rivera v. Camden County Jail

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

February 8, 2017

MAELY RIVERA, Plaintiff,
v.
CAMDEN COUNTY JAIL, Defendant.

          Maely Rivera, Plaintiff Pro Se

          OPINION

          JEROME B. SIMANDLE Chief U.S. District Judge

         1. Plaintiff Maely Rivera seeks to bring a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Camden County Jail (“CCJ”) for allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement. Complaint, Docket Entry 1.

         2. 28 U.S.C. 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 Section 1915(e)(2)(B) because Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis.

         3. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will: (1) dismiss the Complaint with prejudice as to claims made against CCJ; and (2) dismiss the Complaint without prejudice for failure to state a claim. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii).

         4. 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, 660 F. App'x 113, 116 (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 § 1983).

         5. 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).

         6. The 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 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.

         7. To survive sua sponte screening for failure to state a claim[1], 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 added).

         8. With respect to alleged facts giving rise to the claims in the Complaint, Plaintiff states: “I slept on the floor without a mattress. I was exposed to mold. I know [sic] have chronic back pains. [F]ood was cold. I was on phyc [sic] meds & they did not give me my medication. Camden County Jail did not provide proper sleeping equipment.” Complaint § III(C).

         9. With respect to dates and times of the purported events giving rise to these claims, Plaintiff states: “Nov 24, 2014 - Dec 2, 2014.” Id. § III(B)

         10. With respect to alleged injuries from these events, Plaintiff states: “Chronic pain to my spine. I know [sic] have anxiety, traumatic stress & manic mood disorder since I was incarcerated.” Id. § IV.

         11. Plaintiff “want[s] [$]16, 000 for my chronic pains and traumatic stress.” Id. § V.

         12. These claims must be dismissed because the Complaint does not set forth enough factual support for the Court to infer that ...


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