United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Terrance Thomas, Plaintiff Pro Se
B. SIMANDLE Chief U.S. District Judge
Terrance Thomas, a prisoner confined at Camden County
Correctional Facility (“CCCF”), seeks to bring a
civil rights complaint pursuant to the 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against the CCCF warden, David Owens. Complaint, Docket Entry
time, the Court must review the complaint, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) to determine whether it should be
dismissed as frivolous or malicious, for failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted, or because it seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. 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).
seeks relief for allegedly unconstitutional conditions of
confinement during his detention in the CCCF. He states is
been sleeping on the floor of the cell due to there being two
other inmates in the cell with him. Complaint ¶ 6. He
alleges the order came directly from Warden Owens and if he
“didn't comply with that order, the other choice
with [sic] to be placed in lock-up!” Id. He
also indicates that he has to wake up during the night and
move from his position on the floor in order that his
cellmates may use the toilet. Id.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
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) and 1915A and 42 U.S.C. §
1997e because Plaintiff is a prisoner proceeding in forma
pauperis and is filing a claim about the conditions of
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)).
raises claims of unconstitutional conditions of confinement.
Accepting the allegations in the complaint as true for
purposes of screening only, the fact that Plaintiff slept on
the floor does not in and of itself violate the Due Process
Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. See Hubbard v.
Taylor, 538 F.3d 229, 233 (3d Cir. 2008) (noting that
requiring pretrial detainees to sleep on a mattress on the
floor of cells for a period of three to seven months did not
violate Fourteenth Amendment due process rights).
“[T]he Constitution does not mandate comfortable
prisons[.]” Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337,
349 (1981). The Due Process Clause is only violated when 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.”
Id. (internal citation and quotation marks omitted).
Sleeping on the floor, while undoubtedly uncomfortable, is
not enough by itself to make out a constitutional violation.
The present complaint does not allege sufficient facts to
support a reasonable inference that the totality of the
conditions at CCCF are punitive in nature. Plaintiff must
provide other facts about the conditions at CCCF before his
complaint may proceed.
Plaintiff may be able to amend the 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 amended
complaint may not adopt or repeat claims that have been
dismissed with prejudice by the Court.