United States District Court, D. New Jersey
MICHAEL D. JONES, Plaintiff,
CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, WARDEN JAMES OWENS, WARDEN J. TAYLOR, CAMDEN COUNTY BOARD OF FREEHOLDERS, and METRO POLICE, Defendants.
Michael D. Jones, Plaintiff Pro Se
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE
Michael D. Jones seeks to bring a civil rights complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Camden
Correctional Facility (“CCF”), Warden James Owens
(“Owens”), Warden J. Taylor
(“Taylor”), Camden County Board of Freeholders
(“BOF”), and Metro Police (“MP”) for
allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement.
Complaint, Docket Entry 1. Based on Plaintiff's affidavit
of indigency, the Court will grant his application to proceed
in forma pauperis.
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 it is clear from the
Complaint that the claim arose more than two years before the
Complaint was filed. It is therefore barred by the two-year
statute of limitations that governs claims of
unconstitutional conduct under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The
Court will therefore dismiss the Complaint with prejudice for
failure to state a claim. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii).
respect to alleged facts giving rise to his claims, Plaintiff
states: “[T]he housing officer assigned me to a room
that had at least 4 people in ther[e] and I had to sleep on
the floor in harsh conditions.” Complaint §
III(C). Plaintiff alleges that these events occurred
“around 2007, 2009 [and] 2013.” Id.
§ III(B). Plaintiff claims to have “tripped in the
room[, ] causing me to hit my head and face and back.”
Id. § IV. Plaintiff seeks “aroun[d] $5.5
million” in relief. Id. § V.
Standard of Review
1915(e)(2) requires a court to review complaints prior to
service of the summons and complaint 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.
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) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678). “[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
Complaint alleges that Plaintiff experienced unconstitutional
conditions of confinement while he was detained in the CCCF
in 2007, 2009 and 2013. Civil rights claims under § 1983
are governed by New Jersey's limitations period for
personal injury and must be brought within two years of the
claim's accrual. See Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S.
261, 276 (1985); Dique v. New Jersey State Police,
603 F.3d 181, 185 (3d Cir. 2010). “Under federal law, a
cause of action accrues ‘when the plaintiff knew or
should have known of the injury upon which the action is
based.'” Montanez v. Sec'y Pa. Dep't of
Corr., 773 F.3d 472, 480 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting
Kach v. Hose, 589 F.3d 626, 634 (3d Cir. 2009)).
allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement at CCCF
would have been immediately apparent to Plaintiff at the time
of detention; therefore, the statute of limitations for
Plaintiff's claims expired in 2015 at the latest, well
before this Complaint was filed in 2016. Plaintiff has filed
this lawsuit too late. Although the Court may toll, or
extend, the statute of limitations in the interests of
justice, certain circumstances must be present before it can
do so. Tolling is not warranted in this case because the
state has not “actively misled” Plaintiff as to
the existence of a cause of action, there are no
extraordinary circumstances that prevented Plaintiff from
filing the claim, and there is nothing to indicate Plaintiff
filed the claim on time but in the wrong forum. See Omar
v. Blackman, 590 F.App'x 162, 166 (3d Cir. 2014).
is clear from the face of the Complaint that more than two
years have passed since Plaintiff's claims accrued, the
Complaint is dismissed with prejudice, meaning Plaintiff may
not file an amended complaint concerning the events of 2007,
2009, and 2013. Ostuni v. Wa Wa's Mart, 532
F.App'x 110, 112 (3d Cir. 2013) ...