United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Smith, Plaintiff Pro Se 532 Freson Drive Magnolia, N.J. 08049
B. SIMANDLE CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Carlos Smith sought 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 dated October 4, 2016, Docket Entry
1. Thereafter, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint dated
November 29, 2016 (Docket Entry 3), seeking to bring civil
rights claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
Camden County Correctional Facility (“CCCF”),
David Owens, Camden County Board of Freeholders, Mayor Dana
Redd and Warden James Taylor for allegedly unconstitutional
conditions of confinement.
time, the Court must review Plaintiff's complaint
filings, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), to
determine whether they should be dismissed as frivolous or
malicious, for failure to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted, or because they seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. For the reasons set
forth below: (1) it is clear from the Complaint that the
claims therein arose more than two years before it was filed;
and (2) it is clear from the proposed Amended Complaint that
the claims therein arose more than two years before it was
filed. The claims in both the Complaint and the Amended
Complaint are 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 and the Amended Complaint with prejudice for
failure to state a claim. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii).
Complaint alleges that Plaintiff “was detain[ed] in
[CCJ] [in] Aug. 2008[.] [T]here were 4 in my cell. We
couldn't move around.” Complaint §§
III(B)-(C). Plaintiff claims to have suffered back pain in
connection with these events. Id. § IV.
Plaintiff sought $1, 700 in relief “for my pain and
suffer[ing].” Id. § V.
Amended Complaint alleges that Plaintiff “was placed in
a cell with 3 other people and placed on the floor [in] 1998,
2001, 2003, 2005 [and] 2008.” Amended Complaint
§§ III(B)-(C). Plaintiff does not identify or
otherwise describe any injuries. Id. § IV
(blank). Plaintiff “want[s] to be compensated for
mental anguish, mental stress and for violating my civil
rights. I would like the amount of $1.3 million.”
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
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 incarcerated in “Aug.
2008.” Complaint § III(B) (Docket Entry 1). The
Amended Complaint alleges that Plaintiff experienced
unconstitutional conditions of confinement while incarcerated
in “1998, 2001, 2003, 2005 [and] 2008.” Amended
Complaint § III(B) (Docket Entry 3).
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.'”