United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Yvonnie Lambert Plaintiff Pro Se.
B. SIMANDLE Chief U.S. District Judge.
Plaintiff Vickie Yvonnie Lambert seeks to bring a civil
rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement.
Complaint, Docket Entry 1. Although Plaintiff does not name a
defendant in the caption or in § I(B) of her Complaint,
this Court will construe Plaintiff's allegations as
asserting claims against Camden County Jail
(“CCJ”), based on Plaintiff's statement in
§ III(A) of her Complaint that the events giving rise to
her claims occurred in the “Camden County Jail.”
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
Section 1915(e)(2)(B) because Plaintiff is proceeding in
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. 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).
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 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 plaintiffs “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).
respect to the alleged facts giving rise to her claims in the
Complaint, Plaintiff states: “In 7 day lock up I was
put in a room (small) with 3 other women and was on the
floor. My head was by the toilet and I was in there with
people who were very aggravated loud [sic] and was
[sic] detoxing from all kinds of drugs and
medication. They was [sic] pooping and throwing up
every 30 mins, we ran out of toilet paper and there was none
to give us from the correction officer. It was very cold and
we only recieved [sic] 1 toilet and had limited time
to shower and make phone calls. We asked for a new towel or
toilet paper or pads[.] [T]here was [sic] never any
to give[.] I was told they was [sic] out by every
correctional officer that came on shift. Also my time in the
maze [sic] there was a dead rat/mouse in the closet.
[I]n maze(y) [sic] and I had to endure the smell of
it from the 3rd til [sic] the
15th of September because the correctional
officers did not want to report it. [A]long with all the
other ladies that were there every person that was in 7 day
lock up when I was there. But I do not recall any of there
[sic] names and the ladies inmaze(y)
[sic].” Complaint § III(C).
Plaintiff contends that “[d]ue to not changing towels
and limited time in showers I had to go to the nurse there
because I had got [sic] a rash on my right thigh
that the drs gave me antiobitic [sic] cream for and
my feet itched alot [sic] while stepping in and out
of the shower due to no water shoes or anything on the floor
surface of taking a shower.” Id. § IV.
Plaintiff states that the purported events giving rise to her
claims occurred in the Camden County Jail (id.
§ III(A)) during “August 29th 2016 till
Sept 3rd of 2016 for me for 7 day lockup[, ] then
the maze [sic] Sept 3rd till
[sic] Sept 15th.” Id.
Plaintiff seeks “whatever legal amount I am suppose
[sic] to recieve [sic] for the treatment I
endured during my time at the Camden County Correctional
Facility from August 29thtill [sic] Sept
15th 2016 or open for discussion.”
Id. § V.
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.
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 ...