United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Clark, Plaintiff Pro Se
JEROME B. SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge
Plaintiff Morris Clark seeks to bring a civil rights
complaint pursuant to the 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the
Camden County Correctional Facility (“CCCF”).
Complaint, Docket Entry 1.
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 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) because Plaintiff is proceeding
in forma pauperis.
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).
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
Plaintiff seeks monetary damages from CCCF for allegedly
unconstitutional conditions of confinement. As the CCCF is
not a “state actor” within the meaning of §
1983, the claims against it must be dismissed with prejudice.
See, e.g., Grabow v. Southern State Corr. Facility,
726 F.Supp. 537, 538- 39 (D.N.J. 1989) (correctional facility
is not a “person” under § 1983).
Plaintiff may be able to amend the complaint to name state
actors who were personally involved in the alleged
unconstitutional conditions of confinement, however. To that
end, the Court shall grant Plaintiff leave to amend the
complaint within 30 days of the date of this
Plaintiff is advised that the amended complaint must plead
sufficient facts to support a reasonable inference that a
constitutional violation has occurred in order to survive
this Court's review under § 1915. The factual
portion of the complaint states in its entirety: “I was
being housed at [CCCF] and was made to sleep on the floor due
to the fact that [there] were 4 people in the cell.”
Complaint § III. Even accepting the statement as true
for screening purposes only, there is not enough factual
support for the Court to infer a constitutional violation has
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 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
the event Plaintiff files an amended complaint, he should
include specific facts, such as the dates and length of his
confinement, whether he was a pretrial detainee or convicted
prisoner, any specific individuals who were involved in
creating or failing to remedy the conditions of confinement,
and any other relevant facts regarding the conditions of
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.
the reasons stated above, the complaint is dismissed without
prejudice for failure to state a claim. The Court will reopen
the matter in the event Plaintiff files an ...