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Ivey v. Camden County Correctional Facility

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

June 29, 2017

TERRYLE EDDIE IVEY, Plaintiff,
v.
CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, Defendant.

          Terryle Eddie Ivey, Plaintiff Pro Se.

          OPINION

          JEROME B. SIMANDLE, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Terryle Eddie Ivey seeks to bring a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Camden County Correctional Facility (“CCCF”) for allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement. Complaint, Docket Entry 1.

         At this time, the Court must review the complaint, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A 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. § 1915A(b)(1).

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff alleges that he was detained in the CCCF from March 2004 to April 2005 and May 2009 to May 2010. Complaint § III. His complaint further states: “I was housed in dirty overcrowded cells and often had to sleep on a cold, filthy dirty cell floor. I have to share a cell with (3) other people and the cell was only suitable for one person. Sleeping on the floor with the toilet only 2 feet from my head, in a cramped area often where I also had to eat meals because of the overcrowded conditions of the jail. This torture went on for years on end.” Id.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Plaintiff is a prisoner within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A requires courts to review complaints prior to service in cases in which a plaintiff is a prisoner seeking relief from a governmental employee or entity. 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. “[T]he legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to § 1915A is identical to the legal standard employed in ruling on 12(b)(6) motions.” Courteau v. United States, 287 F.App'x 159, 162 (3d Cir. 2008) (citing Allah v. Seiverling, 229 F.3d 220, 223 (3d Cir. 2000))."

         IV. DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff's complaint alleges that he experienced unconstitutional conditions of confinement while he was detained in the CCCF from March 2004 to April 2005 as well as from May 2009 to May 2010. 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)).

         The allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement at CCCF namely the alleged overcrowding, would have been immediately apparent to Plaintiff at the time of his detention; therefore, the statute of limitations for Plaintiff's claims expired in May 2012 at the latest, well before this complaint was filed in 2017. Plaintiff has filed his 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 his cause of action, there are no extraordinary circumstances that prevented Plaintiff from filing his claim, and there is nothing to indicate Plaintiff filed his claim on time but in the wrong forum. See Omar v. Blackman, 590 F. App'x 162, 166 (3d Cir. 2014).

         As it 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 he may not file an amended complaint concerning the events of March 2004 to April 2005 and May 2009 to May 2010. Ostuni v. Wa Wa's Mart, 532 F. App'x 110, 112 (3d Cir. ...


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