United States District Court, D. New Jersey
ANTONIO H. SHELTON, Plaintiff,
CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, Defendant.
Antonio H. Shelton, Plaintiff Pro Se
B. SIMANDLE U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Plaintiff Antonio H. Shelton 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.
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) requires courts to review complaints
prior to service in cases in which a plaintiff is proceeding
in forma pauperis. Courts 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: (1) dismiss the
Complaint with prejudice as to claims made against CCCF; and
(2) dismiss the Complaint without prejudice for failure to
state a claim. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii).
state a claim for relief under § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege, first, the violation of a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States and, second, that
the alleged deprivation was committed or caused by a person
acting under color of state law. See West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Malleus v. George, 641 F.3d
560, 563 (3d Cir. 2011); Piecknick v. Pennsylvania,
36 F.3d 1250, 1255-56 (3d Cir. 1994).
Plaintiff names the CCCF as the sole defendant. However, a
prison is not a “state actor” within the meaning
of § 1983. See Crawford v. McMillian, No.
16-3412, 2016 WL 6134846, *2 (3d Cir. Oct. 21, 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)). The claims
against it must therefore be dismissed with prejudice.
Moreover, to the extent the complaint seeks relief for
conditions Plaintiff encountered during periods of
confinement ending prior to September 30, 2014, those claims
are barred by the statute of limitations. 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. N.J.
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).
Plaintiff alleges the events giving rise to his claims
occurred between 2009 and 2014. Complaint § III. The
allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement at CCCF
would have been immediately apparent to Plaintiff at the time
of his detention.
Plaintiff may be able to amend the Complaint to particularly
identify adverse conditions that were caused by specific
state actors that caused Plaintiff to endure genuine
privations and hardship over an extended period of time, and
that were excessive in relation to their purposes. To that
end, the Court shall grant Plaintiff leave to amend the
Complaint within 30 days of the date of this
Plaintiff is further advised that any amended complaint must
plead specific facts regarding the conditions of confinement.
In the event Plaintiff files an amended complaint, Plaintiff
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. As
discussed above, if Plaintiff elects to file an amended
complaint, it should be limited to confinements in which
Plaintiff was released after September 30, 2014.
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 ...