United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Jackson, Plaintiff Pro Se.
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE, DISTRICT JUDGE.
Plaintiff Marvin Jackson seeks to bring a civil rights
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the
Camden County Jail (“CCJ”). Complaint, Docket
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
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). “[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)).
Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
for alleged violations of Plaintiff's constitutional
rights. In order to set forth a prima facie case
under § 1983, a plaintiff must show: “(1) a person
deprived him of a federal right; and (2) the person who
deprived him of that right acted under color of state or
territorial law.” Groman v. Twp. of Manalapan,
47 F.3d 628, 633 (3d Cir. 1995) (citing Gomez v.
Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980)).
Generally, for purposes of actions under § 1983,
“[t]he term ‘persons' includes local and
state officers acting under color of state law.”
Carver v. Foerster, 102 F.3d 96, 99 (3d Cir. 1996)
(citing Hafer v. Melo, 502 U.S. 21
(1991)). To say that a person was “acting
under color of state law” means that the defendant in a
§ 1983 action “exercised power [that the
defendant] possessed by virtue of state law and made possible
only because the wrongdoer [was] clothed with the authority
of state law.” West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 49
(1988) (citation omitted). Generally, then, “a public
employee acts under color of state law while acting in his
official capacity or while exercising his responsibilities
pursuant to state law.” Id. at 50.
Because Plaintiff has not sufficiently alleged that a person
deprived him of a federal right, the complaint does not meet
the standards necessary to set forth a prima facie
case under § 1983. Plaintiff states he was detained in
the CCJ in January 2005, September 2006, April 2007, February
21, 2012 and May 2016. Complaint § III. In his complaint
Plaintiff alleges he was “had to sleep on a mate [sic]
by the sink an[d] toilet cell was felld [sic] with inmate
that the alternative lyfe [sic] style block.”
Id. He further alleges, “CCJ guard placed us
in cell had count on were we slept I was placed on the floor
until other inmate left, than the next was able to sleep on a
accepting these statements as true for screening purposes
only, there is not enough factual support for the Court to
infer a constitutional violation has occurred.
Plaintiff's cursory and conclusory allegations are
insufficient, without more, to state a claim for relief. In
order to make out a plausible claim for relief and survive
this Court's review under § 1915, Plaintiff must
plead something more than “labels and
conclusions” and allege enough facts to support a
reasonable inference that defendants deprived him of a
constitutional right. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. For a
pretrial detainee, this means Plaintiff must plead facts
showing that the conditions he encountered shock the
conscience and thus violated his 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 factors are the dates and length
of the confinement(s), whether Plaintiff was a pretrial
detainee or convicted prisoner, etc.
addition, the CCJ may not be sued under § 1983 and is
not a “person” within the meaning of § 1983.
Therefore, the claims against it must be dismissed with
prejudice. 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)). Because the claims against the CCJ
must be dismissed with prejudice, the claims may not proceed
and Plaintiff may not name the CCJ as a defendant.
Moreover, to the extent the complaint seeks relief for
conditions Plaintiff encountered during periods of
confinement ending prior to January 17, 2015, those claims
are barred by the statute of limitations and must be
dismissed with prejudice, meaning that Plaintiff cannot
recover for those claims because they have been brought too
late. 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 filed his complaint on January 17,
Plaintiff alleges that he was detained at the CCJ on January
2005, September 2006, April 2007, February 21, 2012 and May
2016. Complaint § III. All but one of these
incarcerations occurred more than two years prior to the
filing of Plaintiff's complaint. The allegedly
unconstitutional conditions of confinement at CCJ, namely the
overcrowding, would have been immediately apparent to
Plaintiff at the time of his detention; therefore, the
statute of limitations for Plaintiff's claims arising
from his incarcerations of January 2005, September ...