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Walker v. Camden County Jail

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

October 19, 2017

JOSHUA WALKER, Plaintiff,
v.
CAMDEN COUNTY JAIL, Defendant.

          Joshua Walker, Plaintiff Pro Se.

          OPINION

          HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Joshua Walker seeks to bring a civil rights complaint pursuant to the 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Camden County Jail (“CCJ”) for allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement. Complaint, Docket Entry 1. At this time, the Court must review the complaint 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, the Court concludes that the complaint will proceed in part.

         II. BACKGROUND

         The following factual allegations are taken from the complaint and are accepted for purposes of this screening only. The Court has made no findings as to the truth of Plaintiff's allegations.

         Plaintiff alleges he endured unconstitutional conditions of confinement in CCJ was he was confined in the facility in June 2015, August 2015, and September 2015 to February 2016. Complaint § III. His complaint states: “When I was in jail I was given a mat with no bunk that laid me to sleep on the floor with no wash cloth. They put me in 7 day lock down not send me to medical when I was shot in my left thigh and barely could walk and put me on the top tier so I had to walk up an[d] down the steps in so much pain. The nurse and correctional officer seen it and did nothing. I was in danger of getting an infection and experienced pain an[d] suffering.” Id. He alleges “the guards in the jail do and say whatever they want to you and treat you as if you aren't even an individual or a human.” Id. He seeks relief in the form of monetary compensation. Id. § V.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A. Standards for a Sua Sponte Dismissal

         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.

         To 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 (2007)).

         B. Section 1983 Actions

         A plaintiff may have a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for certain violations of his constitutional rights. Section 1983 provides in relevant part:

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory ... subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the ...

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