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Floyd v. Camden County Jail

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

October 22, 2017

ROBERT JAMES FLOYD, Plaintiff,
v.
CAMDEN COUNTY JAIL, Defendant.

          Robert James Floyd, Plaintiff Pro Se.

          OPINION

          JEROME B. SIMANDLE, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         1. Plaintiff Robert James Floyd seeks to bring a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Camden County Jail (“CCJ”). Complaint, Docket Entry 1.

         2. 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.

         3. For 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).

         4. To 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).

         5. Plaintiff names the CCJ 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.

         6. Further, the present Complaint does not allege sufficient facts to support a reasonable inference that a constitutional violation has occurred in order to survive this Court's review under § 1915. Even accepting the statements in Plaintiff's Complaint as true for screening purposes only, there is not enough factual support for the Court to infer a constitutional violation has occurred.

         7. To survive sua sponte screening for failure to state a claim[1], 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)). Moreover, while pro se pleadings are liberally construed, “pro se litigants still must allege sufficient facts in their complaints to support a claim.” Mala v. Crown Bay Marina, Inc., 704 F.3d 239, 245 (3d Cir. 2013) (citation omitted) (emphasis added).

         8. A 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.

         9. However, with respect to the alleged facts giving rise to Plaintiff's claims, the present Complaint states: “I Robert Floyd endued inhumane conditions while incarcerated at Camden County Jail such as sleeping on the floor causing extreme pain from a prior back injury. Sickness from the water vomit, diaherra [sic] I had to sleep by the toilet bowl causes me to get boils on my neck and face. I was deprived of water for 3-4 days this pas[t] summer when they had plumping issues in 100 degree weather was only given one bottle water that I had to stretch for 3 days. The mat they gave me was full of holes and bugs having me no option but the concurt [sic].” Complaint § III(C).

         10. Plaintiff does not provide the dates when this occurred. Id. § III(B) (Blank).

         11. Plaintiff leave the injury and relief section of his complaint blank. Id. § IV, § V.

         12. With respect to the sleeping on the floor, even construing the Complaint as seeking to bring a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged prison overcrowding, any such purported claims must be dismissed because the Complaint does not set forth sufficient ...


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