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Bailey v. Owens

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

October 22, 2017

JOSEPH BAILEY, Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN DAVID OWENS; CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, Defendants.

          Joseph Bailey, Plaintiff Pro Se

          OPINION

          JEROME B. SIMANDLE U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Joseph Bailey seeks to bring a civil rights complaint pursuant to the 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Warden David Owens (“Warden”) and Camden County Correctional Facility (“CCCF”) 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 was incarcerated from January to December 2014 and during this time, slept in an overcrowded cell with three other inmates. Complaint ¶ 6. Plaintiff states they constantly had to step over him to use the toilet, the floors were dirty and cleaning supplies were not provided, his sheets were not changed regularly, the food was cold and they often had to stand to eat. Id. He further states he sustained rashes due to the showers which had 100 inmates using 2-3 showers. Id. He states the overcrowdedness [sic] led to many fights.

         He further states he law library privileges were limited due to too many people on the library list. Id. He also states his visits were cancelled repeatedly due to visitors exceeding the maximum limit. Id.

         Plaintiff seeks to be compensated for the conditions he sustained in the CCCF. Complaint ¶ 7.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A. Standards for a Sua Sponte Dismissal

         Per the Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub. L. No. 104-134, §§ 801-810, 110 Stat. 1321-66 to 1321-77 (April 26, 1996) (“PLRA”), district courts must review complaints in those civil actions in which a prisoner is proceeding in forma pauperis, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), seeks redress against a governmental employee or entity, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), or brings a claim with respect to prison conditions, see 42 U.S.C. § 1997e. The PLRA directs district courts to 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, 1915A and 42 U.S.C. § 1997e because Plaintiff is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis and is seeking redress from government officials about the conditions of his confinement.

         According to the Supreme Court's decision in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, “a pleading that offers ‘labels or conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'” 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). 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). Moreover, while pro se pleadings are liberally construed, they “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).

         B. ...


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