United States District Court, D. New Jersey
MIGUEL A. CHACON, JR., Plaintiff,
CAMDEN COUNTY, Defendant.
A. Chacon, Jr., Plaintiff Pro Se
B. SIMANDLE U.S. District Judge
Plaintiff Miguel A. Chacon, Jr. seeks to bring a civil rights
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Camden
County (“County”) 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 dismiss the
Complaint with without prejudice for failure to state a
claim. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii).
complaint must be dismissed without prejudice as to the
claims against the County as the Plaintiff has not pled
sufficient facts to impose liability on this defendant.
“There is no respondeat superior theory of
municipal liability, so a city may not be held vicariously
liable under § 1983 for the actions of its agents.
Rather, a municipality may be held liable only if its policy
or custom is the ‘moving force' behind a
constitutional violation.” Sanford v. Stiles,
456 F.3d 298, 314 (3d Cir. 2006) (citing Monell v. N.Y.C.
Dep't of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 691 (1978)).
See also Collins v. City of Harker Heights, 503 U.S.
115, 122 (1992) (“The city is not vicariously liable
under § 1983 for the constitutional torts of its agents:
It is only liable when it can be fairly said that the city
itself is the wrongdoer.”).
Plaintiff must plead facts showing that the relevant Camden
County policy-makers are “responsible for either the
affirmative proclamation of a policy or acquiescence in a
well-settled custom.” Bielevicz v. Dubinon,
915 F.2d 845, 850 (3d Cir. 1990). In other words, Plaintiff
must set forth facts supporting an inference that Camden
County itself was the “moving force” behind the
alleged constitutional violation. Monell, 436 U.S.
at 689. As Plaintiff may be able to amend his Complaint to
address the deficiencies noted by the Court, the Court shall
grant Plaintiff leave to amend the complaint within 30 days
of the date of this order.
to Plaintiff's allegations of overcrowding in CCJ, the
Court will dismiss the Complaint without prejudice for
failure to state a claim, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii).
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.
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)). 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
respect to the alleged facts giving rise to Plaintiff's
claims, the Complaint states: “Police forcibly arrested
me in a very bad manner, putting me in a dirty cell to sleep
on the floor.” Complaint § III(C). Plaintiff
further alleges, “I was assaulted.” Id.
Plaintiff states that these events occurred in November 2016.
Id. § III(B).
Plaintiff states these events caused his to sleep on
“dirty floor in really tight handcuffs that cause
bruises to my arms or [illegible].” Id. §
Plaintiff does not specify or otherwise describe any monetary
relief sought. Id. § V.
Even construing the Complaint as seeking to bring a civil
rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
alleged prison overcrowding in relation to Plaintiff sleeping
on the floor (Complaint § III(C)), any such purported
claims must be dismissed because the Complaint does not set