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Norman v. Camden County Correctional Facility

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

October 22, 2017

KEVIN NORMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY; CAPTAIN CARLA TAYLOR; WARDEN DAVID OWENS, Defendants.

          Kevin Norman, Plaintiff Pro Se

          OPINION

          JEROME B. SIMANDLE U.S. District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Kevin Norman seeks to bring a civil rights complaint pursuant to the 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Camden County Correctional Facility (“CCCF”), Captain Carla Taylor (“Captain”), and Warden David Owens (“Warden”) 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 CCCF when he was detained from January 3, 2014 through January 2016. Complaint § III(C). Plaintiff alleges that during this time period, he was subjected to drinking “dirty brown water” and that “consuming the visibly contaminated water caused me to become ill and dehydrated.” Id. Plaintiff states he notified Captain Taylor and Warden Owens of the drinking conditions, yet they “failed to correct the problem or find an alternative remedy so that clean water could be supplied to the population.” Id. Plaintiff alleges this occurred in housing unit 3 North-D. Complaint § IV.

         Plaintiff further alleges that due to overcrowding, he was made to sleep on a thin mat on the floor near the toilet where inmates urine would backsplash onto him while sleeping. Complaint § III(C). He further alleges that “because of the poor air quality there was dust and dirt build up in the cell which turned into bacteria” which resulted in his scalp “getting infected from sleeping on the floor and had to seek medical treatment for a rash and experienced headaches.” Id.

         He seeks relief in the form of monetary compensation as well as seeks for the Court to order testing of the water and air to prevent others from getting sick as well as have the court order the county to hire a full time population Control Manager to prevent overcrowding. Complaint § V.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A. Standards for a Sua Sponte Dismissal

         1. 28 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.

         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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