United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Norman, Plaintiff Pro Se
B. SIMANDLE U.S. District Judge
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Standards for a Sua Sponte Dismissal
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.
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