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Loveland v. Owens

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

December 15, 2017

GREGORY LOVELAND, Plaintiff,
v.
DAVID S. OWENS and CAMDEN COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Defendants.

          Gregory Loveland, Plaintiff pro se

          Southern State Correctional Facility Anne E. Walters, Esq. William H. Kenney, Esq. OFFICE OF COUNTY COUNSEL Attorneys for Defendants

          OPINION

          HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court on the unopposed motion for summary judgment of Defendants David S. Owens and Camden County Department of Corrections (collectively, “Defendants”). [Docket Item 25.] The motion is being considered on the papers pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b). For the reasons set forth below, the motion shall be granted.

         II. BACKGROUND

         A. Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff Gregory Loveland (“Plaintiff”) was a pretrial detainee at the Camden County Correctional Facility (“CCCF”) between February and September of 2016. [Docket Item 1; Docket Item 27.] He is proceeding pro se with a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights complaint regarding the conditions of confinement during his stay at CCCF.

         On May 13, 2016, Plaintiff filed an Inmate Grievance Form. (Compl. at 8.) According to Plaintiff: “I'm having serious problems with trying to deal with the [CCCF] overcrowding situation. I do know and understand this to be a major civil rights violations [sic], and despite many warnings/complaints the Administration here continues to pack this place in as a matter of practice and policy.” (Id.) Plaintiff further “humbly request[ed] that the administration here rectifies the overcrowding here ASAP.” (Id.)

         Four days later, Plaintiff filed a civil complaint against Defendants and an application to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP Application”). [Docket Item 1.] In his complaint, Plaintiff alleges that, due to “severe” overcrowding in the prison, he was housed with more than 30 inmates in a unit (Unit 5D North) that was originally designed to hold only 28. (Compl. at 6.} As a result of the overcrowding, Plaintiff avers, he was subject to several “deleterious conditions, ” including: (1) inadequate “dayroom” space; (2) mold and insect infested showers; and (3) “triple celling, ” which resulted in “a 3rd and sometimes 4th man sleep[ing] on the floor with nothing more than a mattress next to the cell's toilet and exposed to urine and fecal matter.” (Id.)

         As relief for the alleged violation of his constitutional and statutory rights, Plaintiff requests $11, 500, 000 in punitive damages, as well as $1, 000 in compensatory damages “for each day [Plaintiff] was unlawfully housed in a [sic] overcrowded environment as well as a 3 man cell.” (Id. at 7.)

         B. Procedural History

         On July 11, 2016, the Honorable Robert B. Kugler dismissed the matter without prejudice due to Plaintiff's failure to submit a certified copy of his inmate trust fund account statement for the six-month period immediately preceding filing of his complaint with his IFP Application. [Docket Item 3.] On July, 22, 2016, Plaintiff filed the necessary paperwork to complete his IFP Application. [Docket Item 5.] On August 9, 2016, Judge Kugler granted Plaintiff's IFP Application and directed the Clerk of the Court to reopen the case and file the complaint. [Docket Item 6.] After screening Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A, Judge Kugler ordered that Plaintiff's complaint be allowed to proceed in its entirety against Defendants. [Docket Item 7.] On September 14, 2016, the case was reassigned to the undersigned and Magistrate Judge Donio for all further proceedings. [Docket Item 12.]

         On October 6, 2016, Defendants filed an answer to Plaintiff's complaint. [Docket Item 16.] On October 31, 2016, Magistrate Judge Ann Marie Donio issued a scheduling order requiring that all pretrial factual discovery be concluded by February 28, 2017. [Docket Item 22.] Defendants sent Plaintiff a list of interrogatories, which Plaintiff answered and certified. [Exhibit B to Docket Item 25 (“Interrogatories to Plaintiff”).] Defendants also sent Plaintiff a request for the production of documents [Exhibit C to Docket Item 25], but Plaintiff never responded. (Def. Br. at 3.) According to ...


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