United States District Court, D. New Jersey
BRIAN J. ROBINSON, Plaintiff,
CAMDEN COUNTY JAIL, Defendant.
J. Robinson, Plaintiff Pro Se
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE United States District Judge:
Brian J. Robinson seeks to bring a civil rights Complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Camden County Jail
(“CCJ”) for allegedly unconstitutional conditions
of confinement. Complaint, Docket Entry 1.
time, the Court must review the Complaint, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) 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, it is clear from the
Complaint that the claim arose more than two years before the
Complaint was filed. It is therefore barred by the two-year
statute of limitations that governs claims of
unconstitutional conduct under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The
Court will therefore dismiss the Complaint with prejudice for
failure to state a claim. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii).
Complaint alleges that Plaintiff “was housed in a[n]
overcrowded cell holding 4 people with 2 bunks. I slept on
the floor the whole time. I acquired severe lower back pains,
constant sciatic nerve pain, & a sharp intense pain in my
right hip which shoots down to my calf. The Camden County
Jail injured me for life.” Complaint § III(C).
Plaintiff states that these events occurred “2013 [for]
4 mos. July to November.” Id. § III(B).
Plaintiff claims to have sustained a “sciatic nerve
issue. I also must do specific yoga stretches to help some of
the pain especially in the pm. 7 stretches exactly.”
Id. § IV. Plaintiff seeks relief of
“$100.00 a day for every day spent in the jail”
and “my surgery [to relieve sciatic nerve issue] paid
for in full.” Id. § V.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
1915(e)(2) requires a court to review complaints prior to
service of the summons and complaint in cases in which a
plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis. The Court
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.
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). “[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
Complaint alleges that Plaintiff experienced unconstitutional
conditions of confinement in “2013” during the
“4 mo[nth]” period from “July to
November” that year. Complaint § III(B). Civil
rights claims under § 1983 are governed by New
Jersey's limitations period for personal injury and must
be brought within two years of the claim's accrual.
See Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261, 276 (1985);
Dique v. New Jersey State Police, 603 F.3d 181, 185
(3d Cir. 2010). “Under federal law, a cause of action
accrues ‘when the plaintiff knew or should have known
of the injury upon which the action is based.'”
Montanez v. Sec'y Pa. Dep't of Corr., 773
F.3d 472, 480 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting Kach v. Hose,
589 F.3d 626, 634 (3d Cir. 2009)).
allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement, namely
the purported overcrowding and sleeping conditions in cells,
would have been immediately apparent to Plaintiff at the time
of detention; therefore, the statute of limitations for
Plaintiff's claims expired in November 2015 at the
latest, well before this Complaint was filed on February 23,
2017. (Docket Entry 1.) Plaintiff has filed this lawsuit too
late. Although the Court may toll, or extend, the statute of
limitations in the interests of justice, certain
circumstances must be present before it can do so. Tolling is
not warranted in this case because the state has not
“actively misled” Plaintiff as to the existence
of Plaintiff's cause of action, there are no
extraordinary circumstances that prevented Plaintiff from
filing the claim, and there is nothing to indicate Plaintiff
filed the claim on time but in the wrong forum. See Omar
v. Blackman, 590 Fed.Appx. 162, 166 (3d Cir. 2014).
is clear from the face of the Complaint that more than two
years passed from the time when Plaintiff's claims
accrued until he filed this Complaint, the Complaint must be
dismissed with prejudice, meaning Plaintiff may not file an
amended complaint concerning the events in “July to
November” of “2013.” Complaint §
III(B). Ostuni v. Wa Wa's Mart, 532 Fed.Appx.