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Davis v. Camden County Correctional Facility

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

April 23, 2018

ANTOINE RAHIM DAVIS, Plaintiff,
v.
CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, Defendant.

          OPINION

          JEROME B. SIMANDLE United States District Judge

         1. Plaintiff Antoine Rahim Davis seeks to bring a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Camden County Correctional Facility (“CCCF”) for allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement. Complaint, Docket Entry 1.

         2. 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.

         3. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will: (a) dismiss the Complaint with prejudice as to claims made against CCCF; and (b) dismiss the Complaint without prejudice for failure to state a claim. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii).

         Claims Against CCCF: Dismissed With Prejudice

          4. Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983[1] for alleged violations of Plaintiff's constitutional rights. In order to set forth a prima facie case under § 1983, a plaintiff must show: “(1) a person deprived him of a federal right; and (2) the person who deprived him of that right acted under color of state or territorial law.” Groman v. Twp. of Manalapan, 47 F.3d 628, 633 (3d Cir. 1995) (citing Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980)).

         5. CCCF is not a “person” for purposes of actions under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; that is, CCCF is not a “state actor” within the meaning of § 1983. See Crawford v. McMillian, 660 Fed.Appx. 113, 116 (3d Cir. 2016) (“[T]he prison is not an entity subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.”) (citing Fischer v. Cahill, 474 F.2d 991, 992 (3d Cir. 1973)); Grabow v. Southern State Corr. Facility, 726 F.Supp. 537, 538-39 (D.N.J. 1989) (correctional facility is not a “person” under § 1983)

         6. Therefore, the Complaint does not allege that a “person” within the meaning of § 1983 deprived Plaintiff of a federal right and does not meet the standards necessary to set forth a prima facie case under § 1983. Accordingly, the claims against the CCCF must be dismissed with prejudice.

         7. Plaintiff may be able to amend the Complaint to name a person or persons who were personally involved in the alleged unconstitutional conditions of confinement. The Court therefore grants Plaintiff leave to amend the Complaint within 30 days of the date that this Opinion and Order are entered on the docket.

         Conditions Of Confinement Claims: Dismissed Without Prejudice

         8. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will dismiss the Complaint without prejudice for failure to state a claim as to alleged overcrowded conditions of confinement at CCCF. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii).

         9. To survive sua sponte screening for failure to state a claim[2], 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). Accord Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)); Fair Wind Sailing, Inc. v. Dempster, 764 F.3d 303, 308 n.3 (3d Cir. 2014). 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 added). In short, a complaint must plead sufficient facts to support a reasonable inference that a constitutional violation has occurred in order to survive this Court's review under § 1915.

         10. Here, however, the Complaint states only that Plaintiff slept “on the floor with four other inmates in a room that was unsanitary and uncomfortable . . . [CCCF] officers placed me in rooms with four other inmates which was uncomfortable.” Complaint § III(C).

         11. Plaintiff states that these events occurred “3-18-2004, 2-26-2010, 8-12-2010, 6-21-2013, 8-23-2014, ...


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