United States District Court, D. New Jersey
DAVID T. JONES, Plaintiff,
DAVID S. OWENS; KAREN TAYLOR, Defendants.
T. Jones, Plaintiff Pro Se
CHRISTOPHER A. ORLANDO, COUNTY COUNSEL BY: Stephanie C.
Madden, Assistant County Counsel Attorneys for Defendants
David S. Owens and Karen Taylor
B. SIMANDLE, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is the motion of Plaintiff David Jones
(“Plaintiff”) to amend his civil rights complaint
and Defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint. Motion
to Amend, Docket Entry 11; Motion to Dismiss, Docket Entry
12. The motions are opposed. Defendants' Opposition,
Docket Entry 16; Plaintiff's Opposition, 13. The Court is
deciding the motions on the papers. Fed.R.Civ.P. 78.
reasons set forth below, the motion to amend is denied, and
the motion to dismiss is granted. The complaint is dismissed
filed his civil rights action against David Owens and Karen
Taylor, the Director and the Warden of the Camden County
Correctional Facility (“CCCF”), respectively.
Plaintiff alleged Owens and Taylor permitted him to be
admitted into the facility without a signed warrant and for
failing to release him when he brought the lack of a warrant
to their attention.
to the complaint, Plaintiff entered the CCCF on April 21,
2015 on a warrant that was not signed by a judicial officer.
He filed a grievance with Owens about the lack of a signed
warrant but did not receive a response. Complaint, Docket
Entry 1 at 5. He also spoke with Warden Taylor in February
2016. Id. at 6. According to the Complaint, she
responded that “the County had other paperwork”
to process Plaintiff's admission into CCCF, and Plaintiff
countered it was “facility policy to have a warrant . .
. .” Id. at 7. Plaintiff requested a copy of
the warrant from the Admissions Office, but they only had the
“defendant copy” of the warrant. Id. at
6. Plaintiff continued to request a signed copy of the
warrant from various CCCF officials. Eventually, Captain
Franceschini went to the prosecutor's office to get a
signed warrant. He returned with a warrant signed by a
judicial officer dated April 20, 2015. Id. See also
Exhibits Two and Three. Concluding that an answer from
defendants was warranted in light of the conflicting
warrants, the Court permitted the complaint to proceed past
its initial screening on October 30, 2017.
January 22, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion to amend his
complaint. Plaintiff seeks to add false arrest claims against
the officers who arrested him without going before the judge
or having an arrest warrant. Defendants moved to dismiss the
complaint on January 29, 2018, arguing that New Jersey law
does not permit a prisoner to be released based on a
technical defect in a warrant unless his or her rights have
STANDARD OF REVIEW
15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a party
to amend a pleading once as a matter of course twenty-one
(21) days after serving the pleading or twenty-one (21) days
“after a responsive pleading or service of a motion
under Rule 12(b), (e), or (f), whichever is earlier.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1)(A)-(B). 11. Plaintiff filed his motion
to amend before Defendants filed their responsive pleading,
but the Court must still review the proposed amended
complaint by pre-screening under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B) as Plaintiff is proceeding in forma
may deny leave to amend a pleading where it court finds: (1)
undue delay; (2) undue prejudice to the non-moving party; (3)
bad faith or dilatory motive; or (4) futility of amendment.
Shane v. Fauver, 213 F.3d 113, 115 (3d Cir. 2000).
“‘Futility' means that the complaint, as
amended, would fail to state a claim upon which relief could
be granted.” Id. The Court applies the same
standard of legal sufficiency as applies under Rule 12(b)(6).
“The court should freely give leave when justice so
requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2).
considering a motion to dismiss a complaint for failure to
state a claim, Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the Court must accept
all well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true and
view them in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party. A motion to dismiss may be granted only if the
plaintiff has failed to set forth fair notice of what the
claim is and the grounds upon which it rests that make such a
claim plausible on its face. Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). Although Rule 8 does not
require “detailed factual allegations, ” it