SHELTON v. CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
OPINION. Signed by Judge Jerome B. Simandle on 9/27/17. (jbk, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
ANTONIO H. SHELTON,
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE
CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL
No. 16-cv-06216 (JBS-AMD)
Antonio H. Shelton, Plaintiff Pro Se
9 Broxton Way
Glassboro, NJ 08028
SIMANDLE, District Judge:
Plaintiff Antonio H. Shelton seeks to bring a civil
rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Camden
County Correctional Facility (“CCCF”) for allegedly
unconstitutional conditions of confinement. Complaint, Docket
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.
For the reasons set forth below, the Court will: (1)
dismiss the Complaint with prejudice as to claims made against
CCCF; and (2) dismiss the Complaint without prejudice for
failure to state a claim. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii).
To state a claim for relief under § 1983, a plaintiff
must allege, first, the violation of a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States and, second, that the
alleged deprivation was committed or caused by a person acting
under color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48
(1988); Malleus v. George, 641 F.3d 560, 563 (3d Cir. 2011);
Piecknick v. Pennsylvania, 36 F.3d 1250, 1255-56 (3d Cir. 1994).
Plaintiff names the CCCF as the sole defendant.
However, a prison is not a “state actor” within the meaning of §
1983. See Crawford v. McMillian, No. 16-3412, 2016 WL 6134846,
*2 (3d Cir. Oct. 21, 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)). The claims against it
must therefore be dismissed with prejudice.
Moreover, to the extent the complaint seeks relief for
conditions Plaintiff encountered during periods of confinement
ending prior to September 30, 2014, those claims are barred by
the statute of limitations.1 Civil rights claims under § 1983 are
Plaintiff filed this complaint on September 30, 2016.
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. N.J. 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).
Plaintiff alleges the events giving rise to his claims
occurred between 2009 and 2014. Complaint § III. The allegedly
unconstitutional conditions of confinement at CCCF would have
been immediately apparent to Plaintiff at the time of his
As Plaintiff may be able to amend the Complaint to
particularly identify adverse conditions that were caused by
specific state actors that caused Plaintiff to endure genuine
privations and hardship over an extended period of time, and
that were excessive in relation to their purposes. To that end,
the Court shall grant Plaintiff leave to amend the Complaint
within 30 days of the date of this order.2
Plaintiff is further advised that any amended
complaint must plead specific facts regarding the conditions of
confinement. In the event Plaintiff files an amended complaint,
The amended complaint shall be subject to screening prior to
Plaintiff 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. As discussed above,
if Plaintiff elects to file an amended complaint, it should be
limited to confinements in which Plaintiff was released after
September 30, 2014.
Plaintiff should note that when an amended complaint
is filed, the original complaint no longer performs any function
in the case and cannot be utilized to cure defects in the
amended complaint, unless the relevant portion is specifically
incorporated in the new complaint. 6 Wright, Miller & Kane,
Federal Practice and Procedure 1476 (2d ed. 1990) (footnotes
omitted). An amended complaint may adopt some or all of the
allegations in the original complaint, but the identification of
the particular allegations to be adopted must be clear and
explicit. Id. To avoid confusion, the safer course is to file an
amended complaint that is complete in itself. Id. The amended
complaint may not adopt or repeat claims that have been
dismissed with prejudice by the Court.
For the reasons stated above, the complaint is
dismissed without prejudice for failure to state a claim. The
Court will reopen the matter in the event Plaintiff files an
amended complaint within the time allotted by the Court.
An appropriate order follows.
September 27, 2017
s/ Jerome B. Simandle
JEROME B. SIMANDLE
U.S. District Judge
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