WAHDUUD v. CAMDEN COUNTY JAIL
OPINION. Signed by Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle on 4/13/17. (jbk, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE
CAMDEN COUNTY JAIL; CAMDEN
Jihad Wahduud, Plaintiff Pro Se
1827 South 4th Street
Camden, NJ 08104
SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge:
Plaintiff Jihad Wahduud seeks to bring an amended civil
rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Camden
County Jail (“CCJ”) and the Camden County Freeholders. Amended
Complaint, Docket Entry 4. On January 25, 2017, Plaintiff’s
original complaint was dismissed without prejudice for failure
to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii) and
Plaintiff was granted thirty days to file an amended complaint.
Docket Entry 3. Plaintiff timely filed an amended complaint on
February 14, 2017.
At this time, the Court must review the amended 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
amended 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 amended complaint with prejudice for
failure to state a claim. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii).
Plaintiff alleges that he was detained in the CCJ from
September 17, 1994, to June 28, 1996. Amended Complaint ¶ 1. He
further states: “I was subjected to inhuman living conditions. I
was made to sleep in cell made for two (2) people, with four (4)
and sometimes five (5) people. I near the toilet on the floor,
where I was splash with urine when I slept and was awaken from
the incident and I ended up fighting. I am now sixty (60) years
old and my doctors tell me my back is eighty-five (85) years
old. I am now disable because of my back as a result of
sleep[ing] on the floor at Camden County Jail.” Id.
III. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Section 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.
To 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). “[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 (2007)).
Plaintiff’s amended complaint alleges that he experienced
unconstitutional conditions of confinement while he was detained
in the CCJ from September 17, 1994, to June 28, 1996. 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)).
The allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement at
CCJ, namely the alleged overcrowding, would have been
immediately apparent to Plaintiff at the time of his detention;
therefore, the statute of limitations for Plaintiff’s claims
expired, at the latest, in 1998, well before this complaint was
filed in 2016. Plaintiff has filed his 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 his cause of action, there are no
extraordinary circumstances that prevented Plaintiff from filing
his claim, and there is nothing to indicate Plaintiff filed his
claim on time but in the wrong forum. See Omar v. Blackman, 590
F. App’x 162, 166 (3d Cir. 2014).
As it is clear from the face of the amended complaint that
more than two years have passed since Plaintiff’s claims
accrued, the amended complaint is dismissed with prejudice,
meaning he may not file a second amended complaint concerning
the events of September 17, 1994, to June 28, 1996. Ostuni v. Wa
Wa's Mart, 532 F. App’x 110, 112 (3d Cir. 2013) (per curiam)
(affirming dismissal with prejudice due to expiration of statute
For the reasons stated above, the amended complaint is
dismissed with prejudice for failure to state a claim. An
appropriate order follows.
April 13, 2017
s/ Jerome B. Simandle
JEROME B. SIMANDLE
Chief U.S. District Judge
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