OJENIYI v. CAMDEN COUNTY JAIL
OPINION FILED. Signed by Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle on 5/4/17. (js)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE
No. 16-cv-06815 (JBS-AMD)
CAMDEN COUNTY JAIL,
Plaintiff Pro Se
940 Morton Street
Camden, NJ 08104
SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge:
Plaintiff Brian Ojeniyi seeks to bring a civil rights
complaint against Camden County Jail (“CCJ”) pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 for allegedly unconstitutional conditions of
confinement. Complaint, Docket Entry 1.
28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2) requires a court to review complaints
prior to service 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 Section 1915(e)(2)(B)
because Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis.
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).
Plaintiff’s Complaint states in its entirety: “I was
incarcerated and left to sleep on the floor in extremely
overcrowded conditions. I was subjected to unsanitary jail cells
and blocks. My head was near the toilet and urine was being
splashed on me for three days. I ended up with a rash on body
and feet that is still unexplained to this day. Upon leaving the
facility I was involved in a car accident while riding in the
transportation van occuring [sic] injuries to my knees and lower
back that I am still suffering from to this day. All my injuries
and suffering have been duly noted in the proper manner.”
Complaint § III(C). Plaintiff claims the alleged events occurred
in the “Camden County Correctional Facility and transportation
vehicles.” Id. § III(A).
With respect to injuries sustained from these purported
events, Plaintiff alleges to have undergone “6 months physical
therapy.” Id. § IV.
Plaintiff states that the alleged events giving rise to his
claims occurred “during June-July 2011, and July 2008.” Id. §
Plaintiff seeks “punitive and compensatory compensatiation
[sic] in the amount of $60,000.00 sixty-thousand dollars or
compensation that I will be satisfied with.” Id. § V.
III. STANDARD OF REVIEW
To survive sua sponte screening under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2) for failure to state a claim, a 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 asserts claims against CCJ for allegedly
unconstitutional conditions of confinement. Plaintiff states
that the alleged events giving rise to his claims occurred
“during June-July 2011, and July 2008.” 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)).
The allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement at
CCJ would have been immediately apparent to Plaintiff at the
time of his detention in July 2008 and July 2011; therefore, the
statute of limitations for Plaintiff’s claims expired in 2013 at
the latest, 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.
As it is clear from the face of the complaint that more
than two years have passed since Plaintiff’s claims accrued, the
complaint is dismissed with prejudice, meaning he may not file
an amended complaint concerning the events of 2004, 2007, 2010,
and 2012. 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 of limitations).
For the reasons stated above, the Complaint is dismissed
with prejudice for failure to state a claim. An appropriate
May 4, 2017
s/ Jerome B. Simandle
JEROME B. SIMANDLE
Chief U.S. District Judge
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