YOUNG v. CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
OPINION. Signed by Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle on 2/8/2017. (TH, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE
STEPHEN THOMAS YOUNG, Sr.,
No. 16-cv-06939 (JBS-AMD)
Stephen Thomas Young, Sr., Plaintiff Pro Se
550 Bilper Avenue, Apt. 6306
Lindenwold, NJ 08021
SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge:
Plaintiff Stephen Thomas Young, Sr. 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).
First, the Complaint must be dismissed with prejudice
as to claims made against CCCF because defendant is not a “state
actor” within the meaning of § 1983. See Crawford v. McMillian,
660 F. App’x 113, 116 (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)); Grabow v.
Southern State Corr. Facility, 726 F. Supp. 537, 538–39 (D.N.J.
1989) (correctional facility is not a “person” under § 1983).
Second, for the reasons set forth below, the Court
will dismiss the Complaint without prejudice for failure to
state a claim. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii).
The present Complaint does not allege sufficient facts
to support a reasonable inference that a constitutional
violation has occurred in order to survive this Court’s review
under § 1915. Even accepting the statements in Plaintiff’s
Complaint as true for screening purposes only, there is not
enough factual support for the Court to infer a constitutional
violation has occurred.
To survive sua sponte screening for failure to state a
claim1, 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)). Moreover, 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).
“The legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to
state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is the
same as that for dismissing a complaint pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).” Samuels v. Health Dep’t, No. 161289, 2017 WL 26884, slip op. at *2 (D.N.J. Jan. 3, 2017)
(citing Schreane v. Seana, 506 F. App’x 120, 122 (3d Cir.
2012)); Allah v. Seiverling, 229 F.3d 220, 223 (3d Cir. 2000));
Mitchell v. Beard, 492 F. App’x 230, 232 (3d Cir. 2012)
(discussing 28 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1)); Courteau v. United States,
287 F. App’x 159, 162 (3d Cir. 2008) (discussing 28 U.S.C. §
With respect to alleged facts giving rise to his
claims, the Complaint states in its entirety: “Broke out in big
rash that need[ed] bacterial ointment. I was placed in holding
where the cell wasn’t clean[,] toilets were overflowing and
water in the sink didn’t work.” Complaint § III(C).
Plaintiff states that the purported events giving rise
to these claims occurred: “1/2006 – 1/2016.” Id. § III(B).
Plaintiff contends that he sustained “big red irrated
[sic] rash on my back, stomach and face that I had to use an
antibacterial ointment, and took an antibiotic.” Id. § IV.
Plaintiff seeks “compensation for the encovience [sic]
and embarrassment.” Id. § V.
These claims must be dismissed without prejudice
because the Complaint does not set forth enough factual support
for the Court to infer that a constitutional violation has
First, to make out an Eighth Amendment claim in
connection with the treatment a prisoner receives in prison and
the conditions under which he is confined, a prisoner must show
that the alleged deprivation was sufficiently serious and that
the prison official acted with ‘deliberate indifference to
inmate health and safety.’” Gause v. Diguglielmo, 339 F. App’x
132, 134 (3d Cir. 2009) (quoting Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
825, 834 (1994)). “‘[D]eliberate indifference’ is ‘the
equivalent of recklessly disregarding [a] risk’ of serious harm
to the prisoner.” Ibid. (quoting Farmer, 511 U.S. at 836).
Here, Plaintiff’s contentions that “toilets were overflowing and
water in the sink didn’t work” (Complaint § III(C)) do not
allege the requisite “deliberate indifference” for Eighth
Second, with respect to Fourteenth Amendment due
process issues in connection with the treatment a prisoner
receives in prison and the conditions under which he is
confined, the “proper inquiry is whether those conditions amount
to punishment of the detainee. [U]nder the Due Process Clause, a
detainee may not be punished prior to an adjudication of guilt
in accordance with due process of law.” Bell v. Wolfish, 441
U.S. 520, 535-36 (1979). Accord Fuentes v. Wagner, 206 F.3d 335,
341-42 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 821 (2000). Here,
Plaintiff’s contentions regarding the general working condition
of toilets and sinks (Complaint § III(C)) do not allege the
requisite demonstration of unconstitutional punishment for
Fourteenth Amendment purposes.
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,
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 § 1915.3
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
The amended complaint shall be subject to screening prior to
3 To the extent the complaint seeks relief for conditions
Plaintiff encountered prior to September 29, 2014, those claims
are barred by the statute of limitations. Claims brought under §
1983 are governed by New Jersey's two-year limitations period
for personal injury. 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). The allegedly unconstitutional
conditions of confinement would have been immediately apparent
to Plaintiff; therefore, the statute of limitations on some of
Plaintiff’s claims expired two years after his release. In the
event Plaintiff elects to file an amended complaint, he should
limit his complaint to confinements in which he was released
after September 29, 2014.
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: (a)
dismissed with prejudice as to the CCCF; and (b) dismissed
without prejudice for failure to state a claim.
An appropriate order follows.
February 8, 2017
s/ Jerome B. Simandle
JEROME B. SIMANDLE
Chief U.S. District Judge
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