BARR v. CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONS
OPINION. Signed by Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle on 12/29/16. (jbk, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
JOSEPH B. BARR,
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE
No. 16-7279 (JBS-AMD)
CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONS,
Joseph B. Barr, Plaintiff Pro Se
414 Clements Bridge Road
Barrington, New Jersey 08007
SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge:
Plaintiff Joseph B. Barr seeks to bring a civil rights
complaint pursuant to the 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Camden County
Corrections (“CCC”). Complaint, Docket Entry 1. Based on
Plaintiff’s affidavit of indigency, the Court will grant his
application to proceed in forma pauperis.
At this time, the Court must review the 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, the Court will dismiss the
complaint with prejudice for failure to state a claim. 28 U.S.C.
Plaintiff alleges that during 1987, 2002, 2009 and 2011, he
was detained in the Camden County Correctional Facility
(“CCCF”). Complaint § III. He alleges that “Camden County
Correctional force me to sleep on floor.” Id. He further alleges
that he had an “infection in eye from chip floor paint.
Arthritis in neck and back from sleeping no floor, hip pain from
sleeping on floor.” Id.
III. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Section 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 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) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). “[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 seeks monetary damages for allegedly
unconstitutional conditions of confinement in the CCC that he
experienced in the years 1987, 2002, 2009 and 2011. Plaintiff’s
complaint is barred by the statute of limitations, which is
governed by New Jersey's two-year limitations period for
personal injury. 1 See Wilson v. Garcia, 471 U.S. 261, 276 (1985);
Dique v. N.J. State Police, 603 F.3d 181, 185 (3d Cir. 2010).
The accrual date of a § 1983 action is determined by federal
law, however. Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384, 388 (2007);
“Although the running of the statute of limitations is
ordinarily an affirmative defense, where that defense is obvious
from the face of the complaint and no development of the record
is necessary, a court may dismiss a time-barred complaint sua
sponte under § 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to
state a claim.” Ostuni v. Wa Wa's Mart, 532 F. App’x 110, 111–12
(3d Cir. 2013) (per curiam).
Montanez v. Sec'y Pa. Dep't of Corr., 773 F.3d 472, 480 (3d Cir.
“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, 773 F.3d at 480 (internal quotation
marks omitted). Plaintiff states he was detained in the years
1987, 2002, 2009 and 2011. The allegedly unconstitutional
conditions of confinement at CCC would have been immediately
apparent to Plaintiff at the time of his detention; therefore,
the statute of limitations for Plaintiff’s claims expired
October 2013 at the latest. As there are no grounds for
equitable tolling of the statute of limitations, 2 the complaint
will be dismissed with prejudice. 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).
Equitable tolling “is only appropriate ‘(1) where the defendant
has actively misled the plaintiff respecting the plaintiff's
cause of action; (2) where the plaintiff in some extraordinary
way has been prevented from asserting his or her rights; or (3)
where the plaintiff has timely asserted his or her rights
mistakenly in the wrong forum.’” Omar v. Blackman, 590 F. App’x
162, 166 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting Santos ex rel. Beato v. United
States, 559 F.3d 189, 197 (3d Cir. 2009)).
For the reasons stated above, the complaint is dismissed with
prejudice for failure to state a claim. An appropriate order
December 29, 2016
s/ Jerome B. Simandle
JEROME B. SIMANDLE
Chief U.S. District Judge
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