JACKSON v. CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY et al
OPINION. Signed by Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle on 5/4/2017. (dmr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE
CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL
FACILITY; WARDEN DAVID OWENS,
Raymond Jackson, Plaintiff Pro Se
3 West Industrial Blvd.
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge:
Plaintiff Raymond Jackson seeks to bring a civil rights
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Warden David
Owens of the Camden County Correctional Facility (“CCCF”).1
Complaint, Docket Entry 1.
The complaint’s caption reads: “Camden County Correctional
Facility (Warden) David Owens / Freeholders,” but in ¶ 4 of the
complaint, Plaintiff lists the “first”—and only—defendant as
“David Owens,” thus creating some confusion as to Plaintiff’s
intended defendants. Plaintiff’s case has therefore been
docketed with the CCCF and Warden David Owens as named
defendants. Because the CCCF is not a person subject to suit
under § 1983 in any event, see Crawford v. McMillian, 660 F.
App’x 113, 116 (3d Cir. 2016) (citing Fischer v. Cahill, 474
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, 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.
Plaintiff alleges that he was detained in the CCCF from
November 1998 to April 2000, in June 2007, from July 2009 to
April 2010, and October 2010 to August 2012. Complaint ¶ 6. He
further states: “The Camden County Jail was very corrupt and
dirty and always overcrowded. I slept on urine stained floors
with gnats flying around and spiders crawling all around the
F.2d 991, 992 (3d Cir. 1973), and because Plaintiff has neither
included the Freeholders in ¶ 4 of the complaint nor made any
allegations regarding the Freeholders anywhere in the complaint,
the Court construes the complaint as seeking to state a claim
against Warden David Owens rather than CCCF or the Freeholders.
These issues do not affect the resolution of this matter,
cell. I was in a two man cell with four (4) occupants. There was
no hot water in the cells. The showers were coated with mold.
Alot [sic] of people had boils and other ailments that spread in
an unclean environment. The trays we ate off of smelled like
mildew and the food was served cold below the required
temperature, which causes the symptoms of a food borne illness,
such as nausea, diarhia [sic] and headaches. Alot [sic] of
people got hurt, beaten bad in the jail, making me always feel
in danger.” 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 complaint alleges that he experienced
unconstitutional conditions of confinement while he was detained
in the CCCF from November 1998 to April 2000, in June 2007, from
July 2009 to April 2010, and October 2010 to August 2012. 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
CCCF, namely the alleged overcrowding, unsanitary conditions,
and unsuitable food, would have been immediately apparent to
Plaintiff at the time of his detention; therefore, the statute
of limitations for Plaintiff’s claims expired in 2002, 2009,
2012, and 2014, respectively, 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 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 November 1998 to
April 2000, June 2007, July 2009 to April 2010, and October 2010
to August 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 order
May 4, 2017
s/ Jerome B. Simandle
JEROME B. SIMANDLE
Chief U.S. District Judge
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