TAYLOR v. CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECITONAL FACILITY et al
OPINION. Signed by Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle on 5/9/2017. (rtm, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
QWAREEM JAMAR TAYLOR,
HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE
CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL
FACILITY; WARDEN DAVID OWENS,
Qwareem Jamar Taylor, Plaintiff Pro Se
3 West Industrial Blvd.
Bridgeton, NJ 08302
SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge:
Plaintiff Qwareem Jamar Taylor 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
F.2d 991, 992 (3d Cir. 1973), and because Plaintiff has neither
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
February 1, 2013, to July 30, 2014. Complaint ¶ 6. He further
states: “The Camden County Jail was very over crowded and filthy
and I was placed to sleep on the urinated, mice infested floors
with unknown bugs and critters all over the place. I was in a
two (2) man cell with three (3) to four (4) other inmates. While
I was sleeping of [sic] the infested, urinated floors the trays
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,
that we ate off of were being slide [sic] in the rooms next to
other inmates and the toilets until we ot them and there was a
table in the room which the trays of food could have been placed
on. The correction officers most of the time denied us inmates
cleaning supplies and disinfectent [sic] to sterilize the rooms
and floors.” 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 February 1, 2013, to July 30, 2014. 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 and unsanitary conditions,
would have been immediately apparent to Plaintiff at the time of
his detention; therefore, the statute of limitations for
Plaintiff’s claims expired on July 30, 2016, before this
complaint was filed on November 16, 2016.2 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 February 1, 2013,
to July 30, 2014. 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).
Plaintiff’s complaint was docketed by the Clerk as filed on
December 14, 2016. However, Plaintiff signed the complaint on
November 16, 2016, while he was incarcerated. Giving Plaintiff
the benefit of the “prisoner mailbox rule,” the Court deems the
complaint as having been filed on the date on which Plaintiff
signed it. See Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 266, 276 (1988).
However, this still places the filing of the complaint outside
of the statute of limitations for Plaintiff’s claims.
For the reasons stated above, the complaint is dismissed with
prejudice for failure to state a claim. An appropriate order
May 9, 2017
s/ Jerome B. Simandle
JEROME B. SIMANDLE
Chief U.S. District Judge
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