LAUTE BARTLEY v. CAMDEN COUNTY JAIL, No. 1:2016cv06035 - Document 3 (D.N.J. 2016)

Court Description: OPINION FILED. Signed by Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle on 11/23/16. (js)
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LAUTE BARTLEY v. CAMDEN COUNTY JAIL Doc. 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY DEBORAH ANN LAUTE BARTLEY, Plaintiff, v. HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE Civil Action No. 16-cv-06035 (JBS-AMD) CAMDEN COUNTY JAIL, Defendant. OPINION APPEARANCES: Deborah Ann Laute Bartley, Plaintiff Pro Se 402 N. Broadway Gloucester, NJ 08030 SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge: 1. Plaintiff Deborah Ann Laute Bartley seeks to bring a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Camden County Jail (“CCJ”). Complaint, Docket Entry 1. 2. 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. Dockets.Justia.com 3. 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). 4. To state a claim for relief under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege, first, the violation of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States and, second, that the alleged deprivation was committed or caused by a person acting under color of state law. See West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Malleus v. George, 641 F.3d 560, 563 (3d Cir. 2011); Piecknick v. Pennsylvania, 36 F.3d 1250, 1255-56 (3d Cir. 1994). 5. Plaintiff names the CCJ as the sole defendant. However, a prison is not a “state actor” within the meaning of § 1983. See Crawford v. McMillian, No. 16-3412, 2016 WL 6134846, *2 (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)). The claims against it must therefore be dismissed with prejudice. 6. Plaintiff may be able to amend the complaint to name state actors who were personally involved in the alleged unconstitutional conditions of confinement, however. To that end, the Court shall grant Plaintiff leave to amend the complaint within 30 days of the date of this order.1 1 The amended complaint shall be subject to screening prior to service. 2 7. 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 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. 8. For the reasons stated above, the complaint is dismissed without prejudice for failure to state a claim. The Court will reopen the matter in the event Plaintiff files an amended complaint within the time allotted by the Court. 9. An appropriate order follows. November 23, 2016 Date s/ Jerome B. Simandle JEROME B. SIMANDLE Chief U.S. District Judge 3