CLASS v. NO DEFENDANT LISTED, No. 1:2016cv06470 - Document 3 (D.N.J. 2017)

Court Description: OPINION. Signed by Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle on 1/4/2017. (TH, )
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CLASS v. NO DEFENDANT LISTED Doc. 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE JULIO CLASS, Plaintiff, v. Civil Action No. 16-cv-06470(JBS-AMD) NO DEFENDANT LISTED, Defendant. OPINION APPEARANCES: Julio Class 6534 Park Ave. Pennsauken, NJ 08109 SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge: 1. Plaintiff Julio Class seeks to bring a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 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 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)). 5. Plaintiff has not named a defendant in his complaint. The Complaint ordinarily would therefore be dismissed. However, though Plaintiff did not name a defendant, he has identified the Camden County Jail (“CCJ”) as an actor in the facts section of the Complaint.1 Complaint § III. The Court therefore will construe the Complaint as seeking to bring an action against the 1 Plaintiff does not, however, identify what actions the CCJ allegedly committed. 2 CCJ. But because the CCJ is not a “state actor” within the meaning of § 1983, any purported claims against it must be dismissed with prejudice. See Crawford v. McMillian, No. 163412, 2016 WL 6134846 (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)). 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.2 7. Plaintiff is advised that the amended complaint 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. The factual portion of the complaint states in its entirety, “over[crowded].” Complaint § III. Plaintiff also states that he slept on the floor. 3 Id. § III.A. Even accepting these statements as true for screening purposes only, there is not enough factual support for the Court 2 The amended complaint shall be subject to screening prior to service. 3 In the caption portion of the Complaint, in the space designated for identifying the defendant, Plaintiff also states that he slept on the floor, that he was urinated on (presumably while sleeping on the floor), and that he “got to eat one time . . . .” Complaint at 1. 3 to infer a constitutional violation has occurred. In addition, Plaintiff has not alleged any injuries or stated a requested remedy. Complaint §§ IV, V. 8. The mere fact that an individual is lodged temporarily in a cell with more persons than its intended design does not rise to the level of a constitutional violation. See Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 348–50 (1981) (holding double-celling by itself did not violate Eighth Amendment); Carson v. Mulvihill, 488 F. App'x 554, 560 (3d Cir. 2012) (“[M]ere double-bunking does not constitute punishment, because there is no ‘one man, one cell principle lurking in the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.’” (quoting Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 542 (1979))). More is needed to demonstrate that such crowded conditions, for a pretrial detainee, shocks the conscience and thus violates due process rights. See Hubbard v. Taylor, 538 F.3d 229, 233 (3d Cir. 2008) (noting due process analysis requires courts to consider whether the totality of the conditions “cause inmates to endure such genuine privations and hardship over an extended period of time, that the adverse conditions become excessive in relation to the purposes assigned to them.”). 9. In the event Plaintiff files an amended complaint, he should include specific facts, such as the specific dates and length of his confinement(s), whether he was a pretrial detainee 4 or convicted prisoner, any specific individuals who were involved in creating or failing to remedy the conditions of confinement, and any other relevant facts regarding the conditions of confinement. 10. 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. 11. 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. 5 12. An appropriate order follows. January 4, 2017 Date s/ Jerome B. Simandle JEROME B. SIMANDLE Chief U.S. District Judge 6