HILL v. CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, No. 1:2016cv06979 - Document 4 (D.N.J. 2017)

Court Description: OPINION. Signed by Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle on 2/9/2017. (TH, )
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HILL v. CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY Doc. 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE BRIAN HILL, Plaintiff, Civil Action No. 16-cv-06979 (JBS-AMD) v. CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, OPINION Defendant. APPEARANCES: Brian Hill, Plaintiff Pro Se 1247 Empire Avenue, Apt. B Camden, NJ 08103 SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge: 1. Plaintiff Brian Hill seeks to bring a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Camden County Correctional Facility (“CCCF”) for allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement. Complaint, Docket Entry 1. 2. Per the Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub. L. No. 104- 134, §§ 801-810, 110 Stat. 1321-66 to 1321-77 (April 26, 1996) (“PLRA”), district courts must review complaints prior to service in those civil actions in which a prisoner is proceeding in forma pauperis (see 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)), seeks redress against a governmental employee or entity (see 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)), or brings a claim with respect to prison conditions (see 42 U.S.C. § 1997e). The PLRA directs district courts to sua 1 Dockets.Justia.com 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. 3. Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires pleadings to contain “a short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction . . . a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and demand for the relief sought . . . .” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(1)-(3). 4. Plaintiff has named CCCF as the sole defendant in his Complaint; however, the Complaint itself is blank. Complaint §§ II-V. As such, the Court cannot discern what cause of action Plaintiff intends to pursue against the CCCF. The Complaint must therefore be dismissed for failure to state a claim. 5. To survive sua sponte screening for failure to state a claim1, the Complaint must allege “sufficient factual matter” to 1 “The legal standard for dismissing a complaint for failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is the same as that for dismissing a complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).” Samuels v. Health Dep’t, No. 161289, 2017 WL 26884, slip op. at *2 (D.N.J. Jan. 3, 2017) (citing Schreane v. Seana, 506 F. App’x 120, 122 (3d Cir. 2012)); Allah v. Seiverling, 229 F.3d 220, 223 (3d Cir. 2000)); Mitchell v. Beard, 492 F. App’x 230, 232 (3d Cir. 2012) 2 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)). Moreover, while pro se pleadings are liberally construed, “pro se litigants still must allege sufficient facts in their complaints to support a claim.” Mala v. Crown Bay Marina, Inc., 704 F.3d 239, 245 (3d Cir. 2013) (citation omitted) (emphasis added). 6. Here, Plaintiff’s Complaint alleges no facts whatsoever in relation to his statement of claim against the CCCF (Complaint § III(C)), purported injuries caused by CCCF (id. § IV), or requested relief sought from the CCCF (id. § V). (discussing 28 U.S.C. § 1997e(c)(1)); Courteau v. United States, 287 F. App’x 159, 162 (3d Cir. 2008) (discussing 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)). 3 7. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s claims must be dismissed because the Complaint does not set forth any factual support for the Court to infer that a constitutional violation has occurred. 8. Furthermore, the Complaint must be dismissed with prejudice as to claims made against CCCF because defendant is not a “state actor” within the meaning of § 1983. See Crawford v. McMillian, 660 F. App’x 113, 116 (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)); Grabow v. Southern State Corr. Facility, 726 F. Supp. 537, 538–39 (D.N.J. 1989) (correctional facility is not a “person” under § 1983). 9. Plaintiff may be able to amend the Complaint to address the deficiencies noted by the Court. To that end, the Court shall grant Plaintiff leave to amend the Complaint within 30 days of the date of this order.2 10. Plaintiff is further advised that any amended complaint must plead specific facts regarding the alleged violations. In the event Plaintiff files an amended complaint, Plaintiff 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. 2 The amended complaint shall be subject to screening prior to service. 4 11. 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. 12. For the reasons stated above, the Complaint is dismissed without prejudice for failure to state a claim. 13. An appropriate order follows. February 9, 2017 Date s/ Jerome B. Simandle JEROME B. SIMANDLE Chief U.S. District Judge 5