NICKS v. CAMDEN COUNTY JAIL, No. 1:2016cv08956 - Document 2 (D.N.J. 2017)

Court Description: OPINION FILED. Signed by Chief Judge Jerome B. Simandle on 4/24/17. (js)
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NICKS v. CAMDEN COUNTY JAIL Doc. 2 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY SHAWN NICKS, HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE Plaintiff, Civil Action No. 16-8956(JBS-AMD) v. CAMDEN COUNTY JAIL, OPINION Defendant. APPEARANCES: Shawn Nicks, Plaintiff Pro Se 1339 Chase Street Camden, NJ 08104 SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge: INTRODUCTION Shawn Nicks seeks to bring a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Camden County Jail (“CCJ”). Complaint, Docket Entry 1. Based on Plaintiff’s affidavit of indigency, the Court will grant his application to proceed in forma pauperis. 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. Dockets.Justia.com 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. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii). II. BACKGROUND Plaintiff alleges that he was detained in the CCJ on the following dates: February 14 to February 17, 2002; April 30, 2003 to June 6, 2003; July 2, 2004; November 15 to November 17, 2004; July 26, 2005 to August 26, 2005; October 6 to October 12, 2006; April 13 to April 16, 2007; January 2, 2009 to February 13, 2009; and June 23, 2009 to January 22, 2010. Complaint § III. He further alleges that during these various detention he was forced to sleep on the ground. 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 2 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) (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)). IV. DISCUSSION Plaintiff’s complaint alleges that he experienced unconstitutional conditions of confinement while he was detained in the CCJ during various detentions between 2002 and 2010. 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 3 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 CCJ would have been immediately apparent to Plaintiff at the time of his detention; therefore, the statute of limitations for Plaintiff’s claims expired in 2012 at the latest, 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 2002 and 2010. Ostuni v. Wa Wa's Mart, 532 F. App’x 110, 112 (3d Cir. 2013) 4 (per curiam) (affirming dismissal with prejudice due to expiration of statute of limitations). V. CONCLUSION For the reasons stated above, the complaint is dismissed with prejudice for failure to state a claim. An appropriate order follows. April 24, 2017 Date s/ Jerome B. Simandle JEROME B. SIMANDLE Chief U.S. District Judge 5