NOCK v. CAMDEN COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY

1:16-cv-06934 | D.N.J. | Feb 7, 2017

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY HONORABLE JEROME B. SIMANDLE BEVERLY NOCK, Plaintiff, Civil Action v. No. 16-cv-06934 (JBS-AMD) CAMDEN COUNTY OPINION CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, Defendant.

APPEARANCES: Beverly Nock, Plaintiff Pro Se 1225 Thurman Street Camden, NJ 08104 SIMANDLE, Chief District Judge: I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff Beverly Nock seeks to bring a civil rights complaint against Camden County Correctional Facility (“CCCF”) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement. Complaint, Docket Entry 1.

28 U.S.C. 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 Section 1915(e)(2)(B) because Plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis .

For the reasons set forth below, the Court will dismiss the Complaint with prejudice for failure to state a claim. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(b)(ii).

II. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff’s Complaint states: “When I was in Camden County Correctional Facility I had to sleep on the floor under the toilet. It was so crowded my head was jammed underneath the toilet bowl. I think that was a disgrace. I was on a bare floor with nothing[.] No blanket or anything.” Complaint § III(C).

Plaintiff states that the alleged events giving rise to these claims occurred: “November 2005.” Id . § III(B). Plaintiff does not identify or otherwise describe any alleged injuries arising from these claims. Id . § IV. Plaintiff does not identify or otherwise describe any relief requested in connection with these claims. Id . § V.

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

To survive sua sponte screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) for failure to state a claim, a complaint must allege “sufficient factual matter” to show that the claim is facially plausible. Fowler v. UPMS Shadyside , 578 F.3d 203" date_filed="2009-08-18" court="3rd Cir." case_name="Fowler v. UPMC 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" date_filed="2014-09-04" court="3rd Cir." case_name="Fair Wind Sailing Inc v. H. 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" date_filed="2009-05-18" court="SCOTUS" case_name="Ashcroft v. Iqbal">556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544" date_filed="2007-05-21" court="SCOTUS" case_name="Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly">550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).

IV. DISCUSSION

Plaintiff asserts claims against CCCF for allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement. Primarily, the Complaint must be dismissed as CCCF is not a “state actor” within the meaning of § 1983. See , e.g. , Grabow v. Southern State Corr. Facility , 726 F. Supp. 537" date_filed="1989-10-16" court="D.N.J." case_name="Grabow v. Southern State Correctional Facility">726 F. Supp. 537, 538–39 (D.N.J. 1989) (correctional facility is not a “person” under § 1983). Accordingly, the claims against CCCF must be dismissed with prejudice.

Furthermore, “plaintiffs who file complaints subject to dismissal should receive leave to amend unless amendment would be inequitable under [§ 1915] or futile.” Grayson v. Mayview State Hosp. , 293 F.3d 103" date_filed="2002-06-07" court="3rd Cir." case_name="Norman Grayson v. Mayview State Hospital Allegheny County Jail Camp Hill Prison United States of America, Intervenor">293 F.3d 103, 114 (3d Cir. 2002). This Court denies leave to amend at this time as Plaintiff’s Complaint is barred by the statute of limitations, which is governed by New Jersey's two-year limitations period for personal injury. [1] See Wilson v. Garcia , 471 U.S. 261" date_filed="1985-04-17" court="SCOTUS" case_name="Wilson v. Garcia">471 U.S. 261, 276 (1985); Dique v. N.J. State Police , 603 F.3d 181" date_filed="2010-05-06" court="3rd Cir." case_name="Dique v. New Jersey State Police">603 F.3d 181, 185 (3d Cir. 2010). The accrual date of a § 1983 action is determined by federal law, however. Wallace v. Kato , 549 U.S. 384" date_filed="2007-02-21" court="SCOTUS" case_name="Wallace v. Kato">549 U.S. 384, 388 (2007); Montanez v. Sec'y Pa. Dep't of Corr. , 773 F.3d 472" date_filed="2014-08-15" court="3rd Cir." case_name="Montanez v. Secretary Pennsylvania Department of Corrections">773 F.3d 472, 480 (3d Cir. 2014). “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 , 773 F.3d at 480 (internal quotation marks omitted).

Plaintiff states that the alleged events giving rise to her claims occurred: “November 2005.” Complaint § III(B). The allegedly unconstitutional conditions of confinement at CCCF would have been immediately apparent to Plaintiff at the time of detention. Accordingly, the statute of limitations for Plaintiff’s claims expired in November 2007. As there are no grounds for equitable tolling of the statute of limitations, [2] the Complaint will be dismissed with prejudice. Ostuni v. Wa Wa's Mart , 532 F. App’x 110" date_filed="2013-08-22" court="3rd Cir." case_name="Lisa Ostuni v. WaWa Mart">532 F. App’x 110, 112 (3d Cir. 2013) (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.

February 7, 2017 s/ Jerome B. Simandle Date JEROME B. SIMANDLE

Chief U.S. District Judge 162, 166 (3d Cir. 2014) (quoting Santos ex rel. Beato v. United States , 559 F.3d 189" date_filed="2009-03-11" court="3rd Cir." case_name="Santos Ex Rel. Beato v. United States">559 F.3d 189, 197 (3d Cir. 2009)).

NOTES

[1] “Although the running of the statute of limitations is ordinarily an affirmative defense, where that defense is obvious from the face of the complaint and no development of the record is necessary, a court may dismiss a time-barred complaint sua sponte under § 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to state a claim.” Ostuni v. Wa Wa's Mart , 532 F. App’x 110, 111–12 (3d Cir. 2013) (per curiam).

[2] Equitable tolling “is only appropriate ‘(1) where the defendant has actively misled the plaintiff respecting the plaintiff's cause of action; (2) where the plaintiff in some extraordinary way has been prevented from asserting his or her rights; or (3) where the plaintiff has timely asserted his or her rights mistakenly in the wrong forum.’” Omar v. Blackman , 590 F. App’x