United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
A. MCHUGH, JUDGE
David Williams, who was formerly incarcerated at George W.
Hill Correctional Facility (“GWH”), filed this
civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on
allegations that his constitutional rights were violated in
connection with his incarceration. He seeks to proceed in
forma pauperis. For the following reasons, the Court
will grant Williams leave to proceed in forma
pauperis and dismiss his Complaint for failure to state
Complaint is quite brief. He alleges that from August 7, 2019
to August 12, 2019, while he was incarcerated at GWH, he had
to sleep on the floor with 15 other people and also had to
sleep in the prison gym. (ECF No. 2 at 3.) He alleges that
this made his back hurt and that it still hurts.
(Id. at 4.) The only Defendant Williams names is
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Court grants Williams leave to proceed in forma
pauperis because it appears that he is incapable of
paying the fees to commence this civil action. Accordingly,
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) applies, which requires
the Court to dismiss the Complaint if it fails to state a
claim. Whether a complaint fails to state a claim under
§ 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) is governed by the same standard
applicable to motions to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6), see Tourscher v. McCullough, 184
F.3d 236, 240 (3d Cir. 1999), which requires the Court to
determine whether the complaint contains “sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quotations omitted).
Conclusory allegations do not suffice. Id. As
Williams is proceeding pro se, the Court construes
his allegations liberally. Higgs v. Att'y Gen.,
655 F.3d 333, 339 (3d Cir. 2011).
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the
violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of
the United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation
was committed by a person acting under color of state
law.” West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
The § 1983 claim against GWH must be dismissed since a
jail is not a “person” under Section 1983.
Miller v. Curran-Fromhold Corr. Facility, Civ. A.
No. 13-7680, 2014 WL 4055846, at *2 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 13, 2014)
(citing Mitchell v. Chester Cty. Farms Prison, 426
F.Supp. 271 (E.D. Pa. 1976).
Williams had named a proper “person” as a
defendant, his claim would still fail. Pretrial detainees
like Williams are protected from “punishment” by
the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Bell
v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535 (1979). Unconstitutional
punishment, be it under the Eighth Amendment applicable to
convicted prisoners or the Fourteenth Amendment applicable to
pretrial detainees, typically includes both objective and
subjective components. Stevenson v. Carroll, 495
F.3d 62, 68 (3d Cir. 2007). The objective component requires
an inquiry into whether “the deprivation [was]
sufficiently serious” and the subjective component asks
whether “the officials act[ed] with a sufficiently
culpable state of mind[.]” Id. (citing
Wilson, 501 U.S. at 298; Bell, 441 U.S. at
538-39, 539 n.20).
inmates sleep on a floor or in a gym for a period of four
days, would hardly represent sound institutional practice,
but would not constitute a sufficiently serious deprivation
to state a plausible claim for relief that Williams was
subjected to punishment. See, e.g., Hubbard v.
Taylor, 538 F.3d 229, 232-35 (3d Cir. 2008)
(triple-celling of pretrial detainees, some of whom were made
inmates sleep on floor mattresses for three to seven months,
and housing of detainees in gym, weight room, and receiving
area due to overcrowding, did not amount to punishment);
Walker v. George W. Hill Corr. Facility, Civ. A. No.
18-2724, 2018 WL 3430678, at *3 (E.D. Pa. July 13, 2018)
(concluding that prisoner plaintiff's claims that
“he was forced to share a cell with two other
individuals and that he was forced to sleep on the floor
inside what was described as a boat unit” and that
“his sleeping area was a very unhealthy and unsanitary
space two feet from the toilet bowl” failed to state a
claim with respect to allegations of overcrowding).
Williams's Complaint will be dismissed. The dismissal
will be with prejudice since any attempt at amendment would
 The Court adopts the pagination
supplied by the CM/ECF docketing ...