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Gilbert v. Byars

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division

July 18, 2014

Bobby Gilbert and Carl Pollen, Plaintiffs,
v.
William R. Byars, Agency Director, South Carolina Department of Corrections; Joseph McFadden, Warden; Dante Wright; Jerome Middleton; Rachel Ladagga; Ms. Ropper; Ms. Fowler; Thomas Sears; and Tarrance Jackson, Defendants.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

WALLACE W. DIXON, Magistrate Judge.

This civil rights action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983[1] and various state tort causes of action by two state prisoners proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis is before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge for a report and recommendation on the Defendants' motions to dismiss, or, in the alternative, for summary judgment filed on January 23, 2014. (Doc. 61). 28 U.S.C. § 636(b).

On July 14, 2013, Plaintiffs filed this action in the Court of Common Pleas for Dorchester County, South Carolina. On August 9, 2013, Defendants removed the suit to this court under the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §§1331 and 1441(c) as Plaintiffs claims invoked 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and therefore federal question jurisdiction since it alleged that Defendants, while acting under color of State law as corrections officers and administrators, did deprive Plaintiffs of certain rights, privileges, and/or immunities secured by the Constitution. Specifically, Plaintiffs reference three (3) separate incidents in which they allege certain Defendants violated their Eighth Amendment rights to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, i.e., excessive use of force and deliberate indifference to serious medical needs. They seek monetary damages.

The Plaintiffs, Bobby Gilbert ("Gilbert") and Carl Pollen ("Pollen")[2] are inmates incarcerated for life and presently housed at Leiber Correctional Institution ("LCI"), a facility of the South Carolina Department of Corrections ("SCDC"). At the time of the events at issue, Gilbert and Pollen shared a cell on LCI's Special Management Unit ("SMU").

Defendant Byars is the former Director of SCDC. Defendant McFadden is the Warden of LCI. Defendants Wright, Middleton, Sears, and Jackson were correctional officers working on the SMU at LCI. Defendant Fowler was a Licensed Practical Nurse employed by SCDC and working at LCI. Defendants Ladagga and Roper were non-SCDC employed contract nurses providing services at LCI.

On January 23 and 24, 2014, the Plaintiffs were provided a copy of the Defendants' motions and were given an explanation of dismissal and summary judgment procedure, as well as pertinent extracts from Rules 12 and 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure similar to that required by Roseboro v. Garrison , 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir.1975). On February 24, 2014, Plaintiff Gilbert filed a motion pursuant to Rule 56 (d) which the Defendants opposed on March 2 and 13, 2014.[3] Plaintiff Gilbert filed his opposition to the dispositive motion with his affidavit and exhibits on March 19, 2014. On March 31, 2014, the Defendants replied to Gilbert's response. The case was reassigned to the undersigned on June 5, 2014. Hence it appears consideration of the motions is appropriate.

GROUNDS PRESENTED

Defendants moved for judgment as a matter of law based upon the following legal grounds:

1. Plaintiffs have failed to exhaust their administrative remedies prior to filing suit.
2. Plaintiffs' 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims against Defendants in their official capacities are barred pursuant to Eleventh Amendment Immunity.
3. There is no evidence to support Plaintiffs' claims of supervisory liability against former Director Byars or Warden McFadden in their individual capacities.
4. There is no evidence that Defendants Wright, Sears, Jackson, and/or Middleton used excessive force and/or knowingly violated Plaintiffs' constitutional rights.
5. There is no evidence that Defendants Wright, Sears, Jackson, Middleton, and/or Fowler were deliberately indifferent to any ...

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