United States District Court, D. South Carolina
Jason M. Carter, Plaintiff,
State of South Carolina; Greg Reed; Oconee County Sheriff's Office; Oconee County Detention Center; Harvey Miller; George McConnell; Mark Blinkley; Monique Lee; Nikki Haley; South Carolina Lt. Gov's Office of Ageing; S. Baker; South Carolina Department of Mental Health Public Safety Chief Adm.; Oconee, County of; Richland, County of; Oconee County Police Department; South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Defendants.
KAYMANI D. WEST, Magistrate Judge.
This is a civil action filed by a pro se litigant involuntarily confined in the South Carolina Department of Mental Health after being found not guilty of certain criminal charges by reason of insanity criminal charges in Oconee County, South Carolina. Under Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2) (D.S.C.), pretrial proceedings in this action have been referred to the assigned United States Magistrate Judge. The pro se Complaint is currently pending before this court on the required initial review of such pleadings. See Local Civ. R. 73.02(B)(2)(e) (D.S.C.); In Re Prison Litigation Reform Act, 105 F.3d 1131, 1134 (6th Cir. 1997) (pleadings by non-prisoners should also be screened).
Plaintiff has paid the full costs of filing this case. (Receipt No. SCX400009745).
Although initial review is not complete and, therefore, service on any Defendant has not been directed, Plaintiff has filed several Motions that will be addressed in this Order.
MOTION TO GRANT FEDERAL WITNESS STATUS, ECF No. 14:
Plaintiff asks this court to "grant [him] federal witness status" because he alleges that the Defendant State of South Carolina is corrupt and overly powerful. He alleges that he needs this status to put him on equal footing with the Defendants in this case. ECF No. 14. Until such time as the initial review process is completed, there will be no determination of whether the Complaint submitted in this case will be served on any Defendant. Thus, a request for protective status for Plaintiff at this stage of the litigation is entirely premature.
Plaintiff's Motion to Grant Federal Witness Status is denied without prejudice. If any portion of the Complaint is ultimately directed to be served on any Defendant, Plaintiff may re-submit his Motion at that point if he continues to believe it necessary to do so.
MOTION OF CONSIDERATION REGARDING TIME FRAME, ECF No. 18:
Plaintiff has also submitted a document that he titles as a "Motion, " but that contains legal arguments directed to a potential statute of limitations defense that might or might not be raised in response to some of the claims made in his Complaint. ECF No. 18. Until such time as service is directed on any Defendant, there is no way to determine whether or not a statute of limitations defense will be raised in this case. In any event, a pre-service motion is not the appropriate way to raise and/or respond to any potential defense that may be raised at some point in the future. If the Complaint is ultimately served on one or more Defendants, and if any served Defendant raises a statute of limitations defense in a response to service, see Fed.R.Civ.P. 8 (b), (c)(1) and 12 (regarding timing and presentation of defenses), Plaintiff can present any arguments he might have against such defense at that point in the progress of the case, but his presentation of his legal position in a pre-service motion is premature and not in compliance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motion for Consideration Regarding Time Frame is denied.
MOTION FOR COPIES FOR SERVICE, ECF No. 24:
Plaintiff asks the court to provide copies of his Complaint and summons so that he can serve Defendants. ECF No. 24. As previously indicated, this case is currently pending the initial review required for all pro se-filed cases. If, following completion of initial review, the court determines that any Defendant should be served in this case, the court will issue the appropriate order at that time and will specifically direct Plaintiff who to serve, if necessary. This is an established part of this court's procedure for addressing cases filed by pro se litigants. See In Re: Procedures in Civil Actions Filed by Prisoner Pro Se Litigants, No. 3:07-mc-5014-JFA (D.S.C. Sept. 18, 2007); see also In Re: Procedures in Civil Actions Filed by Non-Prisoner Pro Se Litigants, No. 3:07-mc-5015-JFA (D.S.C. Sept. 18, 2007). As a result, it was unnecessary for Plaintiff to submit this request by way of motion before the initial review is even completed.
Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motion for Copies for service is denied.
MOTIONS FOR EVALUATION and FOR REVIEW OF DOCUMENTS, ...