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Parham v. Greenville County Detention Center

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

September 24, 2014

James Todd Parham, Plaintiff,
v.
Greenville County Detention Center, Defendant.

REPORT OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE

KEVIN F. McDONALD, Magistrate Judge.

The plaintiff, a pre-trial detainee proceeding pro se, seeks relief pursuant to Title 42, United States Code, Section 1983. Pursuant to the provisions of Title 28, United States Code, Section 636(b)(1)(B), and Local Civ. Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d) (D.S.C.), this magistrate judge is authorized to review all pretrial matters in cases filed under Title 42, United States Code, Section 1983, and submit findings and recommendations to the district court.

In the complaint, the plaintiff complains about not being able to place "prepaid" telephone calls and about the lack of a kosher diet. The plaintiff alleges that upon arrival at the detention center he was not allowed to place a phone call and, as of August 25, 2014, still has not been allowed to place a phone call because he arrived with no cash. The plaintiff also alleges that he has not been allowed to place a "prepaid" call. The plaintiff further argues that he requested a kosher diet upon his arrival on August 19th and still has not received it. He claims he is reluctantly eating fruits and vegetables that are not kosher. The plaintiff contends that he has made "many attempts in writing, verbally and electronically with no response" and that he being injured by the Greenville County Detention Center because they will not allow him to contact his family or receive a kosher diet (comp. 2-3). In his prayer for relief, the plaintiff seeks the dismissal of all charges, release from jail, $1, 000 for every day that he has not been allowed to place a phone call, and $1, 000 for every day that he has not received a kosher diet ( Id. at 4).

Under established local procedure in this judicial district, a careful review has been made of the pro se complaint pursuant to the procedural provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1915, 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and the Prison Litigation Reform Act. The plaintiff is a pro se litigant, and thus his pleadings are accorded liberal construction. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 90-95 (2007)( per curiam ). When a federal court is evaluating a pro se complaint or petition, the plaintiff's or petitioner's allegations are assumed to be true. Merriweather v. Reynolds, 586 F.Supp.2d 548, 554 (D.S.C. 2008). Even under this less stringent standard, the complaint is subject to summary dismissal. The requirement of liberal construction does not mean that the court can ignore a clear failure in the pleading to allege facts that set forth a claim currently cognizable in a federal district court. Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 390-91 (4th Cir. 1990).

The Greenville County Detention Center is subject to summary dismissal because it is not a "person" subject to suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The detention center is a group of buildings or a facility. Inanimate objects) such as buildings, facilities, and grounds) do not act under color of state law. Hence, the Greenville County Detention Center is not a "person" subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, see Jones v. Lexington Cnty. Det. Ctr., 586 F.Supp.2d 444, 451 (D.S.C. 2008) (collecting cases), and is, therefore, therefore, entitled to summary dismissal as a party defendant.

Based on the foregoing, it is recommended that the district court summarily dismiss the above-captioned case without prejudice and without service of process.


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