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Lesane v. Byers

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

November 3, 2014

Michael Bernard Lesane, Plaintiff,
v.
William Byers, Anthony Padula, Major James Dean, Capt. A. Pinkney, Lt. B. Durant, Sgt. Epps, Lt. Commandeer, Lt. Goodman, Officer Lighty, Dr. Stein, Nurse Fulton, Nurse Scott, Nurse Floyd, Nurse McCallaster, Defendants.

ORDER AND OPINION

MICHELLE CHILDS, District Judge.

Plaintiff Michael Bernard Lesane ("Plaintiff") filed this pro se action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff alleges excessive force, illegal detention, cruel and unusual punishment, illegal search and seizure, and a due process violation by Defendants William Byars, former director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections, [1] Warden Anthony Padula, Major James Dean, Capt. A. Pinkney, Lt. B. Durant, Sgt. Epps, Lt. Commander, Lt. Goodman, Officer Lighty, Dr. Steen, Nurse Fulton, Nurse Scott, Nurse Floyd, and Nurse McCaskill[2] (collectively "Defendants"). (ECF No. 1.) This matter is before the court on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 35).

In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rule 73.02, the matter was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks for pre-trial handling. On August 2, 2013, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation ("Report") recommending the court grant Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 58) This review considers Plaintiff's Objection to Report and Recommendation ("Objections"), filed August 21, 2013. (ECF No. 67.) For the reasons set forth herein, the court ACCEPTS the Magistrate Judge's Report. The court thereby GRANTS Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 35).

I. RELEVANT FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The facts viewed in the light most favorable to Plaintiff are discussed in the Report. ( See ECF No. 58.) The court concludes, upon its own careful review of the record, that the Magistrate Judge's factual summation is accurate and incorporates it by reference. The court will only recite herein facts pertinent to the analysis of Plaintiff's Objections.

Plaintiff is incarcerated at the Wateree River Correctional Institution within the South Carolina Department of Corrections ("SCDC"). http://www.doc.sc.gov/pubweb/institutions/ wateree.jsp (last visited October 31, 2014). At the time of the incidents alleged in his complaint, Plaintiff was housed at Lee Correctional Institution ("Lee CI"). (ECF No. 58 at 1-2.) Plaintiff alleges that on May 25, 2011, he complained of a headache and was taken to the medical unit at Lee CI. (ECF No. 16-3 at 3.) Once in the unit, two nurses, including Defendant Scott, took Plaintiff's vital signs, which were reported to Defendant Floyd. ( Id. ) Defendant Floyd then reported Plaintiff's vital signs to a doctor and returned to tell Plaintiff the doctor wanted a urinalysis. ( Id. ) Plaintiff refused to provide the urine. ( Id. ) Plaintiff alleges he was then restrained and catheterized to obtain the urine sample. ( Id. at 3-4.) Defendants allege Plaintiff's heart rate was "extremely high" and Defendant Steen wanted to perform a urinalysis to determine the proper medical treatment. (ECF No. 35-1 at 3.) Defendants allege Plaintiff was placed in handcuffs pursuant to security mandates. ( Id. ) Defendants further allege that Plaintiff did not voice any opposition to the catheterization. ( Id. )

Plaintiff filed his complaint on February 23, 2012, (ECF No. 1) and was granted leave to amend on March 23, 2012 (ECF No. 13). Plaintiff filed his amended complaint on April 6, 2012. (ECF No. 16.) Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on September 24, 2012. (ECF No. 35.) On August 2, 2013, the Magistrate Judge issued the Report, recommending the court grant Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 58.)

In the Report, the Magistrate Judge first recommended granting summary judgment as to Defendants Byars and Padula. ( Id. at 14.) As Plaintiff has not alleged any facts of personal involvement by these supervisory Defendants, the Magistrate Judge reasoned, Plaintiff could not establish liability by these Defendants under § 1983. ( Id. at 13.) In addition, the Magistrate Judge noted that as to all remaining Defendants in their official capacities, the Eleventh Amendment bars monetary damages. ( Id. at 15.) The Magistrate Judge recommended declining to grant summary judgment for Defendants in their individual capacities on the ground of failure to exhaust administrative remedies. ( Id. at 18.) The Magistrate Judge reasoned that although Plaintiff had not specifically alleged in his grievance all of the specific causes of actions he alleges in his complaint, his grievance provided "sufficient detail to alert Defendants to the claims Plaintiff now asserts." ( Id. ) The Magistrate Judge also recommended granting summary judgment for the Defendants, as they are entitled to qualified immunity. ( Id. at 25.) Finally, the Magistrate Judge recommended dismissing Plaintiff's requests for declaratory and injunctive relief as moot, as Plaintiff is no longer housed at Lee CI. ( Id. at 27.)

Plaintiff timely filed his Objections on August 21, 2013. (ECF No. 67.) Plaintiff also filed an Amended Response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment on September 9, 2013. (ECF No. 69.)

II. LEGAL STANDARD AND ANALYSIS

The Magistrate Judge's Report is made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Civil Rule 73.02 for the District of South Carolina. The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this court. The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The responsibility to make a final determination remains with this court. See Matthews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). This court is charged with making a de novo determination of those portions of the Report to which specific objections are made, and the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the Magistrate Judge's recommendation, or recommit the matter with instructions. See 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1).

Objections to a Report and Recommendation must specifically identify portions of the Report and the basis for those objections. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). "[I]n the absence of a timely filed objection, a district court need not conduct a de novo review, but instead must only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation.'" Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 316 (4th Cir. 2005) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory committee's note). Failure to timely file specific written objections to a Report will result in a waiver of the right to appeal from an Order from the court based upon the Report. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 155 (1985); Wright v. Collins, 766 F.2d 841 (4th Cir. 1985); United States v. Schronce, 727 F.2d 91, 94 (4th Cir. 1984). If the plaintiff fails to properly object because the objections lack the requisite specificity, then de novo review by the court is not required.

As Plaintiff is a pro se litigant, the court is required to liberally construe his arguments. Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978). The court addresses those arguments that, under the mandated liberal construction, it has reasonably found to state a claim. Barnett v. Hargett, 174 F.3d 1128, 1133 (10th Cir. 1999).

A. Supervisory liability, monetary damages for actions by Defendants in their official capacities, failure to exhaust, and ...


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