United States District Court, D. South Carolina
February 9, 2015
Kevin Richard Dextraze, Plaintiff,
Florence County Department of Corrections; Officer Eli, Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BRISTOW MARCHANT, Magistrate Judge.
The Plaintiff, Kevin Richard Dextraze, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. At the time of the alleged incidents, Plaintiff was a pretrial detainee. He is currently an inmate at the Turbeville Correctional Institution, part of the South Carolina Department of Corrections system. Plaintiff alleges that his constitutional rights were violated while he was detained at the Defendant Florence County Department of Corrections (which appears to be the Florence County Detention Center).
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 and § 1915A, the Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub.L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (1996), and in light of the following precedents: Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25 (1992), Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319 (1989), Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972), Nasim v. Warden, Maryland House of Corr., 64 F.3d 951 (4th Cir. 1995), and Todd v. Baskerville, 712 F.2d 70 (4th Cir. 1983). Pro se complaints are held to a less stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys, Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978), and a federal district court is charged with liberally construing a pro se complaint to allow the development of a potentially meritorious case. Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9 (1980); Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319 (1972); Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-56 (2007)).
However, the requirement of liberal construction does not mean that the court can ignore a clear failure in the pleading to allege facts which set forth a claim cognizable in a federal district court; see Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009) [outlining pleading requirements under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure]; and Courts have routinely held that inanimate objects such as buildings, facilities, and grounds, such as the Florence County Detention Center, do not act under color of state law, and are not a "person" subject to suit under § 1983. See Allison v. California Adult Auth., 419 F.2d 822, 823 (9th Cir. 1969)[California Adult Authority and San Quentin Prison not "person[s]" subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983]; Nelson v. Lexington Cnty. Det. Ctr., C/A No. 8:10-2988-JMC, 2011 WL 2066551, at *1 (D.S.C. May 26, 2011) [Finding that a detention center, as a building and not a person, was not amenable to suit under § 1983]; Preval v. Reno, 57 F.Supp.2d 307, 310 (E.D. Va. 1999)["[T]he Piedmont Regional Jail is not a person, ' and therefore not amenable to suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983."]; Brooks v. Pembroke City Jail, 722 F.Supp. 1294, 1301(E.D. N.C. 1989)["Claims under § 1983 are directed at persons' and the jail is not a person amenable to suit."]. Therefore, the "Florence County Department of Corrections" [Florence County Detention Center] is entitled to dismissal as a party Defendant.
Based on the foregoing, it is recommended that the Court dismiss the Defendant Florence County Department of Corrections, without prejudice and without issuance and service of process. The Complaint should be served on the remaining Defendant.