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Odom v. Haley

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

May 29, 2015

Christopher Odom, Plaintiff,
Governor Nikki Haley; Mayor Joe Riley; Mayor Keith Sumney; State Attorney General Alan Wilson; PD Ashley Pennington; Prosecutor Scarlet Wilson; Michael Grant; Dollar Tree; MUSC; Dr. Stephanie Montgomery; CARTA Bus Co.; CARTA Bus Wheelchair Lift Manufacturer; CARTA Bus Insurer; CARTA Bus Driver John; Officer Cherry; Officer Ho; Unknown Officer who was with Officer Ho on Dec. 16, 2014; Officer Tugya; Charleston Police Department; City of North Charleston Police Department; City of Charleston Taxpayers; S.C. State Taxpayers; County of Charleston Taxpayers; City of North Charleston Taxpayers; CHAMPUS; Sheriff Al Cannon; FNU LNU Female Victim Advocate; FNU LNU Doctors from MUSC who approved placement of Plaintiff in SCDMH; Officer Richardson, Defendants.


KAYMANI D. WEST, Magistrate Judge.

This is a civil action filed pro se by a person detained at a local detention center. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(e) (D.S.C.), this magistrate judge is authorized to review all pretrial matters in such pro se cases and to submit findings and recommendations to the district court. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e); 1915A (as soon as possible after docketing, district courts should review prisoner cases to determine whether they are subject to summary dismissal).

I. Factual Background

In the three-page Complaint, ECF No. 1, and eight pages of supplemental pleadings, ECF Nos. 1-2, 1-3, 1-5, filed in this case and now under review, Christopher Owens ("Plaintiff") attempts to state claims for damages against many of the same persons and entities he has unsuccessfully attempted to sue previously in one or more of the 27 non-habeas civil actions he has instituted in this court since December 1998. See Colonial Penn Ins. Co. v. Coil, 887 F.2d 1236, 1239 (4th Cir. 1989) ("[t]he most frequent use of judicial notice of ascertainable facts is in noticing the content of court records.'").[1] Some of his allegations are repetitive of allegations made in previous cases; however, Plaintiff's Complaint also includes some allegations that appear to be based on situations that arose at some time after he filed his most recent civil action in this court, which was dismissed on October 17, 2014. Plaintiff's appeal from that dismissal concluded on April 2, 2015. See Odom v. South Carolina, No. 5:14-cv-02441-RMG (D.S.C.), appeal dismissed, 599 F.Appx. 79 (4th Cir. 2015) (Appeal No. 14-7645) (per curium). In his first supplemental pleading, Plaintiff asks this court "re-open all cases listed in U.S.C.A. # 14-7645." ECF No. 1-2.[2]

To the extent that Plaintiff's handwriting can be deciphered, it appears that he is attempting to make eight separate claims for relief in this case. In his original Complaint, Plaintiff begins his allegations in support of most of those claims with the word "complaint." Compl. 1-2, ECF No. 1. Plaintiff's three supplemental pleadings name two additional Defendants (the Female Victim Advocate and Officer Richardson) and contain additional factual allegations in support of some of the original "complaints." ECF Nos. 1-2, 1-3; 1-5. For ease of reference and to avoid confusion with the Complaint currently under review, each of Plaintiff's eight "complaints" will be referred to as "claims." A general summary of each of Plaintiff's claims, as supplemented, follows.

Claim One: Plaintiff alleges that Defendants MUSC (the Medical University of South Carolina), Dr. Stephanie Montgomery, CARTA (Charleston Area Regional Transportation Association) Bus Co., CARTA Wheelchair Lift Manufacturer, CARTA Bus Insurer, and CARTA Bus Driver John are liable to him for "negligence" and "malpractice" and "gross negligence." ECF No. 1. Plaintiff alleges that on September 18, 2012, he was placed in a wheelchair and released from MUSC by Dr. Montgomery while Plaintiff was under the influence of medication. He alleges that Dr. Montgomery did not give him any instructions about the medication he was on and did not obtain his signature before releasing him. Plaintiff further alleges that when he tried to get on a CARTA bus in the wheelchair and in a medicated state, he was injured. Id. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant CARTA Bus Driver John "did not have the wheelchair lift leveled..." and that he "rolled backward off the ramp... causing Plaintiff back and neck injury [and] concussion." Id. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant CARTA Bus Driver John did not report the incident to police and that the CARTA-related Defendants should have had "wheelchair seatbelts/safety belts for wheelchair electric lift ramp...." Id. Plaintiff demands $500, 000.00 from these Defendants.

Claim Two: Plaintiff alleges that on May 3, 2014, he was arrested on a bench warrant by Defendant Officer Cherry. Id. Plaintiff alleges that "during arrest Ofc. Cherry allowed civilian to assault Plaintiff back seat of police cruiser." Id. Plaintiff further alleges that he was "assaulted while handcuff behind his back sitting in back seat of police car/cruiser." Id. Plaintiff states that he wants to hold Defendants City of Charleston Taxpayers, City of Charleston Police Department, and Officer Cherry "liable for negligence, grossly negligence, assault." Plaintiff "[d]emand $100, 00.00 dollars to make Plaintiff whole again." Id.

Claim Three: Plaintiff alleges that on December 16, 2014, he was stopped by Defendant Officer Ho and then turned over to Defendant Unknown Officer, who transported Plaintiff to the Charleston County Detention Center because of an outstanding bench warrant. Id. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Officer Ho took Plaintiff's bicycle and driver's license and that, as a result, Plaintiff no longer has transportation. Id. Plaintiff asserts that both Defendant Officer Ho and Unknown Officer are "liable for replacement of a $250 bicycle and $10 for renewal of drivers license" and for another amount of money (which cannot be determined because of Plaintiff's writing) for "pain and suffering (punitive damages) for the Defendants has left the Plaintiff without transportation." Id.

Claim Four: Plaintiff states, verbatim, "On October 29th, 2012 Plaintiff hand deliver (1) 1983 civil action lawsuit at 100 Broad St. Chas. S.C. 29401 "Family Court" Judge Paul Garfinke[l] Plaintiff holds Houston v. Lack 487 at 266 (1988) of case # 95DR1005342 at request documents be amend to this entire notice here." Id. at 1.

Claim Five: Plaintiff alleges that he holds Defendants City of Charleston Police Department, City of Charleston Taxpayers, S.C. State Taxpayers, County of Charleston Taxpayers, City of North Charleston Police Department, City of North Charleston Taxpayers, and Officer Tugya liable for "(1) false arrest/imprisonment (2) placement in solitary (3) assault by [undecipherable] (4) placement in restraint chair (5) placement in incubator (6) food as weapon (7) placement in S.C.D.M.H.... involuntarily (8) children touring at S.A.C.D.C. (N. Chas police assisting exscort." Id.

Claim Six: Plaintiff alleges that he is suing Defendants Governor Haley; Mayors Riley and Sumney; Judges Garfinkel, Harrington, and Jefferson; State Attorney General Wilson; Public Defender Pennington; and Solicitor Wilson for preventing him from completing a "civil action 95DR1005342 on October 29, 2010" and "allowing Plaintiff to be place in a sicological [sic] asylum South Carolina Department of Mental Health' involuntarily and without due process...." ECF No. 1 at 2. Plaintiff also alleges that he is suing Defendant Cannon and the others previously mentioned "for failure to protect the civil rights of Plaintiff allowing Plaintiff to be involuntarily [committed]." Id. Plaintiff asks for "7 billion dollars" from these Defendants. Id. As part of his allegations on this "complaint, " Plaintiff references one of his previous habeas corpus cases: "3:11-cv-2713" and a previous appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals: "U.S.C.A. case #14-7645." ECF No. 1 at 2. In his first supplemental pleading, Plaintiff adds Defendant Tugya to the list of persons and entities that he says "are responsible liable, negligent, gross negligent, [malicious] injury, malpractice..., punitive damages due to Plaintiff (injuries [cruel and unusual punishment] deliberate indifference...." ECF No. 1-2. Plaintiff alleges that he was "place in S.C.D.M.H.... to discredit Plaintiff and Plaintiff's position of not guilty of case # K380534 and also to discredit claim(s) filed in U.S.D.C. 3:11-cv-605, 3:11-cv-606." Id. [3]

Claim Seven: Plaintiff lists the names of Defendants Grant and Dollar Tree, provides an address, and draws an arrow pointing to the words "false arrest for strong arm robbery... case # XXXXXXXXXXXX." ECF No. 1 at 2. Plaintiff then writes "[d]emand $75, 000 dollars in reparation for defamation of character & false imprisonment." Id. In his supplemental pleadings, Plaintiff alleges that he is suing Grant and Dollar Tree for punitive damages in the amount of $150, 000.00. ECF No. 1-5 at 3. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant Female Victim Advocate is liable to him for "defamation and slander" because she allegedly appeared at an April 29, 2015 bond hearing in a pending criminal action in Charleston County, which he calls "warrant 2015A1010201892, " and demanded that Plaintiff receive punishment. ECF No. 1-1 at 1.[4] Plaintiff also supplementally alleges that Defendant Officer Richardson is liable to him for compensatory and punitive damages for "negligence" "false arrest" and "defamation and slander" and "cruel and unusual punishment, malicious prosecution and deliberate indifference of case 2015A1010201892." ECF No. 1-5 at 2.

Claim Eight: Plaintiff demands "$16 million in damages from false incarceration warrant # K380534, warrant # K380533 from October 12, 2010 thru making Plaintiff whole again, from causing Plaintiff to have pre-existing condition." ECF No. 1 at 3. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant MUSC, an unnamed doctor "whom authorize placement of Plaintiff in S.C.D.M.H., " and Defendant CHAMPUS are responsible for having Plaintiff involuntarily committed, and that Defendant Tugya "assaulted Plaintiff on date of warrant K380534 physically and physically with chemical spray." Id. Plaintiff asserts a "demand [to] re-open of case K380534, U.S.D.C. 3:11-cv-2715)..." Id. Plaintiff also references previous habeas case No. 3:11-cv-2713 and appeal No. 14-7645 in his allegations about this "complaint." ECF No. 1 at 3. In supplemental allegations, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Officer Tugya "fabricated" a warrant ("warrant # K380534") that resulted in "false imprisonment" and "malicious prosecution." ECF No. 1-5 at 1.[5] He asserts that a hearing was "in session" in a case numbered "# 95DR1005342" on "October 29, 2010, " and that "warrant # K380534, Ofc. Tugya should not supercede an open ...

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