United States District Court, D. South Carolina
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
JACQUELYN D. AUSTIN, Magistrate Judge.
Dontay Hunt ("Plaintiff"), proceeding pro se,
brings this civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983.
Plaintiff apparently is detained at the Columbia Regional
Care Center. He files this action in forma
pauperis under 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915. The Complaint is
subject to summary dismissal.
alleges the following facts. On or about February 26, 2012,
Plaintiff became a detainee in the Beaufort County Detention
Center facing a criminal murder charge. [Doc. 1.] He was
exposed to infectious diseases, including staff infection and
tuberculosis. [ Id. ] The conditions in the
detention center were unfavorable and harmful. [ Id.
] Because of the poor conditions, an open wound on
Plaintiff's right foot became infected. [ Id. ]
"Plaintiff was subject to catch tuberculosis in
detention center. Plaintiff was subject to sexual assault by
another inmate." [ Id. ]
relief, Plaintiff seeks a "DHEC investigation" and
damages. [ Id. ]
Court takes judicial notice that on or about October 28,
2015, Plaintiff filed a civil action against the Beaufort
County Detention Center and several individuals, and on
February 4, 2016, this Court dismissed the Beaufort County
Detention Center without prejudice. See Order,
Hunt v. Beaufort Cnty. Det. Ctr. et al., C/A No.
8:15-4386-TMC-JDA (D.S.C. Feb. 4, 2016), ECF No. 38. In this
prior action, Plaintiff complains about the unsanitary
conditions of the detention center and his foot wound
becoming infected; he seeks damages and a DHEC investigation.
See Report and Recommendation, Hunt v. Beaufort
Cnty. Det. Ctr. et al., C/A No. 8:15-4386-TMC-JDA
(D.S.C. Dec. 17, 2015), ECF No. 17. This prior action is
to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. Â§636(b)(1)(B), and Local Civil
Rule 73.02(B)(2)(e) DSC, the undersigned is authorized to
review the Complaint for relief and submit findings and
recommendations to the District Court. Plaintiff filed this
action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915, the in forma
pauperis statute. This statute authorizes the District
Court to dismiss a case if it is satisfied that the action
"fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted,
" is "frivolous or malicious, " or "seeks
monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief." 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915(e)(2)(B).
pro se litigant, Plaintiff's pleadings are accorded
liberal construction and held to a less stringent standard
than formal pleadings drafted by attorneys. See
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) ( per
curiam ). However, even under this less stringent
standard, the pro se pleading remains subject to summary
dismissal. The mandated liberal construction afforded to pro
se pleadings means that if the court can reasonably read the
pleadings to state a valid claim on which Plaintiff could
prevail, it should do so, but a district court may not
rewrite a petition to include claims that were never
presented, Barnett v. Hargett, 174 F.3d 1128, 1133
(10th Cir. 1999), or construct Plaintiff's legal
arguments for him, Small v. Endicott, 998 F.2d 411,
417-18 (7th Cir. 1993), or "conjure up questions never
squarely presented" to the court, Beaudett v. City
of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985). 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).
Complaint is filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983, which
"is not itself a source of substantive rights, ' but
merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights
elsewhere conferred.'" Albright v. Oliver,
510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994) (quoting Baker v. McCollan,
443 U.S. 137, 144 n.3 (1979)). A civil action under Â§ 1983
"creates a private right of action to vindicate
violations of rights, privileges, or immunities secured by
the Constitution and laws' of the United States."
Rehberg v. Paulk, 132 S.Ct. 1497, 1501 (2012). To
state a claim under Â§ 1983, a plaintiff must allege two
essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and
(2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person
acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
Beaufort County is considered a person subject to suit
pursuant to Â§ 1983, local government bodies may be liable
only where official policy or custom caused a plaintiff's
injury. See Connick v. Thompson, 131 S.Ct.
1350, 1359 (2011); Monell v. New York City Dept. of Soc.
Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 689-90 (1978). A county is not
vicariously liable under Â§ 1983 for its employees'
actions. Connick, 131 S.Ct. at 1359. Thus, a
plaintiff must identify a municipal "policy" or
"custom" that caused the plaintiff's injury.
Id. Here, Plaintiff makes no such allegation, so he
fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted.
Plaintiff's claim seems to be frivolous or malicious
because this Court has already explained to Plaintiff that
Beaufort County cannot be sued pursuant to Â§ 1983 unless
official policy or custom caused his injury. See
Report and Recommendation, Hunt v. Beaufort Cnty. Det.
Ctr. et al., C/A No. 8:15-4386-TMC-JDA ...