United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Aiken Division
Mark Holliday, Plaintiff, Pro Se.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
E. ROGERS, III, Magistrate Judge.
a detention center detainee, proceeding pro se and
in forma pauperis, brings this action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. Â§ 1983 alleging deliberate indifference to his serious
medical needs. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. Â§
636(b)(1)(B), and Local Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d) DSC, the
undersigned is authorized to review such complaints for
relief and submit findings and recommendations to a district
judge. For the reasons that follow, the undersigned
recommends that Defendant Aiken County Detention Center be
dismissed from this case without prejudice and without
issuance and service of process. In a separately docketed
order, the undersigned has authorized service of the
complaint against Defendants Robert Williams and Almaz Clark.
Mark Holliday ("Plaintiff"), an Aiken County
Detention Center detainee, asserts that on January 21, 2016
he was involved in an accident that required him to have
surgery. Following surgery, Plaintiff contends that he had an
open wound and that he was returned to the general population
placing him in "harms way". (ECF No. 1 at 5).
Plaintiff also contends that he "repeatedly" ask
for medication prescribed by his surgeon but that Defendant
Almaz Clark refused to provide his medication. Id.
Finally, he contends that Defendant Dr. Robert Williams has
refused to provide him with follow up treatment. Id.
Plaintiff seeks monetary damages from Defendants.
filed this complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915, which
permits an indigent litigant to commence an action in federal
court without prepaying the administrative costs of
proceeding with the lawsuit. To protect against possible
abuses of this privilege, the statute allows a district court
to dismiss the case upon a finding that the action fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted or is frivolous
or malicious. 28 U.S.C. Â§ 1915(e)(2) (B)(I), (ii). A finding
of frivolity can be made where the complaint lacks an
arguable basis either in law or in fact. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31, 112 S.Ct. 1728, 118 L.Ed.2d
340 (1992). A claim based on a meritless legal theory may be
dismissed sua sponte under 28 U.S.C. Â§
1915(e)(2)(B). See Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 327, 109 S.Ct. 1827, 104 L.Ed.2d 338 (1989);
Allison v. Kyle, 66 F.3d 71, 73 (5th Cir.1995).
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). A federal
district court is charged with liberally construing a
complaint filed by a pro se litigant to allow the
development of a potentially meritorious case. Erickson
v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94, 127 S.Ct. 2197, 167 L.Ed.2d
1081 (2007). When a federal court is evaluating a pro
se complaint, the plaintiff's allegations are
assumed to be true. Fine v. City of N.Y., 529 F.2d
70, 74 (2d Cir.1975). 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 the plaintiff could prevail, it should do so.
Nevertheless, 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 currently
cognizable in a federal district court. Weller v.
Dep'of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 390-91 (4th
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. 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, 108 S.Ct. 2250, 101 L.Ed.2d 40 (1988). As an
initial matter, Defendant Aiken County Detention Center is
not a proper defendant in this case. As indicated above, it
is well settled that only "persons" may act under
color of state law, therefore, a defendant in a Â§ 1983 action
must qualify as a "person." For example, several
courts have held that inanimate objects such as buildings,
facilities, and grounds do not act under color of state law.
See Allison v. California Adult Auth., 419
F.2d 822, 823 (9th Cir.1969) (California Adult Authority and
San Quentin Prison not "persons" subject to suit
under 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983); Brooks v. Pembroke City
Jail, 722 F.Supp. 1294, 1301(E.D. N.C. 1989)
("Claims under Â§ 1983 are directed at persons' and
the jail is not a person amenable to suit.").
Cf. Roach v. West Virginia Regional Jail and
Correctional Facility, 74 F.3d 46, 48 (4th Cir.1996). As
a facility used primarily to house pretrial detainees, the
Aiken County Detention Center is not a "person"
amenable to suit under Â§ 1983. Therefore, this Defendant is
entitled to summary dismissal from the instant action.
it is recommended that Defendant Aiken County Detention
Center be dismissed from this case without prejudice and