United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
Richard Mark' Gergel United States District Court Judge.
matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
of the Magistrate Judge, recommending summary judgment for
Defendants. For the reasons set forth below, the Court adopts
the Report and Recommendation.
a former pre-trial detainee at the Greenwood County Detention
Center ("GCDC"), seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 for alleged misconduct by GCDC officers Capt.
Downing (misspelled as "Downey" in the complaint),
Sgt. Moton, Sgt. Holtzclaw, and Cpl. Grisham (together, the
"Officer Defendants"), and by GCDC contract nurses
Sara Binkley, LPN, Mary Moss, LPN, and Donna Miller, LPN
(together, the "Nurse Defendants"). Plaintiff was
arrested and jailed in the GCDC following a September 3, 2013
shooting. Thereafter he filed a civil case in this Court,
alleging that an Investigator Louis lied to obtain warrants
against him for his role in the shooting. See Civ.
No. 8:15-363-RMG. On May 29, 2014, Plaintiff was transferred
to another facility; he returned to the GCDC on June 12,
2015. Upon his return, Sgt. Moton did not allow Plaintiff to
take all of his legal materials to his cell, including a
booking report that Plaintiff allegedly intended to present
as evidence in the civil case against Investigator Louis.
alleges that Sgt. Moton made him choose a limited set of
papers to take to his cell and that Sgt. Moton told him that
he could later request to switch those papers with others
held outside his cell. Some of the materials held outside his
cell were subsequently lost, including the booking report.
Plaintiff claims that had he kept possession of the booking
report and filed it as evidence in Civil Action 8:15-363-RMG,
his case against Investigator Louis would not have been
dismissed. The Officer Defendants respond that GCDC policy
prevents inmates from having too much paper in their cells
because of the risk of fire.
also alleges that Sgt. Holtzclaw and Cpl. Grisham opened and
read his legal mail "with the intent to retaliate"
against him for filing his case against Investigator Louis
and "to do harm" to that case. The Officer
Defendants respond that "on or about July 13, 2015,
Corporal Gresham received an unmarked letter addressed to
Allen, and inadvertently opened die letter during the inmate
mail inspection process. That upon information and belief,
unmarked letter was opened, and as soon as it was discovered
to be legal mail, Mr. Allen was immediately notified and the
letter was given to him." (Dkt. No. 69-2 ¶¶
4-6.) Plaintiff further argues that Capt. Downing should be
held responsible as the supervisor of Sgt. Moton, Sgt.
Holtzclaw, and Cpl. Grisham, and that Capt. Downing denied
him effective access to the courts by limiting the amount of
blank paper and envelopes for inmates' legal work, as
well as their access to other legal materials.
also brings claims of deliberate indifference to medical
needs against the Nurse Defendants. Plaintiff alleges that he
was denied medication-specifically, the antidepressant
mirtazapine-for a number of days by the Nurse Defendants
after his June 12, 2015 returning to the GCDC, causing him to
suffer a "mental breakdown." (See Dkt. No.
46-1 (identifying the medication as Remeron, a brand name for
mirtazapine).) The Nurse Defendants respond that they were
not involved with the plaintiffs intake procedure at the GCDC
on June 12, 2015, that they were thus initially unaware of
his medication needs, and that when they learned that
Plaintiff needed medication, they arranged for the doctor to
prescribe it. The prescription was authorized on June 21,
2015, and the plaintiff received his medication thereafter.
October 26, 2015, the Nurse Defendants moved for summary
judgment on October 26, 2015, the Officer Defendants moved
for summary judgment on December 7, 2015, and Plaintiff moved
for summary judgment on January 6, 2016. On June 11, 2016,
the Magistrate Judge recommended summary judgment for all
Defendants. Plaintiff filed no objections to the Report and
Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the
responsibility for making a final determination remains with
this Court. Mathews 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 and
Recommendation to which specific objection is made.
Additionally, the Court may "accept, reject, or modify,
in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by
the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). This
Court may also "receive further evidence or recommit the
matter to the magistrate judge with instructions."
Id. Where the plaintiff fails to file any specific
objections, "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, " see Diamond v. Colonial Life &
Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005)
(internal quotation omitted), and this Court is not required
to give any explanation for adopting the recommendation of
the Magistrate Judge, Camby V. Davis, 718 F.2d 198
(4th Cir. 1983).
judgment is appropriate if a party "shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact" and that the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In other words, summary judgment should
be granted "only when it is clear that there is no
dispute concerning either the facts of the controversy or the
inferences to be drawn from those facts."
Pulliamlnv. Co. v. Cameo Props., 810F.2d 1282, 1286
(4th Cir. 1987). "In determining whether a genuine issue
has been raised, the court must construe all inferences and
ambiguities in favor of the nonmoving party."
HealthSouth Rehab. Hosp. v. Am. Nat'l Red Cross,
101 F.3d 1005, 1008 (4th Cir. 1996). The party seeking
summary judgment shoulders the initial burden of
demonstrating to the court that there is no genuine issue of
material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 323 (1986).
the moving party has made this threshold demonstration, the
non-moving party, to survive the motion for summary judgment,
may not rest on the allegations averred in his pleadings,
Id. at 324. Rather, the non-moving party must
demonstrate that specific, material facts exist that give
rise to a genuine issue. Id. Under this standard,
"[c]onclusory or speculative allegations do not suffice,
nor does a 'mere scintilla of evidence'" in
support of the non-moving party's case. Thompson v.