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Harris v. Eagleton

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

July 13, 2016

Ras. Stefen E. Harris, Plaintiff,
v.
Warden Eagleton; Asso. Warden Bradshaw; Chaplain Wilks; Capt. Kelly; Director Byars, being sued in their individual and official capacities as an employee in the scope of official duties and Public Duty Rule; S.C. Dept. of Corrections, being sued as an agency, Defendants.

          Ras. Stefen E. Harris, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

          Warden Eagleton, Defendant, represented by Andrew F. Lindemann, Davidson Morrison and Lindemann.

          Asso Warden Bradshaw, Defendant, represented by Andrew F. Lindemann, Davidson Morrison and Lindemann.

          Chaplain Wilks, Defendant, represented by Andrew F. Lindemann, Davidson Morrison and Lindemann.

          Capt Kelly, Defendant, represented by Andrew F. Lindemann, Davidson Morrison and Lindemann.

          Director Byars, Defendant, represented by Andrew F. Lindemann, Davidson Morrison and Lindemann.

          SC Dept of Corrections, Defendant, represented by Andrew F. Lindemann, Davidson Morrison and Lindemann.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          PAIGE J. GOSSETT, Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff Ras. Stefen E. Harris, a self-represented state prisoner, filed this action against the named defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[1] This matter is before the court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2) (D.S.C.) for a Report and Recommendation on the defendants' motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 27.) Pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), the court advised Harris of the summary judgment and dismissal procedures and the possible consequences if he failed to respond adequately to the defendants' motion. (ECF No. 28.) Harris filed a response in opposition to the defendants' motion[2] (ECF No. 43), and the defendants replied (ECF No. 49). Having reviewed the parties' submissions and the applicable law, the court finds that the defendants' motion should be granted.

         BACKGROUND

         The following facts are viewed in the light most favorable to Harris and are taken from Harris's Complaint, to the extent they find support in the record. Harris identifies himself as practitioner of the Rastafarian faith. He alleges that when he arrived at the Turbeville Correctional Institution ("TCI"), no Rastafarian classes or services existed. Harris followed the process to apply for the establishment of Rastafarian worship services, and his request was granted. The first Rastafarian worship service was held "without incident" on August 4, 2012. Two days later, Harris alleges that he was instructed to pack up his belongings and was informed that he was being placed in "lock up." On his way to lock up, Harris alleges that he encountered three other Rastafarian inmates who had participated in the application process and who were also being placed in lock up. Harris alleges that he was strip searched and given a form signed by Defendant Kelly that indicated he was being placed in lock up pending transfer. Harris further alleges, however, that the order to lock him up came from Defendant Bradshaw. Harris alleges that when placed in lock up, he was forced to dispose of food items that he had recently purchased from the canteen, as he was advised that he could not keep any food items due to a mice and rat infestation. Harris further alleges that he was kept in lock up for seven days until he was transferred to a different facility. During this time he alleges he did not receive his vegetarian diet. (See generally Compl., ECF No. 1-1.)

         DISCUSSION

         A. Summary Judgment Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate only if the moving party "shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the [moving party] is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A party may support or refute that a material fact is not disputed by "citing to particular parts of materials in the record" or by "showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). Rule 56 mandates entry of summary judgment "against a party who fails to make a showing ...


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