United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Beaufort Division
Shaw, Plaintiff, Pro Se.
BRYAN HARWELL, District Judge.
Leroy Shaw, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, commenced
this action by filing a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Â§
1983 against the above-named Defendants alleging violations
of his constitutional rights. See Compl., ECF No. 1.
The matter is now before the Court for review of the Report
and Recommendation (R & R) of United States Magistrate Judge
Bristow Marchant, who recommends summarily dismissing
Plaintiff's complaint without prejudice and without
issuance and service of process. See R & R, ECF
No. 11. Plaintiff has filed timely objections to the R & R.
See Pl.'s Objs., ECF No. 13.
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to the Court.
The Magistrate Judge's recommendation has no presumptive
weight, and the responsibility to make a final determination
remains with the Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S.
261, 270-71 (1976). The Court must conduct a de novo review
of those portions of the R & R to which specific objections
are made, and it may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or
in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge or
recommit the matter with instructions. 28 U.S.C. Â§ 636(b)(1).
Court must engage in a de novo review of every portion of the
Magistrate Judge's report to which objections have been
filed. Id. However, the Court need not conduct a de
novo review when a party makes only "general and
conclusory objections that do not direct the [C]ourt to a
specific error in the [M]agistrate [Judge]'s proposed
findings and recommendations." Orpiano v.
Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). In the absence
of specific objections to the R & R, the Court reviews only
for clear error, Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins.
Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005), and the Court
need not give any explanation for adopting the Magistrate
Judge's recommendation. Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d
198, 199-200 (4th Cir. 1983).
complaint, Plaintiff alleges that while he was incarcerated
at the McCormick Correctional Institution, state prison
officials provided him rubber clogs for footwear but refused
to provide him boots or other "better equipped shoes
that will help fight against the elements of the
weather." See Compl. at 3-4. He also makes the
conclusory allegation that Defendants have retaliated against
him "for prior lawsuit involvement." Id.
at 4-5. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief and monetary
damages. Id. at 6.
Magistrate Judge recommends that the Court summarily dismiss
Plaintiff's complaint without prejudice and without
issuance and service of process. R & R at 6. The Magistrate
Judge recognizes Plaintiff has asserted two primary claims
under Â§ 1983: (1) an Eighth Amendment claim for an
unconstitutional condition of confinement (relating to his
footwear); and (2) a First Amendment claim for retaliation
(relating to Plaintiff's access to the courts in prior
litigation). Id. at 1-5. Plaintiff has filed several
objections to the R & R. See Pl.'s Objs., ECF
first objection, Plaintiff contends the Magistrate Judge
should have sent him a pretrial order pursuant to
Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975).
Pl.'s Objs. at 1. In Roseboro, the United States
Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit set forth the
standard by which district courts must provide pro se
litigants an explanation of the procedures for responding to
dispositive motions (such as a motion to dismiss or a motion
for summary judgment) filed by a defendant and the
consequences of not responding. See 528 F.2d at 310.
Of course, a Roseboro order will not issue if no
dispositive motion has been filed. In this case, the
Magistrate Judge did not authorize service on any of the
named defendants, and therefore no defendant has appeared,
much less filed a dispositive motion. Thus, the Magistrate
Judge never could have issued a Roseboro
order. The Court overrules Plaintiff's
second objection, Plaintiff disputes the Magistrate
Judge's finding that his request for injunctive relief is
potentially moot because he has been transferred to another
prison (Broad River Correctional Institution) since filing
this lawsuit. Pl.'s Objs. at 2; see R & R at 3
(citing ECF No. 6, Plaintiff's notice of change of
address). The Magistrate Judge, however, acknowledges in the
R & R that Plaintiff's request for injunctive relief may
not be moot if the South Carolina Department of Corrections
applies its shoe policy systemwide to all correctional
facilities. See R & R at 3; see generally
Washington v. Harper, 494 U.S. 210, 218-19 (1990)
(holding the prisoner's claims were not moot, despite his
transfer to a non-offending facility, because the "[t]he
alleged injury [involuntary administration of antipsychotic
drugs] likely would recur" due to a state prison
policy). Regardless of the mootness issue, Plaintiff is not
entitled to injunctive relief because his claim regarding
footwear is without merit, as explained in the following
third objection, Plaintiff opposes the Magistrate Judge's
recommendation that the Eighth Amendment claim regarding his
footwear should be dismissed because he has failed to allege
any serious or significant injury from this condition of
confinement. Pl.'s Objs. at 3-4; see R & R at 4.
Plaintiff contends "the Magistrate Judge has
miscontrue[d] his cruel and unusual punishment claim."
Pl.'s Objs. at 3. He asserts he "never stated that
he was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment because he
was issued clogs and not boots, " but instead
"stated that their [ sic ] are sixteen
manufactor [ sic ] holes in the state clogs which
causes the plaintiff to suffer from the elements of the
weather... and future health concerns such as arthritis in
the bones which is a serious risk for an injury in the
reviewed and liberally construed Plaintiff's complaint,
the Court finds no error in the Magistrate Judge's
interpretation of Plaintiff's claim regarding his
footwear brought under the Eighth Amendment. Moreover, the
Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge's substantive
recommendation that this claim warrants summary dismissal.
Eighth Amendment, which prohibits the infliction of
"cruel and unusual punishments, " protects inmates
from inhumane treatment and conditions during incarceration.
Williams v. Benjamin,77 F.3d 756, 761 (4th Cir.
1996). To succeed on an Eighth Amendment claim that a
prisoner was not provided humane conditions of confinement,
the prisoner must prove "(1) that the deprivation of [a]
basic human need was objectively sufficiently
serious, and (2) that subjectively the officials
act[ed] with a sufficiently culpable state of mind."
De'Lonta v. Angelone,330 F.3d 630, 634 (4th
Cir. 2003) (alterations in original) (internal quotation
marks omitted). "Only extreme deprivations are adequate
to satisfy the objective component of an Eighth Amendment
claim regarding conditions of confinement." Id.
"In order to demonstrate such an extreme deprivation, a
prisoner must allege a serious or significant physical or
emotional injury resulting from ...