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Linder v. Wilson

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

August 2, 2016

Stanley Linder, Plaintiff,
v.
Maverick Wilson; Angelena Brown; Tonya James; and Sgt. Thomas, Defendants.

          Stanley Linder, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

          Maverick Wilson, Defendant, represented by John Horton Guerry, Richardson Plowden and Robinson PA.

          Angelena Brown, Defendant, represented by Drew Hamilton Butler, Richardson Plowden and Robinson PA & John Horton Guerry, Richardson Plowden and Robinson PA.

          Mr Sgt Thomas, Defendant, represented by John Horton Guerry, Richardson Plowden and Robinson PA.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          SHIVA V. HODGES, Magistrate Judge.

         Stanley Linder ("Plaintiff"), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, brought this action alleging violations of his constitutional rights during his incarceration at Wateree Correctional Institution ("WCI") in the custody of the South Carolina Department of Corrections ("SCDC"). Plaintiff asserts claims against current and former WCI employees Maverick Wilson, Angelena Brown, Tonya James, and Sgt. Thomas ("Defendants").

         This matter comes before the court on James's motion to dismiss. [ECF No. 18]. Pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), the court advised Plaintiff of the dismissal procedures and the possible consequences if he failed to respond adequately to James's motion. [ECF No. 19]. The motion having been fully briefed [ECF No. 27], it is ripe for disposition.

         Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), and Local Civ. Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d) (D.S.C.), this matter has been assigned to the undersigned for all pretrial proceedings. Having carefully considered the record in this case, the undersigned recommends the district judge grant James's motion to dismiss.

         I. Factual Background

         Plaintiff alleges that Wilson, the former WCI mailroom attendant, opened legal mail he received from the United States Supreme Court, placed contraband in the envelope, and then charged Plaintiff with smuggling in contraband. [ECF No. 1 at 3]. Plaintiff alleges disciplinary hearing officer Brown sanctioned him to 90 days' loss of privileges. Id. Plaintiff alleges that the warden eventually investigated and overturned Plaintiff's sanctions. Id. at 3-4. With regard to James, Plaintiff alleges only that she "backed" Wilson and alleges James was "associated with fabricating this charge." Id.

         II. Discussion

         A. Standard on Motion to Dismiss

         To survive a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), "a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The court is "not required to accept as true the legal conclusions set forth in a plaintiff's complaint." Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 244 (4th Cir. 1999). Indeed, "[t]he presence of a few conclusory legal terms does not insulate a complaint from dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) when the facts alleged in the complaint cannot support" the legal conclusion. Young v. City of Mount Ranier, 238 F.3d 567, 577 (4th Cir. 2001).

         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 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 (2007). In 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 ...


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