United States District Court, D. South Carolina
Michael E. Hamm, Plaintiff,
Dr. Mittal, Defendants.
Richard Mark Gergel United States District Judge
matter comes before the Court on the Report and
Recommendation (R & R) of the Magistrate Judge (Dkt. No.
36), recommending that Defendant's motion for summary
judgment be granted. For the reasons stated below, the Court
ADOPTS the R & R, GRANTS Defendant's motion for
summary judgment (Dkt. No. 19), and DISMISSES this action
is a civilly committed inmate under the South Carolina
Sexually Violent Predator's Act (SVPA), SC Code Ann.
§ 44-48-10, et. seq. He asserts claims under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA), the Rehabilitation Act, and possibly the Omnibus Adult
Protection Act. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that he
received inadequate medical care because (1) Defendant denied
him a hearing test, (2) Defendant did not order treatment by
a dermatologist for his skin lesions, and (3) Defendant did
not order a blood test to determine if he has rheumatoid
arthritis. (Dkt. No. 1-2). The Magistrate Judge recommended
granting summary judgment as to all of Plaintiff s claims.
(Dkt. No. 36). Plaintiff has filed a response to the R&R,
(Dkt. No. 38), and Defendant has filed a reply. (Dkt. No.
Report and Recommendation
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court.
The 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 may "accept, reject, or modify, in
whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the
magistrate." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). This Court is
charged with making a de novo determination of those portions
of the R & R or specified proposed findings or
recommendations to which objection is made. Diamondv.
Colonial Life &Acc, Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th
Cir. 2005) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1));
accord Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b).
as to portions of the R & R to which no objection is
made, this Court "must 'only satisfy itself that
there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to
accept the recommendation.'" Diamondv. Colonial
Life &Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir.
2005) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P 72 advisory committee note).
Additionally, the Court need not give any explanation for
adopting the R & R in the absence of specific objections
by the parties. See Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198,
200 (4th Cir. 1983) ("Absent objection, we do not
believe that any explanation need be given for adopting the
judgment is appropriate "if the movant shows that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Only material facts-those "that
might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing
law"-will preclude the entry of summary judgment.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). A dispute about a material fact is genuine, "if
the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the non-moving party." Id. At the
summary judgment stage, the court must "construe the
evidence, and all reasonable inferences that may be drawn
from such evidence, in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party." Dash v. Mayweather, 731 F.3d
303, 310 (4th Cir. 2013). However, "the nonmoving party
must rely on more than conclusory allegations, mere
speculation, the building of one inference upon another, or
the mere existence of a scintilla of evidence."
Id. at 311.
Section 1983 Claims Regarding Medical Treatment
substantive component of the due process clause protects
against only the most egregious, arbitrary governmental
conduct-that is, conduct that can be said to 'shock[ ]
the conscience.'" Patten v. Nichols, 274
F.3d 829, 834 (4th Cir. 2001) (quoting Cty. of Sacramento
v. Lewis, 523 U.S. 833, 846 (1998)). "[I]t is ...
clear that negligence alone does not amount to a
constitutional violation." Id. In the case of a
civilly committed individual, denial-of-medical-care claims
and inadequate-medical-care claims are governed by the
professional judgment standard articulated by the Supreme
Court in Youngberg v. Romeo, 457 U.S. 307 (1982).
Id. at 842. Under Youngberg,
"decisions made by the appropriate professional are
entitled to a presumption of correctness, " and
"liability may be imposed only when the decision by the
professional is such a substantial departure from accepted
professional judgment, practice, or standards as to
demonstrate that the person responsible actually did not base
the decision on such a judgment." 457 U.S. at 323, 324.
Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge that Plaintiff has put
forward no evidence that Defendant substantially departed
from the accepted standards in providing medical care to
Plaintiff. With regard to the hearing test, it is undisputed
that Defendant initially ordered a hearing test and only
cancelled the hearing test when Plaintiff requested ear plugs
because he was unable to sleep due to noise outside his room.
Defendant, after consulting with another medical
professional, determined Plaintiffs hearing complaints were
inconsistent with his ...