United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Orangeburg Division
RICHARD MARK GERGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
of the Magistrate Judge, recommending that Defendants'
motion for summary judgment be granted. For the reasons set
forth below, the Court adopts the Report and Recommendation
and grants summary judgment for Defendants.
Patrick Lawrence, proceeding pro se, filed this
action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on January 8, 2016. At the
time, he was an inmate in the Bamberg County Detention
Center. He has since been released from custody and he
currently resides in Georgia. He allege that while he was
incarcerated in the detention center, his constitutional
rights were violated because 1) lights in the jail cells were
turned off at 10 p.m. despite his fear of the dark, 2) he was
not housed in his preferred cell block, 3) the water in the
showers was too hot, 4) the jail showers were moldy, 5) the
jail has insufficient security checks, 6) the inmate intake
process is inadequate, 7) he was denied access to mental
health care professionals, and 8) he was not provided a
follow-up visit with a physician regarding a spider bite. On
June 6, 2016, Defendants moved for summary judgment. After
considerable briefing, the Magistrate Judge recommended
Defendants' motion be granted on November 22, 2016.
Plaintiff filed no objections.
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." Pulliam
Inv. Co. v. Cameo Props., 810 F.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.
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.
Potomac Elec. Power Co., 312 F.3d 645, 649 (4th Cir.
2002) (quoting Phillips v. CSXTransp.Jnc, 190 F.3d
285, 287 (4th Cir. 1999)).
Magistrate Judge thoroughly analyzed Plaintiffs claims under
the applicable legal standards in a lengthy and detailed
Report and Recommendation. Plaintiff has not objected to the
Report and Recommendation, and the Court can find no error in
it. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief and monetary damages
for unconstitutional conditions of confinement and deliberate
indifference to medical needs. Plaintiffs claims for
injunctive relief are moot because he is no longer
incarcerated: "as a general rule, a prisoner's
transfer or release from a particular prison moots his claims
for injunctive and declaratory relief with respect to his
incarceration there." Rendelman v. Rouse, 569
F.3d 182, 186 (4th Cir. 2009). Plaintiffs claims for monetary
damages for unconstitutional conditions of confinement and
deliberate indifference to medical needs cannot survive
summary judgment because Plaintiff has presented no actual
evidence to support any claim that his constitutional rights
were violated or that he suffered any injury from any
purported constitutional violation. As extensively detailed
in the Report and Recommendation, Defendant offers only
general and conclusory allegations and his own lay opinion
regarding his own mental health. Without supporting evidence,
such allegations cannot survive summary judgment. '"
[T]here is no issue for trial unless there is sufficient
evidence favoring the nonmoving party for a jury to return a
verdict for that party. If the evidence is merely colorable,
or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be
granted.'" Felty v. Graves-Humphreys Co.,
818 F.2d 1126, 1128 (4th Cir. 1987) (quoting Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249-50 (1986)).
"Unsupported speculation is not sufficient to defeat a
summary judgment motion, " id, nor is lay
self-diagnosis of medical needs, see Green v.
Senkowski, 100 F.App'x 45, 47 (2d Cir. 2004).
foregoing reasons, the Court ADOPTS the Report and
Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge (Dkt. No. 61) as the
Order of the Court and GRANTS ...