United States District Court, D. South Carolina
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
E. Rogers, III., United States Magistrate Judge
a civil rights action filed by a pro se litigant who
indicates that he is an immigration detainee. Because Plaintiff
cannot leave the facility where he is detained on his own, in
the event that a limitations issue arises, Plaintiff shall
have the benefit of the holding in Houston v. Lack,
487 U.S. 266 (1988) (prisoner's pleading was filed at the
moment of delivery to prison authorities for forwarding to
District Court). Under Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2) of the
United States District Court for the District of South
Carolina, pretrial proceedings in this action have been
referred to the assigned United States Magistrate Judge.
established local procedure in this judicial district, a
careful review has been made of Plaintiff's pro
se complaint filed in this case. This review has been
conducted pursuant to the procedural provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915 and in light of the following precedents:
Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25 (1992); Neitzke
v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324-25 (1989); Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972); Nasim v. Warden,
Md. House of Corr., 64 F.3d 951 (4th Cir. 1995);
Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147 (4th Cir. 1978).
complaint has been filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915,
which permits an indigent litigant to commence an action in
federal court without prepaying the administrative costs of
proceeding with the lawsuit. To protect against possible
abuses of this privilege, the statute allows a district court
to dismiss the case upon a finding that the action
“fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted,
” “is frivolous or malicious, ” or
“seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). A finding of frivolity can be made where the
complaint “lacks an arguable basis either in law or in
fact.” Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. at 31.
Under § 1915(e)(2)(B), a claim based on a meritless
legal theory may be dismissed sua sponte.
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319 (1989).
court is required to liberally construe pro se
complaints. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007). Such pro se complaints are held to a less
stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys.
Id.; Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151
(4th Cir. 1978). Even under this less stringent standard,
however, the pro se complaint may be subject to
summary dismissal. 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
plaintiff could prevail, it should do so, but a district
court may not rewrite a complaint to include claims that were
never presented, construct the plaintiff's legal
arguments for him, or conjure up questions never squarely
presented to the court. Beaudett v. City of Hampton,
775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985); Small v.
Endicott, 998 F.2d 411 (7th Cir. 1993); Barnett v.
Hargett, 174 F.3d 1128 (10th Cir. 1999). The requirement
of liberal construction does not mean that the Court can
ignore a clear failure in the pleading to allege facts which
set forth a claim currently cognizable in a federal district
court. Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d
387, 390-91 (4th Cir.1990) (The “special judicial
solicitude” with which a [court] should view such pro
se complaints does not transform the court into an
alleges that from 2010 to present, Agent Martinez, a resident
of West Virginia stalked and harassed him. He alleges that
for years there were tracking devices in his cell phones and
laptop. Plaintiff cites 18 U.S.C. § 3237, 18 U.S.C.
§ 4, 18 U.S.C. § 1111, 42 U.S.C. § 1981-1985,
42 U.S.C. § 2000, and 28 U.S.C. §§ 1392, 1332.
He alleges discrimination, blackmail, counterfeiting, and
forgery. He says Martinez “is being charged with
attempt to murder.” As for injuries, he states
“agony, ” “anguish”, and
“physical harm.” He requests monetary damages and
states that: he is detained in New York and Defendants are
located in Washington, D.C., West Virginia, or Pennsylvania.
The events occurred in several states and do not involve the
state of South Carolina.
FBI, Comey, Lynch, Carter, Collings, and Obama
makes no factual allegations as to Defendants FBI, Comey,
Lynch, Carter, Collings, and Obama. The Complaint in this
case fails to state a plausible claim against these named
defendants. Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
requires that complaints contain “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief.” The purpose behind Rule 8 is “to give
the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (internal citation and
quotation omitted). Even though a pro se
plaintiff's pleadings are to be liberally construed, a
pro se complaint must still contain sufficient facts
“to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level” and “state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Id. at 555, 570;
see also Slade v. Hampton Roads Reg'l Jail, 407
F.3d 243, 252 (4th Cir. 2005).
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009). Defendants will not know how to respond to conclusory
allegations, especially when “the pleadings mentioned
no specific time, place, or person involved.”