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
has filed several documents that are construed as his
Complaint in this action. (ECF Nos. 1, 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4).
The court has issued three proper form orders and Plaintiff
has made multiple attempts to bring his service documents
into proper form. Plaintiff's service documents are still
insufficient; however, the court finds Plaintiff in
substantial compliance and addresses his pleadings.
alleges that Defendants tampered with his food. (ECF No. 1-4,
1-3). There are no allegations as to particular Defendants in
ECF Nos. 1-4 and 1-3. Plaintiff states that he never
consented to health care treatment. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff
alleges he was forcibly medicated. (ECF No. 1 at 11).
Plaintiff alleges Defendants used poison to slow his heart
down. (ECF No. 1 at 12). Plaintiff states Defendants
blackmailed and threatened him. (ECF No. 1 at 12). Plaintiff
alleges that Defendants neglected his care. (ECF No. 1 at
15). Plaintiff alleges Defendants confiscated his mail and
had a conspiracy to murder Plaintiff. (ECF No. 1-1).
are twenty-two named Defendants here. There are
“specific” allegations against only seven: 1) Dr.
Vernell Fogle was the “doctor in charge;” 2) Dr.
Cynthia McFadden was the “head doctor in charge”;
3) Brice McClease was the “chief of all individual
custody officers”; 4) Ronald Lawrence “maintains]
the facility hospital”; 5) Rose performed
“facility maintenance”; 6) Nancy Crawford
prescribed Plaintiff medicine; and 7) Individual Patients
were “inciting wars”. (ECF No. 1 at 8-9). This is
the extent of any details as to each Defendant regarding any
actions taken by individuals against Plaintiff.
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Section
1983 “is not itself a source of substantive rights, but
merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights
elsewhere conferred.” Albright v. Oliver, 510
U.S. 266, 271 (1994) (internal quotation and citation
omitted). A legal action under § 1983 allows “a
party who has been deprived of a federal right under the
color of state law to seek relief.” City of
Monterey v. Del Monte Dunes at Monterey, Ltd., 526 U.S.
687, 707 (1999).
§ 1983, a plaintiff must establish two essential
elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or
laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the
alleged violation “was committed by a person acting
under color of state law.” West v. Atkins, 487
U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
order to assert a plausible § 1983 claim against any
particular state actor, a “causal connection”
must exist between the conduct alleged by the plaintiff and
the particular defendant named in the suit. See Kentucky
v. Graham, 473 U.S.159, 166 (1985); Rizzo v.
Good, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72 (1976) (a § 1983
plaintiff must show that he suffered a specific injury
resulting from a specific defendant's specific conduct
and must show an affirmative link between the injury and that
conduct); Vinnedge v. Gibbs, 550 F.2d 926, 928 (4th
Cir.1977) (for an ...