United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
ORDER AND OPINION
RICHARD MARK GERGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
of the Magistrate Judge, recommending summary judgment for
Defendants. For the reasons set forth below, the Court adopts
the Report and Recommendation and grants summary judgment for
Vincent Rice was a prisoner in Ridgeland Correctional
Institution in June 2013, when he was accused of
participation in a prison riot A disciplinary hearing was
held on July 17, 2013. Defendant Ernest Rowe (identified as
"Ernest Rome" in the case caption) presided. During
the hearing, Plaintiff requested that Officers Bruno and
Andrews be called as witnesses to testify that Plaintiff was
locked in his cell during the riot. Officer Rowe denied the
request. At the conclusion of the hearing, Rice was found
guilty, placed in disciplinary detention, and sanctioned with
the loss of 170 days of good time credit, a restitution
payment, and the loss of canteen, phone, and visitation
appealed the decision of the hearing officer to the Warden,
Defendant Levern Cohen, by filing a Step 1 grievance. Warden
Cohen denied Plaintiffs Step 1 grievance. Plaintiff continued
the administrative process by filing a Step 2 grievance and,
after that grievance was denied, by appealing to the South
Carolina Administrative Law Court. On September 18, 2014, the
Administrative Law Court remanded the matter for a second
disciplinary hearing, finding that Plaintiffs procedural due
process rights were violated when he was not given the
opportunity to present his requested witnesses. At the second
disciplinary hearing, held on January 29, 2015, Plaintiff was
found not guilty of participating in the June 2013.
Plaintiff, however, alleges that decision does not rectify
the additional time he spent in disciplinary detention or his
loss of good time credits, which allegedly extended his
release date by 83 days. Defendants dispute that assertion,
pointing to Plaintiffs other criminal sentences and his
extensive record of disciplinary infractions.
22, 2015, Plaintiff filed the present action against
Defendants in their personal capacities, alleging they
violated his constitutional due process rights. The Court
also construes the complaint as asserting a state law claim
for outrage. On January 1, 2017, the Magistrate Judge
recommended summary judgment for Defendants. (Dkt. No. 76.)
Plaintiff has not objected to the Report and Recommendation.
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.
317, 323 (1986).
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. CSX Transp., Inc., 190
F.3d 285, 287 (4th Cir. 1999)).