United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
Mr. McClain, Pro Se Plaintiff, Plaintiff,
Dir. Fate, et alia, Defendant.
ORDER AND OPINION
Margaret B. Seymour Senior United States District Judge
Daniel R. McClain (“Plaintiff”), an inmate in the
custody of the South Carolina Department of Corrections
(SCDC), filed this pro se suit alleging violations
of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§1983. ECF No. 1 at 6-11; ECF No. 9 at 5. Plaintiff also
filed a state law claim for medical malpractice. ECF No. 1 at
2. This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's motion
for preliminary injunctive relief, filed August 1, 2016. ECF
RELEVANT FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
is incarcerated at Turbeville Correctional Institution in
Turbeville, South Carolina. ECF No. 1 at 1. Defendant is the
Medical Director of the SCDC. ECF No. 1 at 2. On November 6,
2015, Plaintiff filed the underlying suit alleging that at
various times throughout his sixteen year duration in custody
his “multiple illnesses have been abandoned by medical
staff.” ECF No. 1 at 6. Plaintiff alleges that he
suffers from degenerative disc disease as previously
diagnosed by SCDC for which Plaintiff has undergone an MRI.
ECF No. 1 at 6. Plaintiff further alleges that he suffers
from a variety of other illnesses that have not been treated
because he is unable to ambulate without adequate pain
medication. These additional illnesses include: diabetes,
reflux disease, gall-bladder cramps, muscle seizures,
vertigo, insomnia, fatigue, pain and stress, and a blood clot
in his left toe. Id. at 6-7. Plaintiff contends that
these aliments go unanswered by the medical staff who he
alleges “refuse [him] emergency treatment for his
illnesses.” Id. The court has construed
Plaintiff's complaint to allege that Defendant violated
Plaintiff's rights pursuant to the Eighth Amendment,
which ensures humane conditions of confinement, including
adequate medical care. Plaintiff seeks both punitive and
compensatory damages for his pain, suffering, and inevitable
future issues. ECF No. 1 at 11.
August 1, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion for immediate
injunctive relief where he requests that the court intervene
and direct S.L.E.D. and the F.B.I. to grant Plaintiff
immediate relief from “unenforced state and federal
statutes at SCDC.” ECF No. 29. Specifically, Plaintiff
claims that SCDC personnel deliberately ignore his medical
needs and fail to provide him with adequate treatment.
Id. Further, Plaintiff asserts that he is under
continual harassment and abuse. He claims that he is deprived
of adequate hydration and nutrition and that he has been
forced to live in unsanitary quarters. Id. Plaintiff
believes that SCDC officials and staff are
“experimenting to test the physical and mental limits
of the plaintiff” and are attempting to induce a stroke
or heart attack through their assaults. ECF No. 29 at 1.
Plaintiff argues that the aforementioned aliments exist as a
result of the “intentional failure” to address
the underlying cause of his degenerative disc by SCDC medical
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rule 73.02,
D.S.C., this matter was referred to United States Magistrate
Judge Paige J. Gossett for pre-trial handling. On December
14, 2016, Judge Gossett issued a Report and Recommendation
(“Report”) recommending that Plaintiff's
motion for preliminary injunction be denied. ECF No. 89 at 4.
Plaintiff filed objections to the Report on December 21,
2016, and on January 9, 2017, respectively. ECF No. 96, 112.
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The
responsibility to make a final determination remains with
this court. See Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261,
270-71 (1976). The court reviews de novo only those
portions of a Magistrate Judge's report and
recommendation to which specific objections are filed, and
reviews those portions which are not objected to-including
those portions to which only “general and
conclusory” objections have been made-for clear error.
Diamond v. Colonia Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416
F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005); Camby v. Davis, 718
F.2d 198, 200 (4th Cir. 1983); Opriano v. Johnson,
687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). The court may accept,
reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of
the Magistrate Judge, or recommit to the Magistrate Judge for
pretrial handling. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
reasons set forth below, the court adopts Judge Gossett's
Report and Recommendation. Plaintiff's motion for
preliminary injunction is DENIED.
court may issue a preliminary injunction pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 65. A preliminary injunction serves a
limited purpose and is granted to “preserve the
relative positions of the parties until a trial on the merits
can be held.” Univ. of Tex. v. Camenisch, 451
U.S. 390, 395 (1981). Injunctive relief regarding the
administration of a state prison should be granted only in
compelling circumstances when only preliminary findings as to
the likelihood of success on the merits has been made.
See Taylor v. Freeman, 34 F.3d 266, 269 (4th Cir.
preliminary injunction is “an extraordinary remedy
never awarded as of right.” Winter v. Nat. Res.
Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 24 (2008). Courts must
balance competing claims of injury while considering, in
terms of each party, the effects of granting or withholding
the relief. Id. To obtain a preliminary injunction,
the plaintiff must show four elements: (1) he is likely to
succeed on the merits; (2) he is likely to suffer irreparable
harm if the preliminary injunction is not granted; (3) the
balance of equities is in his favor; and (4) the injunction
is in the public interest. See Id. at 20; see
also Machinery Solutions, Inc. v. Doosan Corp., No.
3:15-cv-03447, 2015 WL 5554357, at *2 (D.S.C. Sept. 18,
2015)(explaining that the Fourth Circuit no longer recognizes
a “flexible interplay” among the four criteria in
order to grant a preliminary injunction). Additionally, a
plaintiff must make a clear showing that he is likely to
suffer irreparable harm absent injunctive relief.
Id. at 21. A plaintiff seeking a preliminary
injunction must establish each of the elements to be granted
relief. Id. at 20.
Report, Judge Gossett found that Plaintiff was seeking
injunctive relief against parties who were not named in the
action and recommended dismissal of such claims. ECF No. 89
at 3. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(a)(1). Judge Gossett
further determined that Plaintiff failed to establish that he
is able to meet the first prong of the Winter test
that requires that he show a likelihood of success on the
merits, and that Plaintiff failed to show that he would
suffer irreparable harm if the injunctive relief is not
granted. ECF No. 89 at 3. Judge Gossett noted that
Plaintiff's allegations that, without the court's
intervention, his life will be “prematurely
terminated” are unsupported and insufficient to clearly
show that Plaintiff will suffer irreparable harm absent
injunctive relief. See Winter, 555 U.S. at 21.
first objection merely restates the claims already alleged in
the record and do not object to any specific error in the
report. ECF No. 92. Therefore, the court is not bound to
review the matter de novo as to that objection.
Taylor v. Tripp, No 6:11-2598, 2011 WL 5526069
(D.S.C. Nov. 14, 2011) (citing Orpiano v. Johnson,
687 F.2d 44, 47-48 (4th Cir. 1982)).
second objection describes matters, such as his allegation of
mail fraud, not fully pleaded in the complaint and therefore
have no weight on the instant action. ECF No. 112 at 1.
Plaintiff further objects to a Magistrate Judge handling
pretrial matters. Yet, a court may allow a Magistrate Judge
to hear and determine pre-trial matters before the court and
a judge may review the Magistrate Judge's findings under
the clear error standard. 28 ...