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Addison v. Catoe

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

April 6, 2017

Kelvin Sharod Addison, Plaintiff,
Investigator Danny Catoe and the South Carolina Department of Corrections, Defendants.


          Shiva V. Hodges United States Magistrate Judge.

         Kelvin Sharod Addison (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of his constitutional rights during his incarceration at Kershaw Correctional Institution (“KCI”) in the custody of the South Carolina Department of Corrections (“SCDC”). Plaintiff sues SCDC and Danny Catoe (“Catoe”) (collectively “Defendants”), asserting constitutional and state law claims.

         This matter comes before the court on Defendants' motion for summary judgment. [ECF No. 25]. Pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), the court advised Plaintiff of the dismissal and summary judgment procedures and the possible consequences if he failed to respond adequately to Defendants' motion. [ECF No. 26]. The motion having been fully briefed [ECF Nos. 28, 29, 33], it is ripe for disposition.

         Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), and Local Civ. Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d) (D.S.C.), this matter has been assigned to the undersigned for all pretrial proceedings. Having carefully considered the record in this case, the undersigned recommends the district judge grant Defendants' motion for summary judgment.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         On February 2, 2015, Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against Catoe based on the same facts as this case. See Addison v. Catoe, C/A No. 1:15-572-SB (“Addison I”).[1]Specifically, Plaintiff alleged in Addison I that on August 23, 2013, Catoe was advised that Plaintiff had thrown urine on Cpl. Moore (“Moore”). Addison I, ECF No. 1 at 3. Plaintiff alleged that Catoe claimed to have interviewed Moore and Sgt. Lippe (“Lippe”) on August 28, 2013, and that Catoe transcribed the interviews on August 29, 2013. Id. According to Plaintiff, the transcripts say that Moore and Lippe knew the liquid Plaintiff threw was urine by the sight and the smell. Id. Catoe did not personally interview Plaintiff, but he was interviewed by another investigator. Id. On September 4, 2013, Catoe obtained an arrest warrant for Plaintiff from the Lancaster County magistrate for a charge of throwing bodily fluids on a correctional employee. Id.

         Plaintiff alleged that Moore testified at his disciplinary hearing on September 10, 2013, and stated “that he wasn't lookin[g] to smell urine, [] he was very upset.” Id. Plaintiff claimed that Lippe also testified at his disciplinary hearing and stated that she was five feet behind Moore and “by the time she got anywhere close to smell anything all she could smell was mace.” Id. at 4. Plaintiff claimed Catoe received a copy of Lippe's incident report dated August 22, 2013, that stated Lippe noticed Plaintiff throwing a liquid substance onto Moore from a cup. Id. Addison I was summarily dismissed because Plaintiff had not alleged that Catoe had acted deliberately or with reckless disregard for the truth, and allegations of negligence are insufficient to provide a basis for a constitutional violation. Id. at ECF Nos. 10, 15.

         In this lawsuit, Plaintiff makes many of the same allegations as in Addison I, but alleges Catoe knowingly made false statements. [ECF No. 1-1 at 2]. He alleges that Catoe acted with malice by writing false reports and by allowing another investigator to interview Plaintiff. Id. He alleges that Catoe was the prosecuting officer and unlawfully seized Plaintiff by arresting him. Id.

         II. Discussion

         A. Standard on Summary Judgment

         The court shall grant summary judgment “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The movant bears the initial burden of demonstrating that summary judgment is appropriate; if the movant carries its burden, then the burden shifts to the non-movant to set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). If a movant asserts that a fact cannot be disputed, it must support that assertion either by “citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials;” or “showing . . . that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1).

         In considering a motion for summary judgment, the evidence of the non-moving party is to be believed and all justifiable inferences must be drawn in favor of the non-moving party. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). However, “[o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment. Factual disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary will not be counted.” Id. at 248. Further, while the federal court is charged with liberally construing a complaint filed by a pro se litigant to allow the development of a potentially meritorious case, see, e.g., Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319 (1972), the requirement of liberal construction does not mean that the court can ignore a clear failure in the pleadings to allege facts that set forth a federal claim, nor can the court assume the existence of a genuine issue of material fact when none exists. Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990).

         B. Analysis[2]

         1. Fourth ...

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