United States District Court, D. South Carolina
ORDER AND OPINION
RICHARD MARK GERGEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
("R. & R.") of the Magistrate Judge (Dkt. No.
48) recommending that the Court grant Defendants' motion
for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 27). For the reasons set forth
below, this Court adopts the R. & R. as the order of the
Court. Defendants' motion for summary judgment (Dkt. No.
27) is granted.
proceeding pro se, filed this action seeking
monetary damages for Defendants' alleged violation of his
Eighth Amendment rights. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that
Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment Rights when they
refused him special shoes, a knee brace, and an appointment
with an orthopedic specialist to treat his knee, ankle, and
back pain. The Magistrate Judge has adequately summarized the
facts of this case, so this Court need not repeat them here.
(Dkt. No. 48 at 7-12.)
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 Tramp., Inc., 190
F.3d 285, 287 (4th Cir. 1999)).
Pro Se Pleadings
Court liberally construes complaints filed by pro se
litigants to allow the development of a potentially
meritorious case. See Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319
(1972); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972). The
requirement of liberal construction does not mean that the
Court can ignore a clear failure in the pleadings to allege
facts which set forth a viable federal claim, nor can the
Court assume the existence of a genuine issue of material
fact where none exists. Welter v. Dep 't of Social
Services, 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990).
Magistrate's Report and Recommendation
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).
Magistrate Judge determined that (1) no reasonable juror
could conclude that Defendants violated Plaintiffs Eighth
Amendment rights, and (2) Defendants are entitled to
qualified immunity. (Dkt. No. 48.) As of May 30, 2017,
Plaintiff had not filed any objections to the R. & R.
This Court has reviewed the record and is satisfied that the
Magistrate has appropriately considered the relevant facts
and controlling law. Plaintiff disagrees with Defendants'
decisions about what constitutes medical necessary treatment
for his knee, back, and ankle pain, but no reasonable juror
could conclude that Plaintiffs Eighth Amendment rights have
been violated. ...