United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Orangeburg Division
ORDER ADOPTING THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION,
GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, DENYING
PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, AND RENDERING
MOOT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR MEDICAL RECORDS
GEIGER LEWIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case was filed as a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action. Plaintiff
is proceeding pro se. The matter is before the Court for
review of the Report and Recommendation (Report) of the
United States Magistrate Judge suggesting Defendants'
Amended Motion for Summary Judgment be granted, and
Plaintiff's Motions for Summary Judgment be denied. The
Report was made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636 and
Local Civil Rule 73.02 for the District of South Carolina.
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The
responsibility to make a final determination remains with the
Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270 (1976).
The Court is charged with making a de novo determination of
those portions of the Report to which specific objection is
made, and the Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole
or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge or11
recommit the matter with instructions. 28 U.S.C. §
Magistrate Judge filed the Report on May 22, 2017, the Clerk
of Court entered Plaintiff's first set of objections on
May 30, 2017, and she entered his supplemental objections on
June 5, 2017. The Court has reviewed the objections, but
holds them to be without merit. Therefore, it will enter
Plaintiff's rambling submissions, he offers just two
specific objections to the Report. In his first one, he
“specific[ally] object[s] to th[e] Report . . . because
[his] first time in [the Behavioral Management Unit (BMU)] is
not in question[.] [I]t is [his] second placement [that he]
never had . . . procedural due process afforded [to
him].” Supplemental Objections 1.
appears Plaintiff was “place[d] back in BMU on July 24,
2015[, ] after requesting help due to being bullied by [his]
roommates.” Response 3. He states he “asked for
help because [his] roommates [were] out of control[.]”
Supplemental Objections 1. Plaintiff asserts he
“request[ed] to be moved for [his] safety.”
deciding whether a condition of confinement amounts to the
deprivation of liberty without due process of law, the Court
must ask whether the condition or restriction was punitive,
which for a pretrial detainee is forbidden. See Bell v.
Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535 (1979). “[T]he fact
that such detention interferes with the detainee's
understandable desire to live as comfortably as possible and
with as little restraint as possible during confinement[, ]
[however, ] does not convert the conditions or restrictions
of detention into ‘punishment.'” Id.
at 537. “[T]he effective management of the detention
facility . . . is a valid objective that may justify
imposition of conditions and restrictions of pretrial
detention and dispel any inference that such restrictions are
intended as punishment.” Id. at 567.
Robert Duclov, who is responsible for overseeing the
disciplinary system for pretrial detainees incarcerated at
the Spartanburg County Detention Facility (SCDF) attests, on
July 24, 2015, Plaintiff “requested . . . SCDC staff
move him . . . because he was being bullied by his cell
mates. . . . Therefore, pursuant to his request [Plaintiff]
was rehoused on July 24, 2015[, ] to [BMU]. . . . This cell
movement was not intended as a penalty for any disciplinary
infraction.” Affidavit of Duclov ¶ 7.
summarize, Plaintiff asked for protection. Defendants
complied with his request by putting him in BMU, not for
punishment, but for his protection. Because this was a
management decision, and not a punitive one, Plaintiff's
due process rights were not violated. Hence, the Court will
overrule this objection.
Plaintiff's second specific objection, he complains about
the Magistrate Judge's statement “short periods of
deprivation of property . . . does not constitute cruel and
unusual punishment[.]” Objections 2. According to
Plaintiff, he “was without a mattress for up to 10
days[.]” Id. He also maintains he was
“deprived of socks and shoes for over 80% of [his] time
in [BMU].” Id.
deference to the informed discretion of prison authorities
demands that they, and not the courts, make the difficult
judgments which reconcile conflicting claims affecting the
security of the institution, the welfare of the prison staff,
and the property rights of the detainees.”
Bell, 441 U.S. at 557 n.38. Thus, having accorded
Defendants the deference due to them, the Court will overrule
this objection, too.
remainder of Plaintiff's submission, he generally makes
arguments, in one form or another, the Magistrate Judge has
already considered. Because the Court agrees with the
Magistrate Judge's treatment of these issues, it need not
repeat the discussion and analysis here. Suffice it to say
Plaintiff's non-specific objections will be overruled.
thorough review of the Report and the record in this case
pursuant to the standard set forth above, the Court overrules
Plaintiff's objections, adopts the Report, and
incorporates it herein. Therefore, it is the judgment of this
Court Defendants' Amended Motion for Summary Judgment is
GRANTED, Plaintiff's state claims are DISMISSED WITHOUT
PREJUDICE so Plaintiff can bring those claims in state court
if he wishes to do so, and ...