United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
ORDER AND OPINION
Margaret B. Seymour, Senior United States District Judge.
Henry Fletcher (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro
se, brought the underlying action against Defendants
Sgt. Bokinstrke, Warden Dunlap, Lieutenant Salmon, and
Associate Warden Stonebreaker (“Defendants”),
alleging civil rights violations pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons
Act (“RLUIPA”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc et seq.
ECF No. 1. Subsequently, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss
and motion for summary judgment on February 17, 2017, and
June 2, 2017, respectively. ECF Nos. 22, 61. In 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 pretrial handling. This matter is before
the court on the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation (“Report”) filed July 17, 2017.
ECF No. 68.
RELEVANT FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
is a Muslim state prisoner at Kershaw Correctional
Institution in Kershaw, South Carolina. ECF No. 1. Plaintiff
asserts that on June 19, 2016, the prison was locked down,
and as a result, Muslim inmates were not served an evening
meal until 11:00 pm without the opportunity to warm the food.
Id. at 5. Plaintiff further claims that Defendants
treated Muslim and Christian inmates differently because
Muslims were not fed during appropriate hours during Ramadan
while Christian inmates were always allowed to attend
programs and worship services on time. Id. at 6.
5, 2016, Plaintiff filed an inmate grievance with the prison
alerting authorities that he and his fellow Muslim inmates
were not being fed at proper times during their observance of
Ramadan. ECF No. 1-1 at 1. On July 14, 2016, the Warden
replied that “the issue was addressed through security
who were advised to feed the Muslim population within the
guidelines of your religious Ramadan services. All unit
Managers and Cafeteria Supervisor were notified to follow the
guidelines that were implemented to adjust to Ramadan
services.” Id. at 2. On July 25, 2016,
Plaintiff filed a second inmate grievance raising the same
claims raised in his first report. Id. at 3. On
November 20, 2016, Plaintiff filed an additional grievance
asserting that he was not allowed to attend Islamic
Jum'ah while Christians were allowed to use the chapel.
On October 27, 2016, Plaintiff filed the underlying complaint
alleging that, during the month of Ramadan, he and other
practicing Muslims were discriminated against. Id.
at 4. Plaintiff requests relief in the amount of two hundred
million dollars. Id.
Motion to Dismiss
Rule12 (b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted tests the legal sufficiency
of a complaint. Schatz v. Rosenberg, 943 F.2d 455,
489 (4th Cir. 1991). While the complaint need not be minutely
detailed, it must provide enough factual details to put the
opposing party on fair notice of the claim and the grounds
upon which it rests. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S 544, 555 (2007)(citing Conley v. Gibson, 355
U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). In order to withstand a motion to
dismiss, a complaint must contain factual content that allows
the court to reasonably infer that the defendant is liable
for the alleged misconduct. Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S 662, 678 (2009). The court must accept
the allegations in the complaint as true, and all reasonable
factual inferences must be drawn in favor of the party
opposing the motion. Id. at 679. If the court
determines that those factual allegations can
“plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief,
” dismissal is not warranted. Id. To determine
plausibility, courts are to “draw on its judicial
experience and common sense.” Id. “But
where the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer
more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint
has alleged---but it has not
‘show[n]'---‘that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Id. (citing Fed. Rule Civ. P.
Motion for Summary Judgment
judgment should be granted “if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A fact is “material” if proof
of its existence or non-existence would affect the
disposition of the case under the applicable law.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248-49
(1986). A genuine question of material fact exists where,
after reviewing the record as a whole, the court finds that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party. Newport News Holdings Corp. v. Virtual City
Vision, 650 F.3d 423, 434 (4th Cir. 2011).
Magistrate Judge Review
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. 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 the matter with
instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).