United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
Bilal A. Al-Haqq, #126806,  Plaintiff,
Joette D. Scarborough (Division Director Central Classification and Inmate Records), et al., Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
GORDON BAKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff
is a state prisoner incarcerated at Trenton Correctional
Institution (“Trenton C.I.”) located in South
Carolina. He is proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis. Plaintiff was given leave to file a
“Second Amended Complaint” (DE# 41, Order of
06/30/2017), but he did not file one. Therefore, the Court is
proceeding under the Amended Complaint. (DE# 24). Pursuant to
28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1) and Local Civil Rule
73.02(B)(2)(D.S.C.), the assigned United States Magistrate
Judge is authorized to review the pleadings and to submit
findings and recommendations to the United States District
Judge. After careful review, the Magistrate Judge recommends
that the Amended Complaint (DE# 24) be summarily
dismissed, with prejudice, and without issuance
and service of process, for the following reasons:
1992, Plaintiff was convicted of multiple criminal charges in
the Williamsburg County Court of Common Pleas. See Indictment
No. 92-GS-45-80. The state court sentenced Plaintiff to
twenty-five (25) years imprisonment for armed robbery, thirty
(30) years for kidnapping, and five (5) years for a firearms
violation. Plaintiff is presently serving these state
sentences. State records indicate his projected release date
is May 13, 2028.
incarcerated, Plaintiff has filed numerous other federal
cases, including Al-Haqq v. Bryant, D.S.C. Case No.
2:14-cv-08-MGB. In that case, Plaintiff complained of various
matters at Turbeville Correctional Institution
(“Turbeville CI”), including a disciplinary
charge for “refusing to obey orders” after being
told to stop kicking his cell door. Plaintiff also complained
that he had been sprayed with tear gas by Correctional
Officer Bryant and not allowed to decontaminate afterwards
“out of retaliation for filing a grievance and for
reporting [CO Bryant's] alleged illegal
activities.” The claims and parties were dismissed,
except for the allegations against CO Bryant, which proceeded
to trial. Final judgment was entered on November 15, 2016.
(Id., DE# 173, Judgment). The record reflects that
such judgment has been satisfied.
Plaintiff filed additional documents in that closed case.
(Id., DE# 177, 186, 187, filed in Jan./Feb. 2017).
Plaintiff alleged that he had been endangered at Turbeville
C.I. due to information on Westlaw about him being a
“snitch, ” that his complaints to prison
officials about the Westlaw information had been ignored,
that he wanted this Court to order that the South Carolina
Department of Corrections (“SCDC”) never return
him to Turbeville C.I., and that he wanted to be restored to
his prior bed and prison job at Kirkland Correctional
Institution (“Kirkland C.I.”). In a
“declaration” (DE# 186), Plaintiff also
complained of his medical care at MacDougall Correctional
Institution (“MacDougall C.I.”) in February 2017.
Plaintiff indicated he was “bringing an action”
and seeking injunctive relief.
February 24, 2017, the Magistrate Judge issued the following
TEXT ORDER: Judgment was entered in this case on November 15,
2016, judgment has been satisfied, and this case is now
closed. Nonetheless, Plaintiff subsequently filed a document
labeled as an “order to show cause for permanent
injunction” (DE# 177), with a declaration (DE#187) in
support. Plaintiff's document (DE# 177) indicates that he
is attempting to bring an action “under 28 U.S.C. 2283
and 2282" and is seeking injunctive relief. Therefore,
the Clerk of Court is directed to term the motion (DE#177),
to open a new case as of the date of this order, and to file
Plaintiff's documents (DE# 177, 187) as the pro
se Complaint in the new case. The Clerk of Court should
not accept any further filings in the closed case (No.
2:14-cv-8-MGB). Additionally, Plaintiff filed a declaration
(DE# 186), which appears to complain that he has been denied
medical care in February 2017. Therefore, the Clerk of Court
is directed to open a second new case as of the date of this
order, and to file Plaintiff's document (DE# 186) as the
pro se Complaint there. Counsel in the closed case
has no responsibility regarding the two new cases.
on Plaintiff's filings and the above order, the Clerk of
Court entered two new cases in the docket on February 24,
2017. See Case Nos. 2:17-cv-534-TMC-MGB, 2:17-cv-535-TMC-MGB.
present case, the Court issued a Proper Form Order. (DE# 5).
Plaintiff then moved to amend his Complaint. (See DE# 9
motion to amend; DE# 9-1 “amendments;” DE# 9-2,
tendered amended pleading, filed 3/27/2017). Plaintiff
subsequently indicated that he had changed his mind and
wanted the Court to dismiss the two defendants he had sought
to add to the case. The Court issued a second Proper Form
Order on March 28, 2017. (DE# 13). On May 22, 2017, Plaintiff
moved to amend again. (DE# 17) and filed a document labeled
as a “supplemental” complaint that sought to add
an unrelated claim against a new defendant at a different
prison. Such “supplement” had nothing to do with
the present case, and appeared to be an attempt to evade the
PLRA's filing fee requirements. Plaintiff's initial
motion to amend (DE# 9) was granted, but his additional
motion to file a supplemental complaint piecemeal (DE# 17)
was denied. (DE# 22, Order of 05/24/2017). Plaintiff's
tendered “Amended Complaint” and exhibits were
filed in the docket (See DE# 24, 24-1, 24-2, totaling 87
pages with attachments).
confusingly labeled several different documents as the
“Amended Complaint, ” attached medical documents
that pertain to a different case,  made conclusory allegations
that lacked dates, places, or any other specific facts,
appeared to reassert allegations from other cases, included
unrelated allegations pertaining to other prisons, added
defendants (but changed his mind), and appeared to make
scattered additional claims that are based on a
misapprehension of facts, have no relation to his brief stay
at Turbeville C.I., or are otherwise
than setting forth a “short and plain” statement
of his facts and claims (which is all that is required of a
complaint, see Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 8), Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint attached numerous declarations, grievances, and
other exhibits that appear to concern other unrelated
matters. The pro se Plaintiff continued to file
various motions, declaration, notices, and miscellaneous
documents. (DE# 25-29, 32, 35, 38-40). Even liberally
construing this collection of pro se documents, it
was difficult to decipher what claims Plaintiff was actually
attempting to assert. Therefore, Plaintiff was given notice
that the Court was considering dismissing the case. (DE# 41,
Order of 06/30/2017).
Plaintiff's pro se status, the Court gave
Plaintiff an additional opportunity to amend his pleading.
Specifically, the Court gave Plaintiff thirty (30) days to
file a “Second Amended Complaint” with all the
claims he wished to assert and a “short and
plain” statement of the facts regarding those claims.
(DE# 41). The Court instructed Plaintiff that he should not
reassert any previously-adjudicated claims, nor include
duplicate claims from other pending lawsuits. (Id.).
Plaintiff was instructed that, for his claims to be properly
before the Court, he should submit a single complete
pleading, rather than various documents piecemeal.
(Id.). The Court emphasized that Plaintiff must put
all his claims in the Second Amended Complaint, not in
various “declarations” scattered throughout the
record. The Court further instructed Plaintiff that if he
filed a Second Amended Complaint, it should plainly and
concisely state the names of the defendants, all the claims
asserted against them, the supporting facts, and the relief
sought. Plaintiff was warned that failure to comply with the
Court's Order could result in dismissal of the case.
(Id.). Plaintiff did not file a Second Amended
Complaint or make any attempt to clarify his claims or
otherwise comply with the Court's Order.
The Present Lawsuit
sues various SCDC employees and officials in their individual
and official capacities. (DE# 24 at 1-4). Plaintiff sues: 1)
Joette D. Scarborough (described as “Division Director
Central Classification and Inmate Records”); 2) A/W
Lane (described as “Kirkland Correctional Institution,
SCDC Classification Personnel”); 3) A/W Dean; 4) Major
Chavalus; 5) Capt. Pat; 6) Capt. Coleman; 7) Lt. June; 8) Amy
Rumler; and 9) Thomson Reuters. Amy Rumler is a staff
attorney for SCDC, while Thomson Reuters is a corporation
that operates the Westlaw database. Although Rumler and Thomson
Reuters were added in the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff
changed his mind and indicated in a letter to the Court that
he wanted them “excluded from this case.” (DE#
11-4, letter of 4/17/2017).
Amended Complaint, Plaintiff indicates that he was
transferred on November 28, 2016 from Kirkland C.I. to
Turbeville C.I. (DE# 24). Although Plaintiff complains about
his brief period of incarceration there, state records
indicate that Plaintiff is no longer at Turbeville C.I. On
February 13, 2017, he was moved to MacDougall C.I. Plaintiff
filed this lawsuit on February 24, 2017, when he was no
longer subject to any conditions at Turbeville C.I. The gist
of the Amended Complaint (and its numerous attachments) is
that Plaintiff wants the Court to order him returned to
Kirkland C.I. so that he can get his former bed and job
assignment back. (DE# 24-1 at 9-10, 15 complaining that his
“bed and room” at Kirkland C.I. were “given
away”). Plaintiff also wants the Court to order that he
never be transferred back to Turbeville C.I. Plaintiff is
currently incarcerated at Trenton C.I. (DE# 38).
also complains about information he found on Westlaw
regarding one of his prior cases. (DE# 24 at 6; DE# 24-1 at
3, 9). Plaintiff wants such information removed from Westlaw
because it allegedly “endangers” him at
Turbeville C.I. (Id.). In that prior case (Case No.
2:14-cv-08-MGB, Al-Haqq v. Bryant), Plaintiff had
reported that a correctional officer was allegedly bringing
tobacco and drugs into the prison and was letting inmates
fight in the showers. In 2016, Plaintiff noticed that
information about such prior case was “on the
computer” in the Turbeville law library on the Westlaw
database. (DE# 24 at 6). Plaintiff wrote to SCDC demanding to
know “who entered” such information into the
“inmate computers” and “who is Thompson
Reuters Westlaw Correctional?” (DE# 24-2 at 32). SCDC
staff attorneys responded promptly, explaining accurately
that this “is an online service created by Westlaw, a
subdivision of the company Thompson Reuters” and that
the purpose of the service is to “provide inmates with
access to legal information and sources like cases and
statutes.” (Id.). SCDC's response further
advised Plaintiff that ‘the opinions of judges in court
cases are public information” and that Westlaw gathers
such information and puts it “into their searchable
online service.” (Id.).
generally contends that he would be in danger from other
inmates at Turbeville C.I. for being a “snitch”
and because he would not share his “power cord”
with other prisoners. Plaintiff complains that he does not
like Turbeville C.I. because it is often on lockdown and
generally has a reputation for gang members. (DE# 24-1 at
19). He complains that “the windows in the building was
busted out as a result of a riot that had taken place in that
dorm.” (Id. at 20). Plaintiff acknowledges in
his Amended Complaint that Defendant A/W Dean “moved
the Plaintiff to another dorm” after such incident.
(Id. at 6).
relief, Plaintiff demands that he be returned to Kirkland
C.I. and restored to his previous “status and living
quarters, ” i.e. he wants his previous prison
“bed and job” back. (DE# 24 at 19; 24-1 at 3,
12). Plaintiff wants the Court enjoin the Defendants from
ever transferring him to Turbeville C.I. again.
(Id.). Plaintiff demands that “information
[be] removed from the SCDC Inmate Law Library
computers” and seeks “an order modifying
information stored in those computers.” (Id.;
see also (DE# 24-1 at 3). He demands compensatory damages of
$175, 000.00, punitive damages of $325, 000.00 from each
Defendant, and “actual damages” in the amount of
$85, 000.00 from each Defendant. (Id. at 19-20). He
does not explain how he allegedly accrued any “actual
damages” in prison.
Causes of Action
initial filing indicated that he was attempting to bring an
action “under 28 U.S.C. 2283 and 2282.” (DE# 1).
However, he cannot proceed under 28 U.S.C. § 2282
because it was repealed in 1976. See Pub.L. 94-381, § 2,
Aug. 12, 1976, 90 Stat. 1119. Moreover, Section 2283 provides
that “[a] court of the United States may not grant an
injunction to stay proceedings in a State court except as
expressly authorized by Act of Congress, or where necessary
in aid of its jurisdiction, or to protect or effectuate its
judgments.” The present case does not involve a
“stay [of] proceedings in a State court, ” and
such statute has no application here. In any event, Plaintiff
subsequently filed an Amended Complaint, indicating he was
suing under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged violation of
the First, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the
United States Constitution. (DE# 24 at 5). Plaintiff is now
complaining of conditions of confinement.