United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
Jimmy B. K. Curles, Plaintiff,
Ms. Mitchell, Kirkland Medical SCDC Head Nurse; Ms. Sermons, Kirkland Medical SCDC Nurse; Asst. Warden Thompson, Kirkland Asst. Warden; Ms. Jennifer Woodall, Greenville Detention Head Nurse; Ms. Karen Krein, Greenville Detention Medical Director; Sgt. McCarthy, Greenville Detention Supervisor Security; Ronald Hollister, Greenville Detention Director; Sgt. Smith, Greenville Detention Supervisor; Sgt. Bernard, Greenville Detention Supervisor Security; Ofc. Dejurness, Greenville Detention Security; Ofc. Lester Hall, Greenville Detention Security; Sgt. Mahoney, Greenville Detention Supervisor Security; Ofc. Shockley, Greenville Detention Security, Defendants.
PATRICK MICHAEL DUFFY United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Jimmy B. K.
Curles' objection to U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas E.
Rodgers, III's Report and Recommendation (“R &
R”) (ECF Nos. 27 & 22). The Magistrate Judge
recommends that the Court summarily dismiss, without
prejudice, Plaintiff's claims against Defendants
Mitchell, Sermons, Thompson, Woodall, Krein, and Hollister.
The Court has carefully reviewed and considered the entire
record, including Plaintiff's lone objection, and finds
that the Magistrate Judge fairly and accurately summarized
the relevant facts and applied the correct principles of law.
Therefore, the Court adopts the R & R and dismisses
Mitchell, Sermons, Thompson, Woodall, Krein, and Hollister.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
proceeding pro se, brings this action under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 for purported violations of his
constitutional rights while he was a pre-trial detainee at
Greenville County Detention Center (“GCDC”).
Plaintiff filed his complaint on July 5, 2017, and filed a
supplemental complaint on August 1, 2017 (ECF Nos. 1 &
1-2). Plaintiff alleges that he told GCDC officials that he
could not be housed with certain individuals due to an
argument, but the officials refused to immediately move him.
He alleges that, due to GCDC officials' failure to move
him, he was beaten by four inmates and did not receive
adequate medical care.
Magistrate Judge issued his R & R on September 12. He
found that Plaintiff made sufficient factual allegations
against some defendants to survive summary dismissal.
However, he recommends that Defendants Mitchell, Sermons,
Thompson, Woodall, Krein, and Hollister be summarily
dismissed without prejudice and without issuance and service
of process because Plaintiff had not made sufficient factual
allegations against them under § 1983. Plaintiff timely
filed his objection to the R & R.
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court.
The R & R has no presumptive weight, and the
responsibility for making a final determination remains with
the Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71
(1976). Parties may make written objections to the R & R
within fourteen days after being served with a copy of it. 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). This Court must conduct a de novo
review of any portion of the R & R to which a specific
objection is made, and it may accept, reject, or modify the
Magistrate Judge's findings and recommendations in whole
or in part. Id. Additionally, the Court may receive
more evidence or recommit the matter to the Magistrate Judge
with instructions. Id. A party's failure to
object is taken as the party's agreement with the
Magistrate Judge's conclusions. See Thomas v.
Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985). Absent a timely, specific
objection-or as to those portions of the R & R to which
no specific objection is made-this Court “must
‘only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on
the face of the record in order to accept the
recommendation.'” Diamond v. Colonial Life
& Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir.
2005) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory committee's
se filings are held to a less stringent standard than
those drafted by attorneys, Gordon v. Leeke, 574
F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978), and federal district courts
must construe such pleadings liberally to allow the
development of potentially meritorious claims, see Hughes
v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9 (1980) (per curiam). The liberal
construction requirement, however, does not mean courts can
ignore a clear failure to allege facts that set forth claims
cognizable in federal district court. See Weller v.
Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir.
district court may dismiss an action pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915 if it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a
claim on which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary
relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i-iii). The Magistrate Judge
found that Plaintiff had failed to state a claim against
Defendants Mitchell, Sermons, Thompson, Woodall, Krein, and
Hollister since he did not plead facts that causally connect
them to the conduct that caused his injuries. See
Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 166 (1985) (“to
establish personal liability in a § 1983 action, it is
enough to show that the official, acting under color of state
law, caused the deprivation of a federal right”).
Plaintiff's objection states that Mitchell, Sermons, and
Thompson were employees of the South Carolina Department of
Corrections in the facility he was placed after his
sentencing and after the alleged beating. He states that they
answered a written grievance he filed. However, the act of
responding to the grievance could not have caused Plaintiff
the harm he alleges in that same grievance. Defendants
Mitchell, Sermons, and Thompson are not liable for
Plaintiff's injuries simply because they responded to
does not mention Defendants Woodall, Krein, or Hollister by
name in his objection, but he states that “Two of these
part[ies] are the Head of each Department in Greenville
Detention.” (Pl.'s Obj., ECF No. 27, at 1.) It is
unclear which two parties Plaintiff is referring to, but it
makes no difference for the disposition of his objection.
Additionally, Plaintiff states, “I feel that all of the
part[ies] named in this are held accountable [be]cause they
are of Authority over all of the rest.” (Id.)
Plaintiff's statements in his objection do not correct
his failure to state a claim against any of the defendants
recommended for dismissal by the Magistrate Judge. Liability
of supervisory officials “is premised on ‘a
recognition that supervisory indifference or tacit
authorization of subordinates' misconduct may be a
causative factor in the constitutional injuries they inflict
on those committed to their care.'” Baynard v.
Malone, 268 F.3d 228, 235 (4th Cir. 2001) (quoting
Slakan v. Porter, 737 F.2d 368, 372 (4th Cir.
1984)). However, simply being a supervisor of those whose
conduct allegedly caused a plaintiff's injury is not
sufficient. Id. Here, Plaintiff has not alleged in
his complaint or in his objection that Defendants Mitchell,
Sermons, Thompson, Woodall, Krein, or Hollister were
indifferent towards him. He has not alleged that they tacitly
authorized keeping him in his housing assignment or giving
him inadequate medical care. Because Plaintiff has failed to
plead facts that create a causal connection between these
defendants and the conduct that led to his injuries, the
Court agrees that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim
foregoing reasons, it is ORDERED that
Plaintiffs objection is OVERRULED, and that
the R & R is ADOPTED. Accordingly, the
Court summarily DISMISSES Defendants
Mitchell, Sermons, Thompson, Woodall, Krein, and Hollister
without prejudice and without issuance and service of