United States District Court, D. South Carolina
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
a civil action filed by a pretrial detainee, proceeding
pro se and in forma pauperis. Pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and District of South Carolina
Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(e), the undersigned is
authorized to review all pretrial matters in such pro
se cases and to submit findings and recommendations to
the district court. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).
established local procedure in this judicial district, a
careful review has been made of the pro se complaint
filed in this case. This review has been conducted pursuant
to the procedural provisions of 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915,
1915A, and the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996, and in
light of the following precedents: Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25 (1992); Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324-25 (1989); Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972); Nasim v. Warden, Md.
House of Corr., 64 F.3d 951 (4th Cir.1995) (en banc);
Todd v. Baskerville, 712 F.2d 70 (4th Cir.1983).
Complaint has been filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915,
which permits an indigent litigant to commence an action in
federal court without prepaying the administrative costs of
proceeding with the lawsuit. To protect against possible
abuses of this privilege, the statute allows a district court
to dismiss the case upon a finding that the action
“fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted,
” “is frivolous or malicious, ” or
“seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). A finding of frivolousness can be made where
the complaint “lacks an arguable basis either in law or
in fact.” Denton, 504 U.S. at 31. Hence, under
§ 1915(e)(2)(B), a claim based on a meritless legal
theory may be dismissed sua sponte. See
Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327.
court is required to liberally construe pro se
complaints. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007). Such pro se complaints are held to a less
stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys.
Id.; Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151
(4th Cir. 1978). Even under this less stringent standard,
however, the pro se complaint is subject to summary
dismissal. The mandated liberal construction afforded to
pro se pleadings means that if the court can
reasonably read the pleadings to state a valid claim on which
plaintiff could prevail, it should do so, but a district
court may not rewrite a complaint to include claims that were
never presented, construct the plaintiff's legal
arguments for him, or conjure up questions never squarely
presented to the court. Beaudett v. City of Hampton,
775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985); Small v.
Endicott, 998 F.2d 411 (7th Cir. 1993); Barnett v.
Hargett, 174 F.3d 1128 (10th Cir. 1999). The requirement
of liberal construction does not mean that the Court can
ignore a clear failure in the pleading to allege facts which
set forth a claim currently cognizable in a federal district
court. Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d
387, 390-91 (4th Cir. 1990) (The “special judicial
solicitude” with which a [court] should view such pro
se complaints does not transform the court into an
brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Plaintiff alleges that on May 4, 2017, at 6:30pm, while on
suicide watch, he managed to get two small razor blades. (ECF
No. 1 at 5, 7). He sliced his right wrist. (ECF No. 1 at 7).
Defendants Sweat and “Gleason” came in, and then,
Plaintiff swallowed the blades. (ECF No. 1 at 7). Defendants
were informed that Plaintiff had swallowed the blades. (ECF
No. 1 at 7). Without attending to the wrist cut or taking
Plaintiff to another facility, the three named defendants
strapped Plaintiff in a chair and gave him laxatives. (ECF
No. 1 at 7). Blood built up in his throat, and he started
choking and passed out. (ECF No. 1 at 7). He was awakened
later when he was taken out of the chair straps for five
minutes and then strapped back in the chair. (ECF No. 1 at
7). The lights stayed on all night. (ECF No. 1 at 7).
then taken out of the chair the next morning. (ECF No. 1 at
7). He was able to use a phone to inform others what happened
and that person called the news. (ECF No. 1 at 7). Around 9am
the next day, he was taken to a hospital and admitted. (ECF
No. 1 at 7). He said Defendant Abraham was very angry. (ECF
No. 1 at 7). The two blades were in his intestines per the
x-ray. (ECF No. 1 at 8). A doctor stated that he was to
remain at the hospital until a bed came open at Bryan's
Mental Health. (ECF No. 1 at 8). He passed the blades. A few
days later was told the ER needed his room and a doctor told
him he would have to wait at the detention center. (ECF No. 1
at 8). Later, he found out the detention center removed his
name from the list for placement at the mental health
facility. (ECF No. 1 at 8).
reports he has been kept in solitary confinement since June
2017 “without cause.” (ECF No. 1 at 5). He is
having problems with his medications as well. Under relief,
he states he wants to “get to mental health... and
placed in an open pod.” He requests monetary damages.
also alleges there is no law library. (ECF No. 1 at 6). He
wants access to a law library. (ECF No. 1 at 10).
1983 “ is not itself a source of substantive rights,
but merely provides a method for vindicating federal rights
elsewhere conferred.” Albright v. Oliver, 510
U.S. 266, 271 (1994) (internal quotation and citation
omitted). A legal action under § 1983 allows “a
party who has been deprived of a federal right under the
color of state law to seek relief.” City of
Monterey v. Del Monte Dunes at Monterey, Ltd.,
526 U.S. 687, 707 (1999).
§ 1983, a plaintiff must establish two essential
elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or
laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the
alleged violation “was committed by a person acting
under color of state law.” West v. Atkins, 487
U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
order to assert a plausible § 1983 claim against any
particular state actor, a “causal connection”
must exist between the conduct alleged by the plaintiff and
the particular defendant named in the suit. See Kentucky
v. Graham, 473 U.S.159, 166 (1985); Rizzo v.
Good, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72 (1976) (a § 1983
plaintiff must show that he suffered a specific injury
resulting from a specific defendant's specific conduct
and must show an affirmative link between the injury and that
conduct); Vinnedge v. Gibbs, 550 F.2d 926, 928 (4th
Cir. 1977) (for an individual to be liable under § 1983,
the Plaintiff must show that the defendant named acted
personally in the deprivation of the plaintiff's rights).
pretrial detainee's § 1983 actions are evaluated
under the Fourteenth Amendment. Bell v. Wolfish, 441
U.S. 520, 535, 537 n.16 (1979); Martin v. Gentile,
849 F.2d 863, 870 (4th Cir. 1988). Plaintiff's
rights under the Fourteenth Amendment are at least as great