United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
CORDON BAKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
has filed a civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
(DE# 1). Plaintiff initially filed this case in the United
States District Court for the District of Columbia, which
transferred the case to this judicial district. (DE# 4).
Plaintiff is a pretrial detainee at the Sheriff Al Cannon
Detention Center located in North Charleston, South Carolina.
He has filed this action pro se and in forma
pauperis. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1), and
Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2), the United States Magistrate
Judge is authorized to review the complaint and to submit
findings and recommendations to the United States District
Judge. After careful review, the Magistrate Judge recommends
that the Complaint be summarily
dismissed, with prejudice, and without issuance
and service of process, for the following reasons:
The Complaint's Allegations
gist of the Complaint is that Plaintiff is displeased because
the state court granted several continuances (upon
prosecution motion) in 2014 in Plaintiff's criminal case.
(DE# 1, ¶ IV “Statement of Claim”).
Plaintiff sues the Third Circuit Public Defender's Office
and his appointed counsel Amanda Shuler. Plaintiff also sues
“Head Solicitor Jack D. Howle.” The Court takes
judicial notice of the fact that Jack D. Howle, Jr. is not a
prosecutor, but rather, is the Third Circuit Chief Public
alleges that in July of 2014, he was scheduled to appear in
state court for a preliminary hearing. He complains that upon
motion by the prosecution, the state court continued the
hearing several times. Plaintiff alleges that he complained
to “Solicitor Jack Howle” about the continuances,
but received no response. (Id.). Plaintiff indicates
that he was released from custody, and that in subsequent
hearings, he “proved that he was the real victim in a
shooting and was acquitted of all charges.”
(Id.). Plaintiff indicates that he “therefore
sues each defendant in their individual and official capacity
for acts they committed while acting under the color of
law.” (DE# 1, ¶ IV “Statement of
Claim”). He sues them for purported “emotional
pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, inconvenience,
reputation, and for fraud upon the courts.”
(Id.). Plaintiff indicates that the charges were
dismissed and that he was released from state custody on
November 14, 2014. Plaintiff is presently in detention for
other criminal charges.
relief, Plaintiff seeks $5, 000, 000.00 (five million)
dollars in compensatory damages and $3, 000, 000.00 (three
million) dollars in “exemplary” damages from each
defendant. He also demands the “termination of each
defendant” and unspecified “permanent injunctive
relief.” (DE# I, ¶ V, “Relief”).
Standard of Review
established local procedure in this judicial district, the
Magistrate Judge has carefully reviewed this pro se
prisoner complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915 and in
light of the following precedents: Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324-25 (1989); Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976); Haines v. Kerner,
404 U.S. 519 (1972); and Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d
1147 (4th Cir. 1978).
Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) permits an
indigent litigant to commence an action in federal court
without prepaying the administrative costs of proceeding with
the lawsuit. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). To protect against
possible abuses of this privilege, the statute allows the
court to dismiss the case upon finding that the action 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). A finding of frivolity can be made where
the complaint lacks an arguable basis either in law or in
fact. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992).
Under 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B), a claim based on a
meritless legal theory may be dismissed sua sponte
“at any time.” Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 319.
respect to a failure to state a claim, “Rule 12(b)(6)
authorizes a court to dismiss a claim on the basis of a
dispositive issue of law.” Neitzke, 490 U.S.
at 326. The “complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.' ” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).
“[T]he tenet that a court must accept as true all of
the allegations contained in a complaint is inapplicable to
legal conclusions.” Id. “Unless
otherwise specified, a dismissal for failure to state a claim
under Rule 12(b)(6) is presumed to be both a judgment on the
merits and to be rendered with prejudice.” McLean
v. United States, 566 F.3d 391, 396 (4th Cir. 2009).
Liberal Construction of Pro se Filings
se pleadings are given liberal construction and are held
to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by
attorneys. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007). However, “[t]he ‘special judicial
solicitude' with which a district court should view ...
pro se filings does not transform the court into an
advocate. United States v. Wilson, 699 F.3d 789, 797
(4th Cir.2012), cert. denied, 133 S.Ct. 2401 (2013).
Only those questions which are squarely presented to a court
may properly be addressed.” Weller v. Dept. of Soc.
Servs., City of Baltimore., 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th
Cir.1990). Giving “liberal construction” does not
mean that the Court can ignore a prisoner's clear failure
to allege facts that set forth a cognizable claim.
“Principles requiring generous construction of pro
se complaints ... [do] not require ... courts to conjure
up questions never squarely presented to them.”
Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278
(4th Cir.1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1088 (1986).
The PLRA's 3-strike provision
has filed numerous meritless and duplicative cases. A search
on CM-ECF reveals that in this federal judicial district,
Plaintiff has filed the following cases, all of which have
1:14-cv-4430-MGL Reynolds v. Pressley et al., filed
11/17/14, closed 05/26/15
1:16-cv-1741-MGL Reynolds v. Johnson et al., filed
05/31/16, closed 06/22/16
1:15-cv-0388-MGL, Reynolds v. Johnson et al., filed
01/28/15, closed 01/26/16
4:15-cv-2350-MGL, Reynolds v. Johnson et al., filed