United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
Monzell L. Hicks, Plaintiff,
Greenwood County Detention Center, and Donna Miller, Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
CORDON BAKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
a civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. At the time
of filing, Plaintiff was a pretrial detainee at the Greenwood
County Detention Center. Plaintiff is proceeding pro
se and in forma pauperis. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1), and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2) (D.S.C.),
the United States Magistrate Judge is authorized to review
the case initially and to submit findings and recommendations
to the United States District Judge. After careful review,
the Magistrate Judge recommends that the Complaint (DE# 1) be
dismissed in part for the following reasons:
The Present Lawsuit
December 12, 2017, Plaintiff filed a pro se Complaint
alleging that he received deficient medical care after
slipping and falling “due to water running into my cell
from a flood on the unit” at the Greenwood County
Detention Center. (DE# 1 at 5, ¶ IV “Statement of
Claim”). Plaintiff sues: (1) the Greenwood County
Detention Center; and 2) Nurse Donna Miller. Plaintiff claims
that he injured his back and neck, and had “back pain
for a couple of days.” (Id. at 6, ¶ V).
He complains that he was only given pain medication twice and
x-rays a few days later. (Id.). Plaintiff alleges
that the results of his x-rays were “normal.”
(Id.). He alleges that he “told the Nurse
(Donna Miller) that [he] still felt pain and wanted to go see
a (sic) outside doctor and was told no.”
relief, Plaintiff demands (verbatim) that:
the parties involed (sic) to be helt (sic) accountable for
the lack of medical attention and also for my pain and
suffering. I also would like to see a outside doctor and have
the detention center review the way they handle issues as
Standard of Review
Court is required to liberally construe pro se
documents, Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97 (1976),
holding them to a less stringent standard than those drafted
by attorneys, Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5 (1980) (per
curiam). The liberal construction afforded pro se
pleadings means that if the court can reasonably read the
pleadings to state a valid claim, it should do so, but a
district court may not rewrite a complaint to “conjure
up questions never squarely presented” to the court.
Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278
(4th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1088 (1986).
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 (4th Cir. 1990).
Review Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915
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 cases: 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); Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147 (4th Cir.
is proceeding IFP, and therefore, this case is subject to
screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Such statute
permits an indigent litigant to commence an action in federal
court without prepaying the administrative costs of
proceeding with the action. To protect against possible
abuses of this privilege, the statute allows the court to
dismiss the case upon finding that the case 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.
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). A claim based on a
meritless legal theory may be dismissed sua sponte
“at any time” under 28 U.S.C.
§1915(e)(2)(B). Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 319. The
United States Supreme Court has explained that the statute
“is designed largely to discourage the filing of, and
waste of judicial and private resources upon, baseless
lawsuits.” Id. at 326. As for 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