United States District Court, D. South Carolina
Roger L. Kelley, Plaintiff,
Summitt Food Service, Owner and Director; Director of S.A.C.D.C.; Sheriff; Unknown Defendants, of S.A.C.D.C.; Unknown Defendants, of Summitt Food Service, Defendants.
ORDER REGARDING AMENDMENT OF COMPLAINT
J. GOSSETT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
plaintiff, Roger L. Kelley, proceeding pro se, brings this
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The
Complaint has been filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915
and § 1915A. This matter is before the court pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)
(D.S.C.). By order dated February 1, 2018, the court provided
Plaintiff an opportunity to file the documents necessary for
the issuance and service of process. (ECF No. 5.) Plaintiff
complied with that order. Now, having reviewed the Complaint
in accordance with applicable law, the court finds this
action is subject to summary dismissal if Plaintiff does not
amend the Complaint to cure the deficiencies identified
Factual and Procedural Background
an inmate at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center, alleges
that Summitt Food Service (“Summitt”) began
serving food at the detention center on September 1, 2017.
(Compl., ECF No. 1 at 6.) Plaintiff alleges that since then,
Summitt has served inadequate amounts of food that fall below
the federal minimum standards for caloric intake for inmates.
(Id.) He also alleges that much of the food is
spoiled, and it is often served late. (Id.)
Separately, Plaintiff alleges the detention center has black
mold, mildew, and poor ventilation. (Id.) Finally,
Plaintiff claims these deprivations are an attempt to get a
guilty plea out of an innocent person, personally referring
to himself. (Id.) He alleges these deprivations are
the result of reckless indifference to his rights and amount
to punishment. (Id.) He raises claims pursuant to
the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 and he seeks damages for his injuries.
(Id. at 4, 7.)
Standard of Review
established local procedure in this judicial district, a
careful review has been made of the pro se Complaint pursuant
to the procedural provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform
Act (“PLRA”), Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321
(1996), including 28 U.S.C. § 1915 and 28 U.S.C. §
1915A. The 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, and is
also governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the
court to review a complaint filed by a prisoner that seeks
redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of
a governmental entity. See McLean v. United States,
566 F.3d 391 (4th Cir. 2009). Section 1915A requires, and
§ 1915 allows, a district court to dismiss the case upon
a finding that the action is frivolous, 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); 28 U.S.C. §
order to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the
plaintiff must do more than make mere conclusory statements
to state a claim. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009); Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Rather, the complaint
must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to
state a claim that is plausible on its face. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678; Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. The reviewing court need
only accept as true the complaint's factual allegations,
not its legal conclusions. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555.
court is required to liberally construe pro se complaints,
which are held to a less stringent standard than those
drafted by attorneys. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S.
89, 94 (2007); King v. Rubenstein, 825 F.3d 206, 214
(4th Cir. 2016). Nonetheless, 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 cognizable in a federal district court. See Weller
v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir.
1990); see also Iqbal, 556 U.S. 684 (outlining
pleading requirements under Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure for “all civil actions”).
Complaint is filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which
“ ‘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) (quoting Baker
v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 144 n.3 (1979)). To state a
claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege: (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 the color of state law.
West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
of pretrial detainees against detention center officials
regarding conditions of confinement are evaluated under the
Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment rather than
under the Eighth Amendment's proscription against cruel
and unusual punishment. See Bell v. Wolfish, 441
U.S. 520, 535 & n.16 (1979); Martin v. Gentile,
849 F.2d 863, 870 (4th Cir. 1988). The United States Court of
Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has held that the standard for
determining whether detention center officials have violated
a pretrial detainee's right to due process is deliberate
indifference. See Hill, 979 F.2d at 991. Generally, to
establish a claim based on alleged deliberate indifference,
an inmate must establish two requirements: (1) objectively,
the deprivation suffered or injury inflicted was
“sufficiently serious, ” and (2) subjectively,
the prison officials acted with a “sufficiently
culpable state of mind.” Farmer v. Brennan,
511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994); Williams v. Benjamin, 77
F.3d 756, 761 (4th Cir. 1996).
names three defendants in the Complaint, but he also
indicates he seeks to raise claims against “unknown
defendants.” The court finds that Plaintiff either
fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted as to
each of these defendants, or has named a defendant that is
immune from suit.