Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cash v. Horn

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Spartanburg Division

March 15, 2018

Mr. Ronnie Lee Cash, Plaintiff,
v.
Ronnie D. Horn, Ritchie Strawn, Tony E. Brown, Michael R. Wilhere, John Smoak, Jason Yown, Raymond Gist, Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          PAIGE J. GOSSETT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Ronnie Lee Cash, a self-represented state prisoner, filed this civil rights action against the named defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 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.) for a Report and Recommendation on the defendants' motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. (ECF No. 70.) Pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), the court advised Cash of the summary judgment and dismissal procedures and the possible consequences if he failed to respond adequately to the defendants' motion. (ECF No. 72.) Cash responded in opposition to the defendants' motion. (ECF No. 81.) Having reviewed the parties' submissions and the applicable law, the court concludes that the defendants' motion should be granted.

         BACKGROUND

         The following facts are either undisputed or are taken in the light most favorable to Cash, to the extent they find support in the record. Cash alleges that on September 20, 2003, he was pulled over for a traffic stop by Defendant Ronnie Horn, who charged him with driving without a license. Later that day, Cash was served with a warrant charging him with murder. Cash alleges that he was never told during the initial traffic stop that he was a suspect in a homicide investigation. He also appears to allege that the method in which the defendants obtained the arrest warrant violated his rights. Specifically, Cash alleges the defendants did not secure the crime scene and altered reports to cover-up misconduct; that Horn lied about charging Cash with homicide in a report that was introduced at trial; and that Defendant Smoak took witness statements that were used to obtain a warrant, but the statements were not signed, and the reports “disappeared;” and that Defendant Yown allowed witnesses to change their stories. (See generally Am. Compl., ECF No. 28.)

         The court construed Cash's Amended Complaint as raising claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 of false arrest/imprisonment and malicious prosecution in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.[1]

         DISCUSSION

         A. Applicable Standards

         A motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) examines the legal sufficiency of the facts alleged on the face of the plaintiff's complaint. Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243 (4th Cir. 1999). To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). 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 Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). A claim is facially plausible when the factual content allows the court to reasonably infer that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged. Id. When considering a motion to dismiss, the court must accept as true all of the factual allegations contained in the complaint. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). The court “may also consider documents attached to the complaint, see Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(c), as well as those attached to the motion to dismiss, so long as they are integral to the complaint and authentic.” Philips v. Pitt Cty. Mem'l Hosp., 572 F.3d 176, 180 (4th Cir. 2009) (citing Blankenship v. Manchin, 471 F.3d 523, 526 n.1 (4th Cir. 2006)).

         Pursuant to Rule 56, summary judgment is appropriate only if the moving party “shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the [moving party] is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A party may support or refute that a material fact is not disputed by “citing to particular parts of materials in the record” or by “showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). Rule 56 mandates entry of summary judgment “against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).

         In deciding whether there is a genuine issue of material fact, the evidence of the non-moving party is to be believed and all justifiable inferences must be drawn in favor of the non-moving party. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). However, “[o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment. Factual disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary will not be counted.” Id. at 248.

         The moving party has the burden of proving that summary judgment is appropriate. Once the moving party makes this showing, however, the opposing party may not rest upon mere allegations or denials, but rather must, by affidavits or other means permitted by the Rule, set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c), (e); Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 322. Further, while the federal court is charged with liberally construing a complaint filed by a pro se litigant to allow the development of a potentially meritorious case, see, e.g., Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319 (1972), the requirement of liberal construction does not mean that the court can ignore a clear failure in the pleadings to allege facts which set forth a federal claim, nor can the court assume the existence of a genuine issue of material fact where none exists. Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990).

         B. Defendants' Motion

         The defendants argue that Cash's claims raised pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 are barred by the statute of limitations. The applicable statute of limitations for a § 1983 claim arising in South Carolina is three years. See Owens v. Okure, 488 U.S. 235 (1989); S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-530(5). A federal cause of action accrues “when the plaintiff possesses sufficient facts about the harm done to him that reasonable inquiry will reveal his cause of action.” Nasim v. Warden, Md. House of Corr., 64 F.3d 951, 955 (4th Cir. 1995) (en banc); see also Gould v. U.S. Dep't of Health & Human Servs., 905 F.2d 738, 742 (4th Cir. 1990) (holding that federal law determines when a claim accrues).

         1. False ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.