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.

Kaminski v. Doyle

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

March 19, 2018

Michael Joseph Kaminski, #9738281 a/k/a Michael Kaminski, #257960 Plaintiff,
v.
Michael Doyle, Billy Balies, Officer Morrison, Cpl. Catchot, Randy Demory, Defendants.

          REPORT OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          KEVIN F. MCDONALD UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         The plaintiff, Michael Joseph Kaminski, proceeding pro se, seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2) (D.S.C.), this magistrate judge is authorized to review all pretrial matters in cases filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and submit findings and recommendations to the District Court.

         BACKGROUND

         The plaintiff is presently in the custody of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health under the provisions of the South Carolina Sexually Violent Predator Act. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 44-48-10 to 44-48-170. At the time of the events giving rise to this action, the plaintiff was a pretrial detainee at the Berkeley County Detention Center (“BCDC”) (see generally, doc 1-1 at 65-67).

         The plaintiff alleges that on March 14, 2016, the defendants Officer Morrison, Cpl. Catchot, and Randy Demory failed to protect him from two separate sexual assaults by the defendants Michael Doyle and Billy Balies (doc. 1-1 at 3, 67). The plaintiff seeks unspecified monetary damages from BCDC (doc. 1 at 74).

         The plaintiff initially filed this action in the Berkeley County Court of Common Pleas, and it was removed by counsel for the defendants Officer Morrison, Cpl. Catchot, and Randy Demory (doc. 1). As the plaintiff had not served the defendants Michael Doyle and Billy Balies, on September 20, 2017, the undersigned Magistrate Judge issued a proper form order instructing the plaintiff to bring the case into proper form with respect to the defendants Michael Doyle and Billy Balies by providing service documents for those defendants. The plaintiff did not respond to the order. On October 17, 2017, the plaintiff was given a second opportunity to provide the service documents for those defendants and was told that if he failed to provide the requested information that the undersigned may recommend dismissal of those defendants for failure to prosecute and failure to comply with an order of the court (doc. 10 at 1). After the plaintiff failed to respond to that order, the undersigned filed a Report and Recommendation recommending that the case be dismissed with respect to Michael Doyle and Billy Balies pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) (doc. 16). The plaintiff filed objections to the Report and Recommendation, and subsequently filed service documents with respect to those two defendants (doc. 22).

         The District Court declined to adopt the Report and Recommendation and recommitted the action to the undersigned Magistrate Judge to determine whether the plaintiff had complied with the proper form orders and whether the case had been brought into proper form (doc. 28). The court finds the case is now in proper form, but for the reasons that follow, recommends that the action be dismissed without prejudice and without issuance and service of process with respect to the defendants Michael Doyle and Billy Balies.

         DISCUSSION

         As a pro se litigant, the plaintiff's pleadings are accorded liberal construction and held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by attorneys. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam). However, even under this less stringent standard, the pro se pleading remains subject to summary dismissal. 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).

         This 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)). A civil action under Section 1983 “creates a private right of action to vindicate violations of ‘rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws' of the United States.” Rehberg v. Paulk, 566 U.S. 356, 361 (2012) (quoting 42 U.S.C. § 1983). To state a claim under Section 1983, a plaintiff must allege 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 the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988) (citations omitted).

         The defendants Michael Doyle and Billy Balies are not amenable to suit under Section 1983 because they were not acting under color of state law. “Anyone whose conduct is ‘fairly attributable to the state' can be sued as a state actor under § 1983.” Filarsky v. Delia, 566 U.S. 377, 383 (2012) (quoting Lugar v. Edmondson Oil Co, 457 U.S. 922, 937 (1982)). To determine whether state action is present, no single factor is determinative and the “totality of the circumstances” must be evaluated. Goldstein v. Chestnut Ridge Volunteer Fire Co., 218 F.3d 337, 341-43 (4th Cir. 2000). However, purely private conduct, no matter how wrongful, is not actionable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the United States Constitution. See Lugar, 457 U.S. at 936-37; Mentavlos v. Anderson, 249 F.3d 301, 310 (4th Cir. 2001). In this case, the complaint alleges no facts to show that defendants Michael Doyle and Billy Balies are state actors amenable to suit under Section 1983. Accordingly, the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted against those defendants.

         RECOMMENDATION

         It is recommended that the District Court dismiss the defendants Michael Doyle and Billy Balies without prejudice and without issuance and service of process. Furthermore, in the court's view, the plaintiff cannot cure any of the defects in his claims against defendants Michael Doyle and Billy Balies by amending his complaint. See Goode v. Cent. Va. Legal Aid Soc'y, 807 F.3d 619, 623 (4th Cir. 2015). The court therefore declines to recommend that leave be automatically given to the plaintiff to amend his complaint.

         This action remains pending against the defendants Officer Morrison, Cpl. Catchot, and Randy Demory. Plaintiff's attention is ...


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.