United States District Court, D. South Carolina
Michael J. Easton, #20101546, Plaintiff,
Capt. Marvin Nix, Defendant.
ORDER AND NOTICE
V. Hodges, United States Magistrate Judge
J. Easton (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis, filed this complaint against Captain Marvin
Nix (“Nix”) alleging a violation of his
constitutional rights. Pursuant to the provisions of 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civ. Rule 73.02(B)(2)(e)
(D.S.C.), the undersigned is authorized to review such
complaints for relief and submit findings and recommendations
to the district judge.
Factual and Procedural Background
alleges he was held past the 20-day extradition period. [ECF
No. 1 at 6]. Plaintiff also complains about the conditions of
confinement at Pickens County Detention Center alleging (a)
he was housed with an inmate who has AIDS, (b) he was
assaulted and injured, (c) there is no law library, (d) the
medications provided and the diagnostic testing is
inadequate, and (e) he is not allowed to call his attorney
during office hours. [ECF No. 1-1 at 1- 2]. Plaintiff states
Nix is in charge and he “overlooked issues.” [ECF
Nos. 1 at 4; 1-1 at 1]. Plaintiff seeks monetary damages.
[ECF No. 1 at 6].
Standard of Review
filed his complaint 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. To protect against possible
abuses of this privilege, the statute allows a district court
to dismiss a case upon a finding that the action fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted or is frivolous
or malicious. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i), (ii). 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). A claim based on a
meritless legal theory may be dismissed sua sponte under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). See Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989).
complaints are held to a less stringent standard than those
drafted by attorneys. Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d
1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978). A federal court is charged with
liberally construing a complaint filed by a pro se litigant
to allow the development of a potentially meritorious case.
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). In
evaluating a pro se complaint, the plaintiff's
allegations are assumed to be true. Fine v. City of
N.Y., 529 F.2d 70, 74 (2d Cir. 1975). The mandated
liberal construction afforded to pro se pleadings means that
if the court can reasonably read the pleadings to state a
valid claim on which the plaintiff could prevail, it should
do so. Nevertheless, the requirement of liberal construction
does not mean that the court can ignore a clear failure in
the pleading to allege facts that set forth a claim currently
cognizable in a federal district court. Weller v.
Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 390-91 (4th Cir.
complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Although the court must
liberally construe a pro se complaint, the United States
Supreme Court has made it clear that a plaintiff must do more
than make conclusory statements to state a claim. See
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677‒78 (2009);
Bell Atlantic 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, and the reviewing court need only accept as true
the complaint's factual allegations, not its legal
conclusions. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678‒79.
doctrine of supervisory liability is generally inapplicable
to § 1983 suits, such that an employer or supervisor is
not liable for the acts of his employees, absent an official
policy or custom that results in illegal action. See
Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658,
694 (1978); Fisher v. Washington Metro. Area
Transit Authority, 690 F.2d 1133, 1142-43 (4th Cir.
1982). The Supreme Court explains that “[b]ecause
vicarious liability is inapplicable to Bivens and
§ 1983 suits, a plaintiff must plead that each
Government-official defendant, through the official's own
individual actions, has violated the Constitution.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676; see Slakan v.
Porter, 737 F.2d 368, 372-74 (4th Cir. 1984) (finding
officials may be held liable for the acts of their
subordinates, if the official is aware of a pervasive,
unreasonable risk of harm from a specified source and fails
to take corrective action as a result of deliberate
indifference or tacit authorization). Plaintiff's
complaint provides no allegations to demonstrate Nix has
personally violated Plaintiff's constitutional rights, or
that he was deliberately indifferent to his subordinates'
actions that posed a constitutional risk of injury to
Plaintiff. See Carter v. Morris, 164 F.3d 215, 221
(4th Cir. 1999) (outlining the requirements to hold a
supervisor liable for constitutional injuries inflicted by
their subordinates). Accordingly, Plaintiff's complaint
should be summarily dismissed. See Leer v. Murphy,
844 F.2d 628 (9th Cir. 1988) (noting “[s]weeping
conclusory allegations against a prison official will not
suffice”; an inmate must set forth specific facts as to
each individual defendant's participation).
may attempt to correct the defects in his complaint by filing
an amended complaint by January 18, 2019, along with any
appropriate service documents. Plaintiff is reminded that an
amended complaint replaces the original complaint and should
be complete in itself. See Young v. City of Mount
Ranier,238 F.3d 567, 572 (4th Cir. 2001) (“As a
general rule, an amended pleading ordinarily supersedes the
original and renders it of no legal effect.”) (citation
and internal quotation marks omitted). If Plaintiff files an
amended complaint, the undersigned will conduct screening of
the amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. If
Plaintiff fails to file an ...