United States District Court, D. South Carolina
ORDER REGARDING AMENDMENT OF COMPLAINT
J. GOSSET, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
plaintiff, Brian Lee Dodgens, a self-represented pretrial
detainee, brings this civil rights action. 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.).
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 herein.
Factual and Procedural Background
an inmate at the Pickens County Detention Center, appears to
allege the police illegally ran surveillance on him and
arrested him for a drug charge and that he is now being
vindictively prosecuted for and subjected to psychologically
damaging interrogations wherein he involuntarily confessed.
(Compl., ECF No. 1-1 at 3, 6, 24.) However, Plaintiff also
raises issues about “slimm stings” and Biblical
prophecies related to his arrest. (Id. at 1, 11.)
apparently unrelated matter, he alleges there is black mold
and overcrowding in the jail that leads to violence due to
the lack of personal space. (Id., ECF No. 1-1 at 2.)
He alleges that the living conditions in the jail are
substandard and that he has to sleep on a dirty floor.
(Id.) He appears to seek dismissal of his criminal
charges. (Id. at 13.)
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 Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 684
(2009) (outlining pleading requirements under Rule 8 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for “all civil
Complaint, Plaintiff does not expressly state a recognizable
legal cause of action, but in accordance with the court's
duty to liberally construe pro se complaints, the court
construes its as asserting causes of action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 for false arrest, false imprisonment, and
malicious prosecution in violation of the Fourth Amendment
against all of the defendants except Nix, and for deliberate
indifference to conditions of confinement in violation of the
Fourteenth Amendment against Defendant Nix. A legal action
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 allows “a party who has
been deprived of a federal right under the color of state law
to seek relief.” City of Monterey v. Del Monte
Dunes at Monterey, Ltd., 526 U.S. 687, 707 (1999). 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).
False Arrest and Imprisonment
Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable
searches and seizures by the government and requires warrants
be issued only upon a finding of probable cause. U.S. Const.
amend. IV. To establish a § 1983 claim for false
imprisonment in violation of the Fourth Amendment, the
plaintiff must show the seizure of his person was
unreasonable, i.e., he must show he was arrested without
probable cause. See Rogers v. Pendleton, 249 F.3d
279, 294 (4th Cir. 2001) (stating that claims for false
arrest and false imprisonment “are essentially claims
alleging a seizure of the person in violation of the Fourth
Amendment”); see also Brown v. Gilmore, 278
F.3d 362, 367 (4th Cir. 2002) (stating that to establish an
unreasonable seizure under the Fourth Amendment, the
plaintiff must show he was arrested without probable cause).
On the other hand, to state a constitutional claim for
malicious prosecution, “a plaintiff must allege that
the defendant (1) caused (2) a seizure of the plaintiff
pursuant to legal process unsupported by probable cause, and
(3) criminal proceedings terminated in plaintiff's
favor.” Evans v. Chalmers,703 F.3d 636, 647
(4th Cir. 2012) (citing Durham v. Horner, 690 F.3d
183, 188 (4th Cir. 2012)). But here, ...