United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
ORDER REGARDING AMENDMENT OF COMPLAINT
J. GOSSETT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
plaintiff, Brandy Vernon Harris, proceeding pro se,
brings this civil rights action against the defendants. The
Complaint has been filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915.
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
claims the defendants acted under color of law and deprived
her of a constitutional right, apparently on January 9, 2017.
The defendants are identified as either “officers of
South Carolina, ” “Judges Government Official of
South Carolina, ” or a prosecutor. Plaintiff seeks
damages based on “deliberate indifference.” As to
some of the defendants, Plaintiff seeks to state a
“constitutional Bivens action.” The Complaint
provides no other details about the claims being raised on
the named defendants.
Standard of Review
established local procedure in this judicial district, a
careful review has been made of the pro se
Complaint. 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. This
statute allows a district court to dismiss the case upon a
finding that the action “is frivolous or 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.
order to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the
plaintiff must do more than make mere conclusory statements.
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
court concludes that this action is subject to summary
dismissal because Plaintiff fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. The Complaint generally alleges that
the defendants violated Plaintiff's constitutional
rights, and as to some defendants, appears to seek relief
pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unkown Agents of Federal Bureau
of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). In Bivens,
the United States Supreme Court established a remedy for
plaintiffs alleging certain constitutional violations by
federal officials to obtain monetary damages in suits against
federal officials in their individual capacities.
Id. But here, Plaintiff does not appear to name a
extent Plaintiff seeks to raise a claim that a state or local
government official violated her constitutional rights, such
a claim may be more properly brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. 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).
here, Plaintiff fails to allege any facts about the named
defendants that would show that they had any involvement in a
violation of Plaintiff's right. See Iqbal, 556
U.S. at 676 (providing that a plaintiff in a § 1983
action must plead that the defendant, through his own
individual actions, violated the Constitution); Wright v.
Collins, 766 F.2d 841, 850 (4th Cir. 1985) (“In
order for an individual to be liable under § 1983, it
must be ‘affirmatively shown that the official charged
acted personally in the deprivation of the plaintiff's
rights. The doctrine of respondeat superior has no
application under this section.' ”) (quoting
Vinnedge v. Gibbs, 550 F.2d 926, 928 (4th Cir.
1977)). Because Plaintiff does not explain how the named
defendants were involved in the purported violation of
Plaintiff's rights, Plaintiff fails to meet the federal
pleading standards. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 8 (requiring
that a pleading contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief”); Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (stating
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 does not require detailed
factual allegations, but it requires more than a plain
accusation that the defendant unlawfully harmed the
plaintiff, devoid of factual support).
Plaintiff's Complaint is subject to summary dismissal
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) for failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Plaintiff is
hereby granted twenty-one (21) days from the
date this order is entered (plus three days for mail time) to
file an amended complaint pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) that corrects the
deficiencies identified above. In a contemporaneously issued
order, the court has also provided Plaintiff with
instructions to bring this case into proper form for initial
review and the issuance and service of process. If ...