United States District Court, D. South Carolina
ORDER AND NOTICE
V. Hodges United States Magistrate Judge.
Edward James (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se and
in forma pauperis, filed this complaint against J. Reuben
Long Detention Center (“JRLDC”) 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)(d) (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 not provided adequate medical care because (a)
his respiratory machine and inhaler were confiscated and his
respiratory machine was improperly stored, (b) his
prescription glasses were misplaced, (c) he was not provided
a second blanket, and (d) he was provided inadequate
medication. [ECF No. 1 at 10-14]. Plaintiff also complains he
was subjected to excessive force when officers verbally
harassed him, threw him into a wall, and applied his
handcuffs so tight his circulation was restricted.
Id. at 16-17. Finally, Plaintiff alleges the
following regarding his conditions of confinement: (a) he was
denied the opportunity to take a shower, (b) officers failed
to respond to his grievances, (c) he was not given
recreation, (d) he was unjustifiably placed in lock down, (e)
he was denied a Bible, (f) his mail was delayed and illegally
opened, (g) he was not provided with adequate hygiene
supplies, (h) there was not a designated physical sports area
or exercise equipment, and (i) the temperature in the housing
units are too low. Id. at 15-16, 18, 20-21, 23.
Plaintiff alleges he had cuts and bruises, joint pain,
migraines, anxiety, and PTSD attacks. Id. at 25.
Plaintiff seeks monetary damages. Id.
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). Pro se 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. 1990).
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 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). In this case, Plaintiff names JRLDC
as the sole defendant. However, JRLDC is not a person
amenable to suit under § 1983, but a collection of
buildings, facilities, and grounds that do not act under
color of state law. See Monell v. Dep't of Soc.
Serv., 436 U.S. 658, 690 (1978); Nelson v. Lexington
Cnty. Det. Ctr., No. 8:10-2988-JMC, 2011 WL 2066551, at
*1 (D.S.C. May 26, 2011) (finding that the plaintiff failed
to establish that the Lexington County Detention Center,
“as a building and not a person, is amenable to suit
under § 1983”). Accordingly, Plaintiff's
complaint is subject to summary dismissal.
may attempt to correct the defects in his complaint by filing
an amended complaint by February 1, 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. ...