United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division
REPORT OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE
F. McDonald United States Magistrate Judge
plaintiff, a pretrial detainee proceeding pro se and
in forma pauperis, brings this action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his constitutional
rights. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
636(b), and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d), 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.
plaintiff's complaint was filed on December 13, 2018
(doc. 1). By order filed December 21, 2018, the plaintiff was
given a specific time frame in which to bring his case into
proper form for judicial screening (doc. 7). The plaintiff
has complied with the Court's order, and this case is now
in proper form.
plaintiff alleges that while incarcerated, his medical issues
were ignored by Nurse Donna Miller and her employer Southern
Health Partners, as well as correctional officers Chad Cox
and T. Montgomery. Also named as defendants are the Greenwood
County Detention Center (“GCDC”) and the Saluda
County Detention Center (“SCDC”) (doc. 1). He
seeks monetary damages for violations of his Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendment rights (doc. 1 at 6). Because GCDC and
SCDC are not subject to suit under § 1983 as addressed
below, they should be dismissed from this case.
plaintiff filed this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915, the in forma pauperis statute. This statute
authorizes the District Court to dismiss a case if it is
satisfied that the action “fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted, ” is “frivolous or
malicious, ” or “seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B). 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 (2007) (per curiam). 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, 391
(4th Cir. 1990).
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 § 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). To state
a claim under § 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).
plaintiff's complaint names the GCDC and SCDC as
defendants (doc. 1). It is well settled that only
“persons” may act under color of state law; thus,
a defendant in a § 1983 action must qualify as a
“person.” GCDC and SCDC are buildings, not
persons and do not act under color of state law. Hence, GCDC
and SCDC are not subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
See Harden v. Green, 27 Fed.Appx. 173, 178 (4th Cir.
2001); See also Nelson v. Lexington Cty. Det. Ctr.,
C/A No. 8:10-2988-JMC, 2011 WL 2066551, at *1 (D.S.C. May 26,
2011) (finding that a building-the detention center-is not
amenable to suit under § 1983). Accordingly, as GCDC and
SCDC are not “persons” under § 1983, the
complaint fails to state a claim on which relief may be
granted against them, and they are entitled to summary
dismissal. The case will continue as to defendants Donna
Miller, Southern Health Partners, Chad Cox, and T.
it is recommended that the District Court dismiss this action
with prejudice and without issuance and
service of process as to defendants GCDC and SCDC.
IS SO RECOMMENDED
plaintiff's attention is directed to the important notice
on the next page.
of Right to File Objections to Report ...