United States District Court, D. South Carolina
Honorable Bruce Howe Hendricks, United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court upon Plaintiff Mario Antwan
Lloyd's (“Plaintiff” or “Lloyd”)
pro se complaint filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In
his complaint, Plaintiff alleges violations of his
constitutional rights while he was a pretrial detainee at
Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center (“SLRDC”).
Plaintiff names as Defendants the following SLRDC employees:
Lieutenant James (“James”), Lieutenant Lumpkin
(“Lumpkin”), Sergeant Shirah
(“Shirah”), Major Anthony Dennis
(“Dennis”), Captain Kelly (“Kelly”),
and Major McGhaney (“McGhaney”) (collectively
referred to as “Defendants”). On December 12,
2018, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment.
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule
73.02(B)(2)(c) (D.S.C.), the matter was referred to a United
States Magistrate Judge for initial review. On March 6, 2019,
Magistrate Judge Shiva V. Hodges filed a Report and
Recommendation (“Report”) outlining the issues
and recommending that the Court grant Defendants' motion
for summary judgment. Attached to the Report was a notice
advising the parties of the right to file written objections
to the Report within fourteen days of receiving a copy. On
March 21, 2019, Plaintiff filed objections, and Defendants
filed a response to Plaintiff's objections.
The Magistrate Judge's Report
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to the Court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the
responsibility to make a final determination remains with the
Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261 (1976). The
Court is charged with making a de novo determination
only of those portions of the Report to which specific
objections are made, and the Court may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of the
Magistrate Judge, or recommit the matter to the Magistrate
Judge with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). In the
absence of specific objections, the Court reviews the matter
only for clear error. See Diamond v. Colonial Life &
Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005)
(stating that “in the absence of a timely filed
objection, a district court need not conduct a de novo
review, but instead must ‘only satisfy itself that
there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to
accept the recommendation.'”) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P.
72 advisory committee's note).
shall grant summary judgment if a party shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).
The judge is not to weigh the evidence, but rather to
determine if there is a genuine issue of fact. Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). If no
material factual disputes remain, then summary judgment
should be granted against a party who fails to make a showing
sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential
to that party's case, and on which the party bears the
burden of proof. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 323 (1986). All evidence should be viewed in the light
most favorable to the non-moving party. See Perini Corp.
v. Perini Constr., Inc., 915 F.2d 121, 123-24 (4th Cir.
Report, the Magistrate Judge first determined that Plaintiff
has failed to state a cognizable claim under § 1983 with
respect to his assertion that Defendants did not properly
process or respond to Plaintiff's grievances, noting that
Plaintiff does not have a constitutional right to a grievance
procedure. See Adams v. Rice, 40 F.3d 72, 75 (4th
Cir. 1994). In his objections, Plaintiff again complains that
Defendants did not answer his grievances, but nowhere in his
objections does he point to a legal error in the Magistrate
Judge's analysis. After review, therefore, the Court
agrees with the Magistrate Judge that Plaintiff's
complaints related to the grievance process at SLRDC fail to
state a cognizable claim under § 1983.
Magistrate Judge next examined Plaintiff's complaints
related to his conditions of confinement. Specifically, the
Magistrate Judge considered Plaintiff's claim that
Defendants violated his constitutional rights by improperly
classifying him as a maximum security threat although he had
not been charged with disciplinary infractions. The
Magistrate Judge outlined Plaintiff's transfers between
A, B, and G pods, along with the evidence regarding
Defendants' reasons for classifying Plaintiff as a
maximum security inmate. Ultimately, the Magistrate Judge
found that Plaintiff failed to show that his transfers
between pods amounted to unconstitutional punishment because
“Defendants have provided uncontroverted evidence that
decisions about Plaintiff's security classification and
housing assignments were made based on safety and security
concerns at the institution.” (ECF No. 35 at 8.)
spends the majority of his objections rehashing his arguments
regarding his security classification and cell assignments.
After review, however, the Court finds that other than his
conclusory assertion that he was not a security threat,
Plaintiff has not pointed to any evidence indicating that his
security classification and cell assignment were not
reasonably based on SLRDC's interest in maintaining jail
safety and security. Although Plaintiff may disagree with
Defendants' reasons for transferring him between pods,
the Court fully agrees with the Magistrate Judge that
Plaintiff has failed to show that his transfers constituted
the Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge that Plaintiff has
not sufficiently alleged that his conditions of confinement
deprived him of a basic human need. Plaintiff again complains
in his objections that he did not have a bunk, but after
review of the record, the Court agrees with the Magistrate
Judge that Plaintiff has not alleged any actual injury to
sustain his claims regarding the conditions of confinement.
in her Report the Magistrate Judge found that Plaintiff's
conclusory allegation that he was discriminated against by
being assigned to maximum security housing was insufficient
to support a claim of discrimination. See Chapman v.
Reynolds, 378 F.Supp. 1137, 1140 (W.D. Va. 1974) (noting
that a merely conclusory allegation of discrimination,
without facts supporting the assertion that an officer's
conduct was motivated by the litigant's race, is
insufficient to state an actionable § 1983 ...