United States District Court, D. South Carolina
Darrell L. Goss, Plaintiff,
Bryan P. Stirling; Charles Williams; Joel Anderson; Aaron Joyner; Michael Stephen; Scott Lewis; Willie Davis; Richard Cothran; Levern Cohen; Donnie E. Stonebreaker; Terrie Wallace; Gary Lane; John Pate; Patricia Yeldell, Defendants.
V. HODGES UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
L. Goss (“Plaintiff), proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, filed this action alleging increased violence in 13
institutions of the South Carolina Department of Corrections
(“SCDC”) resulting from an influx of gang
members, prison overcrowding, and understaffing. [ECF No. 1].
This matter comes before the court on Plaintiffs motions (1)
for sanctions [ECF No. 116]; (2) for sanctions and to conduct
additional discovery [ECF No. 121]; and (3) for continuous
discovery [ECF No. 130]. This matter is referred to the
undersigned for all pretrial proceedings pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), and Local Civ. Rule
73.02(B)(2)(d) (D.S.C.). For the foregoing reasons, the
undersigned denies Plaintiffs motions.
originally listed 27 proposed plaintiffs, but only he signed
the complaint. On August 6, 2018, the Honorable Mary Gordon
Baker, United States Magistrate Judge,  issued an order
noting the Clerk of Court had properly listed only Plaintiff
on the docket, as pro se parties may not represent
the right of others. [ECF No. 7].
April 4, 2019, Judge Baker granted in part and denied in part
Plaintiffs second motion to compel. [ECF No. 97].
Specifically, Judge Baker found Plaintiff was entitled,
subject to certain limitations, to the information requested
in his Second Requests for Production Nos. 1-6 and Third
Requests for Production No. 6. The requests, as modified by
Judge Baker, include pictures of all homemade weapons at six
SCDC institutions and videos and incident reports of any
inmate assaults at the six institutions.
25, 2019, Defendants served Plaintiff with written responses
to his requests for production on Plaintiff and submitted the
responsive documents to the court for in camera
review. Specifically, the written responses note that
providing Plaintiff with the voluminous documents poses a
security risk. Defendants note that Plaintiff was convicted
of institutional charges of “Assault on an Inmate with
a Weapon with Intent to Injure/Kill” arising out of a
January 2018 attack on two unarmed inmates. [ECF No. 122 at
5-6]. Therefore, Defendants argue that providing Plaintiff
“photographs of other inmates' successful attempts
at turning various pieces of the infrastructure of
institutions into weapons is a security risk. . . .”
However, the responses provide Plaintiff with the numbers of
homemade weapons found at the institutions within the
parameters set by Judge Baker. In response to a request for
videos and incident reports of attacks, Defendants provided
the court the responsive documents in camera, but
provided Plaintiff only with the statistics of such events.
In each instance, with the exception of a stabbing of which
Plaintiff was one of two assaulting inmates, Defendants note
that Plaintiff was not involved in the incident.
first motion for sanctions, dated June 28, 2019, indicates he
had not received discovery responses from Defendants. [ECF
No. 116]. However, it appears that they may have been delayed
in the mail, as he filed a more substantive motion for
sanctions a few days later. The undersigned therefore finds
as moot Plaintiffs July 2, 2019 motion for
second motion for sanctions and discovery, Plaintiff argues
defense counsel is intentionally attempting to mislead him
and the court because the numbers Defendants provided for
Turbeville Correctional Institution (“TCI”) in
this case do not match the numbers provided in discovery in a
state court case he has pending against TCI defendants. [ECF
No. 121]. Given that defense counsel is the same in both
cases, it is not clear why Plaintiff believes any discrepancy
is intentional, as Plaintiff was provided with both sets of
information. In any event, Defendants explained that (1) the
discrepancies only involved a few incidents, as Plaintiff was
counting some of the months not at issue in this case and (2)
the discrepancy caused by a difference in the
characterization of incidents in which an inmate used an
unconventional weapon (i.e. bodily fluids or a chair) are
characterized differently. [ECF No. 127]. Plaintiff filed no
reply disputing Defendants' explanation.
also argues Defendants improperly failed to provide
information relating to the December 31, 2017 riot at TCI.
Judge Baker specifically limited this request to “any
incident reports or photos related to this riot that directly
involve Plaintiff.” [ECF No. 97 at 5]. Defendants
responded they do not have any incident reports or photos
directly related to Plaintiff from the December 31, 2017
incident. Therefore, even if Plaintiff was
“involved” in the riot as he alleges, Defendants
do not have any documents responsive to his request, as
narrowed by Judge Baker. The undersigned denies Plaintiffs
July 11, 2019 motion for sanctions. Additionally, Plaintiffs
request to conduct additional discovery, including the
monthly management information reports from each institution,
is denied, as he has already conducted broad discovery
subject to his claims.
also requests “an order granting him on-going discovery
until trial.” [ECF No. 130]. Plaintiff claims he needs
additional discovery because gang-related stabbings continue
to occur at SCDC's prisons state-wide. Id.
However, Plaintiff does not indicate these incidents affected
him in any way, and the court notes he is placed in Lieber
Correctional Institution's Restorative Unit. [ECF No. 122
at 13]. Plaintiff is reminded he may not represent the
interests of other prisoners and this case concerns only
whether his constitutional rights were violated. While
Plaintiff has cited to cases such as Shrader v.
White, 761 F.2d 975 (4th Cir. 1985), in arguing he is
entitled to broad discovery at all SCDC institutions, the
undersigned notes that Shrader was a class action
case involving multiple plaintiffs. Additionally,
Shrader was issued 34 years ago before the enactment
of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997e,
which may affect the viability of his claims. Plaintiffs
motion for further or continuous discovery is denied.
 This matter was reassigned to the
undersigned on July 26, 2019, for reasons unrelated to this
 The motion also alleges defense
counsel advised him SCDC may move him out of state in
retaliation for filing lawsuits. [ECF No. 116]. Defense
counsel denies having advised Plaintiff he may be moved out
of state. [ECF No. 122 at 14]. As Plaintiff remains in SCDC
custody in ...