United States District Court, D. South Carolina
ORDER AND NOTICE
V. HODGES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Latroy Wells, Jr. (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro
se, filed this complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
alleging a violation of his civil rights against Defendants.
Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B)
and Local Civ. Rule 73.02(B)(2)(e) (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
is a pretrial detainee at Sumter-Lee Regional Detention
Center (“Detention Center”). [ECF No. 1 at 3]. He
alleges on or about July 1, 2019, Defendants Officer Marquez
(“Officer”) and Lieutenant Cory Tomlin
(“Lieutenant”) placed him in a cell without first
inspecting the conditions of the cell. Id. at 6. He
claims the cell contained a broken aluminum mirror with a
sharp edge. Id. at 6. He maintains that on July 25,
2019, at approximately 1:30 AM, he sustained a cut to his
left index finger after leaning it against the sharp edge of
the mirror while using the bathroom. Id. at 9. He
states Nurse Abraham (“Nurse”) responded, but
walked away from his door and threatened to leave him in his
cell if he did not stop crying and to “return the
favor” if he filed a lawsuit. Id. at 7. He
claims he was subsequently transported to a local hospital,
where he received repair for an injured artery and 10
stitches. Id. at 10.
alleges Captain Blanding (“Captain”) was in
charge of all housing units and failed to maintain cells
within the solitary unit. Id. He maintains Sheriff
Anthony Dennis (“Sheriff”) was responsible for
all staff and operations within the jail and failed to
properly instruct employees as to safety and civil rights
practices. Id. at 6. He claims Sergeant Richardson
(“Sergeant”) kept him in solitary housing
following his 15-day sentence without providing an
explanation and that he was injured during this period.
Id. at 7. He alleges Dr. Heyward
(“Doctor”) refused to provide him mental health
and medical treatment. Id. at 7.
asserts causes of action for violation of due process and
cruel and unusual punishment and requests the court mandate
the safety of each cell and award damages in the amount of
$1.2 million. Id. at 6.
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).
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.
complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Although the court must
liberally construe a pro se complaint, the United States
Supreme Court has made it clear a plaintiff must do more than
make conclusory statements to state a claim. See Ashcroft
v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677‒78 (2009); Bell
Atlantic 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, and the reviewing court need only accept as true the
complaint's factual allegations, not its legal
conclusions. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678‒79.
state a plausible claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. §
1983,  an aggrieved party must sufficiently
allege he was injured by “the deprivation of any [of
his or her] rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the
[United States] Constitution and laws” by a
“person” acting “under color of state
law.” See 42 U.S.C. § 1983; see