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Greene v. Stephan
United States District Court, D. South Carolina
August 30, 2019
Latorey J. Greene, Sr., #292916, Plaintiff,
Warden Michael Stephan, Major Parrish, L.T. Williams, L.T. Parker, Capt. Carter, Officer C. Booker, Mrs. Collins, SGT. Barr, Ms. Holmes, Ms. Washington, S.G.T. Fox, Officer Durant, McElveen, Dixon, McKenzie, K. Rivers, Janine Wrecsizs, L. Johnson, Smith, Ms. Miller, Ms. Marbley, Ms. Desia, McDuffie RN, Ms. Miller, W. Fulton, Ms. Green, Officer Stuckey, Warden Shepard, Major Clark, L.T. Belton, Capt. Mack, S.G.T. Palmer, Capt. Brightheart, S.G.T. Williams, Officer Robinson, Samuel L. Soltis, Micheal McCall, B. Lewis, J. Pate, Ms. Ardis, S. Stokes, Nadine Pridgen, Ann Hallman, Cheron M. Hess, Warden McKie, David Martinez, L.T. Freng, J. McRee, Dr. A. Compton Defendants.
ORDER AND NOTICE
V. HODGES, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
J. Greene, Sr. (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se
and in forma pauperis, filed this complaint pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 against the above-named Defendants,
alleging violations of his civil rights. 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 state prisoner currently housed at Perry Correctional
Institution. [ECF No. 1 at 2]. Plaintiff has been
incarcerated in various South Carolina Department of
Corrections (“SCDC”) facilities since February
2000. Id. at 5. He alleges “numerous staff
members” have contributed to his mental and physical
trauma. Id. at 3. He claims he suffers from multiple
physical and psychiatric symptoms. Id. at 3. He
states he has been subjected to excessive force and denied
medical attention. Id. at 3. He claims he has been
sexually assaulted and stabbed on more than one occasion.
Id. at 3. He states he was housed with other inmates
who had infectious diseases, as well as other inmates who
assaulted him. Id. at 3. He claims SCDC employees
placed him in hostile situations. Id. at 4. He
indicates he was injured in a bus accident at Kirkland
Correctional Institution. Id. at 3. He maintains he
was improperly subjected to lock-up in April 2018.
Id. at 4. He claims SCDC employees have defamed his
character by referring to him as a homosexual male.
Id. at 3. He states his cell windows have been
covered, preventing him from discerning night from day.
Id. at 4. He indicates he has been denied recreation
by SCDC employees at multiple institutions. Id. at
4. He complains of poor air circulation and dirty showers.
Id. at 2, 4. He generally alleges SCDC staff does
not protect inmates. Id. at 3. He states he was
denied protective custody after he reported information about
gang violence and a murder. Id. at 3. He claims he
has been subjected to solitary confinement, which has
exacerbated his mental health symptoms. Id. at 4.
asserts claims for violation of due process and cruel and
unusual punishment and seeks damages and injunctive relief.
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
generally 5 Charles Alan Wright & Arthur R. Miller,
Federal Practice and Procedure § 1230 (3d ed.
Causal Connection Between Conduct and Official Sued
assert a viable § 1983 claim against a particular public
official, Plaintiff must allege a causal connection or
affirmative link between the conduct of which he complains
and the official sued. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 676 (2009) (providing that a plaintiff in a §
1983 action must plead that the defendant, through his own
individual actions, violated the Constitution); Rizzo v.
Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72 (1976) (holding a §
1983 plaintiff must show that he suffered a specific injury
as a result of specific conduct of a defendant, and an
affirmative link between the injury and that conduct);
Wright v. Collins, 766 F.2d 841, 850 (4th Cir. 1985)
(“In order for an individual to be liable under §
1983, it must be ‘affirmatively shown that the official
charged acted personally in the deprivation of the
plaintiff's rights. The doctrine of respondeat superior
has no application under this section.'”) (quoting