United States District Court, D. South Carolina
ORDER AND NOTICE
V. Hodges, United States Magistrate Judge.
Antwoin Ways ("Plaintiff), proceeding pro se, filed this
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging a
violation of civil rights against South Carolina Department
of Corrections ("SCDC"). 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 incarcerated at Kershaw Correctional
Institution ("KCI"), an SCDC facility. [ECF No. 1
at 2]. Plaintiff maintains he arrived at KCI in October 2018.
Id. at 5. He claims he has only been permitted to
shower as often as once a week or as infrequently as twice a
month. Id. at 5. He maintains he developed spots on
his skin from either the lack of showers or the water in KCI.
Id. at 6. He alleges he has been unable to use the
phone to contact his family members. Id. at 5. He
states he has not been screened for medical services.
Id. at 5. He alleges he requested treatment for the
spots on his skin, but has not received a response.
Id. at 6. He indicates he has been prevented from
grooming or cleaning his cell. Id. at 5. He claims
KCI staff members are not turning in his outgoing mail.
Id. at 5.
asserts a cause of action for cruel and unusual punishment.
He requests no specific relief and maintains he will
"[l]et the court decide." Id. at 6.
Standard of Review
has neither paid the filing fee nor moved to proceed in forma
pauperis. Should Plaintiff bring the case into proper form,
the undersigned anticipates it will be brought 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.
§ l9l5(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).
SeeNeitzke 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 plaintiffs 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. 1990).
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. A complaint must also
contain "a demand for the type of relief sought, which
may include relief in the alternative or different types of
relief." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(3).
state a plausible claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. §
1983,  an aggrieved party must sufficiently
allege that 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.
"persons" may act under color of state law!
therefore, a defendant in a § 1983 action must qualify
as a "person." For example, inanimate objects such
as buildings, facilities, and grounds are not
"persons" and cannot act under color of state law.
See Preval v. Reno, 57 F.Supp.2d 307, 310 (E.D. Va.
1999) ("[T]he Piedmont Regional Jail is not a
'person,' and therefore not amenable to suit under 42
U.S.C. § 1983."); Brooks v. Pembroke City
Jail, 722 F.Supp. 1294, 1301 (E.D. N.C. 1989)
("Claims under § 1983 are directed at
'persons' and the jail is not a person amenable to
use of the term "staff or the equivalent as a name for
alleged defendants, without the naming of specific staff
members, is not adequate to state a claim against a
"person" as required in § 1983 actions.
See Barnes v. Baskerville Corr Cen. Med. ...