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 the above-named 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 state prisoner incarcerated at Kershaw Correctional
Institution ("KCI"). [ECF No. 1 at 2]. Plaintiff
maintains he arrived at KCI in October 2018 and was placed in
a cell with no mattress for several days and no running water
for 14 days. Id. at 5. He claims he was permitted to
shower once a week, was not allowed to communicate with his
family members, and was denied recreation time. Id.
at 6. He maintains he received no medical evaluation for
nearly 60 days after entering KCI. Id. at 6. He
contends he received no cleaning supplies, causing black mold
to grow in his cell. Id. at 6. He claims several
fires were set within his unit, causing him to experience
smoke inhalation as a result of nonworking sprinklers.
Id. at 6. He maintains KCI is understaffed, placing
his safety in jeopardy. Id. at 6.
specifically alleges he informed Major Smith
("Smith") of conditions within his cell and that
Smith witnessed the fires. Id. at 6. He generally
alleges defendants Associate Warden Canning
("Canning"), Associate Warden Ford
("Ford") and Smith were notified several times of
unconstitutional and inhumane conditions in KCI and did
nothing to improve them. Id. at 4. Plaintiff has
sued each defendant in his official capacity. Id. at
alleges he suffered staphylococcus-like symptoms and
developed growths and rashes because he was not permitted to
bathe properly. Id. at 7. He claims he developed
respiratory problems as a result of smoke and black mold
inhalation. Id. at 7. He indicates his treatment at
KCI has caused him to become emotionally unstable.
Id. at 7. He maintains he has requested medical
attention on multiple occasions, but has not seen a doctor or
mental health counselor. Id. at 7.
asserts a cause of action for cruel and unusual punishment
and requests the court award him damages of $500.00 per day
from October 20, 2016, through May 1, 2019, and commute his
sentence to community supervision so he may obtain
rehabilitation and medical attention.
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. § 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). 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 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.
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 ...