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Waldrup v. Mueller

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

September 13, 2019

Richard Douglas Waldrup, # 20170291, Plaintiff,
v.
Sheriff Steve Mueller and Captain Robert Padgett, Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          BRISTOW MARCHANT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This action has been filed by the Plaintiff, pro se, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[1]Plaintiff, who at the time he filed this action was a pre-trial detainee at the Cherokee County Detention Center, is currently an inmate with the South Carolina Department of Corrections (“SCDC”).[2] Plaintiff alleges in his Complaint that the Defendants failed to provide him with constitutionally required medical care while he was housed at the Detention Center.

         A motion for summary judgment on Plaintiff's claims filed by the Defendants has previously been denied. See Order Court Docket No. 55. See also Court Docket No. 52 (Report and Recommendation). The Defendants have now filed a motion to dismiss this case as moot, arguing that since Plaintiff has now been transferred to the SCDC, they no longer have any control over Plaintiff's medical care and are not capable of providing Plaintiff's requested relief to be “treated by health care professionals”. Plaintiff opposes the Defendants' motion, and the undersigned is constrained to agree with the Plaintiff that his transfer to the SCDC does not moot this case.

         As Plaintiff is no longer housed at the Detention Center, Defendants are correct that they are not responsible for (and cannot provide) his requested injunctive relief. Slade v. Hampton Roads Reg'l Jail, 407 F.3d 243, 248-249 (4th Cir. 2005)[holding that former detainee's request for injunctive relief was moot]; Taggart v. Oklahoma, 74 Fed.Appx. 880, 882 (10th Cir. 2003)[inmate's claims concerning his medical needs against prison officials for injunctive relief were rendered moot by his release]; LaFlame v. Montgomery County Sheriff's Dep't., 3 Fed.Appx. 346 at * * 1 (6th Cir. Jan. 31, 2003)[same]. Therefore, the undersigned agrees that Plaintiff's claim for injunctive and/or declaratory relief in this case should be dismissed. See United States Parole Commission v. Geraghty, 445 U.S. 388, 397 (1980) [Noting that the issue in controversy must “exist at the commencement of the litigation . . . [and] must continue throughout its existence”]; Powell v. McCormack, 395 U.S. 486, 496 (1969) [“[A] case is moot when the issues presented are no longer live or the parties lack a legally cognizable interest in the outcome”].

         However, Plaintiff also seeks monetary damages for the Defendants' alleged failure to provide him with constitutionally required medical care. Plaintiff's claims for monetary damages survive his release from the Detention Center; see Mawhinney v. Henderson, 542 F.2d 1, 2 (2d Cir. 1976); and as public officials, the named individual Defendants are subject to suit for damages in their individual capacities in a § 1983 lawsuit. Will v. Michigan Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 71 (1989); Hafer v. Melo, 112 S.Ct. 358, 365 (1991); Goodmon v. Rockefeller, 947 F.2d 1186, 1187 (4th Cir. 1991). Therefore, the Defendants are not entitled to dismissal of Plaintiff s claim against them for monetary damages.

         Conclusion

         Based on the foregoing, it is recommended that the Defendants' motion to dismiss this case as moot be denied.

         The parties are referred to the Notice Page attached hereto.

         Notice of Right to File Objections to Report and Recommendation

         The parties are advised that they may file specific written objections to this Report and Recommendation with the District Judge. Objections must specifically identify the portions of the Report and Recommendation to which objections are made and the basis for such objections. “[I]n the absence of a timely filed objection, a district court need not conduct a de novo review, but instead must ‘only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation.'” Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310 (4th Cir. 2005) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory committee's note).

         Specific written objections must be filed within fourteen (14) days of the date of service of this Report and Recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(a), (d). Filing by mail pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5 may be accomplished by mailing objections to:

Robin L. Blume, Clerk
United States District ...

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