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Greene v. Stephan

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

September 24, 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.


          Shiva V. Hodges, United States Magistrate Judge.

         Latorey 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. For the following reasons, the undersigned recommends the district judge dismiss the complaint without prejudice and without issuance and service of process.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         Plaintiff 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 with 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, exacerbating his mental health symptoms. Id. at 4.

         Plaintiff asserts claims for violation of due process and cruel and unusual punishment and seeks damages and injunctive relief.

         Plaintiff filed his complaint on August 22, 2019. [ECF No. 1]. On August 30, 2019, the undersigned issued (1) an order directing Plaintiff to complete documents necessary to bring the case into proper form for service and (2) an order and notice, cautioning Plaintiff that his case was subject to summary dismissal and permitting him until September 20, 2019, to attempt to correct defects in his complaint. [ECF Nos. 8 and 9]. Plaintiff has failed to comply with either order.

         II. Discussion

         A. Standard of Review

         Plaintiff 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).

         Pro se 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. 1990).

         B. Analysis

         1. Failure to Prosecute

         It is well established that a district court has authority to dismiss a case for failure to prosecute. “The authority of a court to dismiss sua sponte for lack of prosecution has generally been considered an ‘inherent power,' governed not by rule or statute but by the control necessarily vested in courts to manage their own affairs so as to achieve the orderly and expeditious disposition of cases.” See Link v. Wabash R.R. Co., 370 U.S. 626, 630-31 (1962). In addition to its inherent authority, this court may also sua sponte dismiss a case for lack of prosecution under Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b). Id. at 630. Based on Plaintiff's failure to respond to the court's August 30, 2019 orders, the undersigned concludes Plaintiff does not intend to pursue the above-captioned ...

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