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Holmes v. Aiken County Detention Center

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

October 22, 2019

Ricky Antonio Holmes, # 931415, Plaintiff,
v.
Aiken County Detention Center, Defendant.

          ORDER AND NOTICE

          Shiva V. Hodges United States Magistrate Judge

         Ricky Antonio Holmes (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging a violation of civil rights against Defendant Aiken County Detention Center (“Detention Center”). 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.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         Plaintiff is a pretrial detainee incarcerated at Detention Center. [ECF No. 1 at 2, 4]. Plaintiff alleges that on August 21, 2019, he was placed in a cell with three other inmates and only two beds. Id. at 5, 6, 7, 8. He claims the cell had a non-operational emergency intercom and mold growing from its walls. Id. Plaintiff complains of access to only two working showers with mold growing from their walls. Id. at 6, 7, 8. He indicates Detention Center serves food that is cold and meat that is not fit for human consumption. Id.

         Plaintiff alleges he has verbally requested transfer from his cell, complained of conditions to Detention Center's employees, and filed grievances through Detention Center's kiosks. Id. at 5, 8, 9. He states conditions have failed to improve despite his complaints. Id.

         Plaintiff states Defendant has violated “my Living Constitution As well As my Inmate Rights.” Id. at 4. He requests no specific relief.[1] See Id. at 6.

         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 Sign Complaint

         Plaintiff has failed to sign the complaint. See EFC No. 1 at 12. Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 11(a), “[e]very pleading, written motion, and other paper must be signed . . . by a party personally if the party is unrepresented . . . . The court must strike an unsigned paper unless the omission is promptly corrected after being called to the . . . party's attention.” Therefore, ...


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