United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division
REPORT OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE
F. McDonald, United States Magistrate Judge.
plaintiff, a state prisoner proceeding pro se and
in forma pauperis, brings this action pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his constitutional
rights. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
636(b), and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d) (D.S.C.), this
magistrate judge is authorized to review all pretrial matters
in cases filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and submit
findings and recommendations to the district court.
plaintiff's complaint was entered on the docket on August
26, 2019 (doc. 1). By order filed August 28, 2019, the
plaintiff was given a specific time frame in which to bring
his case into proper form for judicial screening (doc. 7).
The plaintiff complied with the court's order, bringing
his case into proper form. In his initial complaint, the
plaintiff alleged that he was moved into the Wateree dorm at
Broad River Correctional Institution (“Broad
River”) on March 25, 2019 (id. at 5). He
alleged he was afraid of gang members in this dorm, and that
the Warden and Associate Warden of the Broad River refused to
move him to a different dorm. As a result, he alleged that he
suffered severe anxiety and trouble sleeping (id.).
On September 20, 2019, the undersigned issued an order
informing the plaintiff that his complaint was subject to
dismissal as drafted and providing him with fourteen days to
file an amended complaint and correct the deficiencies noted
in the order (doc. 12). On October 2, 2019, the
plaintiff's amended complaint was entered on the docket
(doc. 15). In it, he abandons his initial claims concerning
prison dorm placement and gang fears, and now blames his
anxiety and lack of sleep on his lack of outdoor recreation
and sunlight (id.). On October 9, 2019, the
undersigned issued a second order informing the plaintiff
that his complaint, as amended, was subject to dismissal as
drafted and providing him with the opportunity to file a
second amended complaint and correct the deficiencies noted
in the order (doc. 18). The plaintiff was informed that if he
failed to file a second amended complaint or cure the
deficiencies outlined in the order, the undersigned would
recommend that his claims be dismissed (id.). The
plaintiff has failed to file a second amended complaint
within the time provided; accordingly, the undersigned
recommends that the instant matter be dismissed.
noted, the plaintiff is a state inmate in the custody of the
South Carolina Department of Corrections (“SCDC”)
at Broad River. His amended complaint contends that his
constitutional rights have been violated because he has not
been allowed outdoor recreation time since April of
2018, and that his window does not allow
sunlight (doc. 15 at 4-5). The plaintiff indicates that he
spoke with both Warden Stephon and A/W Peoples about his
access to outdoor recreation and was informed that recreation
was a privilege and not a right (id. at 5-6). The
plaintiff's alleged injuries include suffering from
anxiety and not being able to sleep (id.). The
plaintiff seeks $100, 000.00 in damages (id.).
plaintiff filed this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915, the in forma pauperis statute. This statute
authorizes the District Court to dismiss a case if it is
satisfied that the action “fails to state a claim on
which relief may be granted, ” is “frivolous or
malicious, ” or “seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2)(B). Further, the plaintiff is a prisoner
under the definition of 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(c), and
“seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity.” 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(a). Thus, even if the plaintiff had prepaid the full
filing fee, this Court is charged with screening the
plaintiff's lawsuit to identify cognizable claims or to
dismiss the complaint if (1) it is frivolous, malicious, or
fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or
(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
pro se litigant, the plaintiff's pleadings are
accorded liberal construction and held to a less stringent
standard than formal pleadings drafted by attorneys. See
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89 (2007) (per
curiam). The requirement of liberal construction does
not mean that the Court can ignore a clear failure in the
pleading to allege facts which set forth a claim cognizable
in a federal district court. See Weller v. Dep't of
Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990).
complaint is filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which
“‘is not itself a source of substantive
rights,' but merely provides ‘a method for
vindicating federal rights elsewhere conferred.'”
Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994)
(quoting Baker v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 144 n. 3
(1979)). A civil action under § 1983 “creates a
private right of action to vindicate violations of
‘rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the
Constitution and laws' of the United States.”
Rehberg v. Paulk, 566 U.S. 356, 361 (2012). To state
a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two
essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the
Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and
(2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person
acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
noted above, the plaintiff filed the instant action pursuant
to § 1983, seeking damages from the defendants.
Nevertheless, the plaintiff's second amended complaint is
subject to summary dismissal.
Eighth Amendment expressly prohibits the infliction of
“cruel and unusual punishments.” U.S. Const.
amend. VIII. To succeed on an Eighth Amendment claim for
cruel and unusual punishment regarding the conditions of his
confinement, a prisoner must prove that he was deprived of a
basic human need and that prison officials were deliberately
indifferent to that deprivation. See Strickler v.
Waters, 989 F.2d 1375, 1379 (4th Cir. 1993). The first
prong of the Strickler analysis requires an
objective showing that the deprivation was sufficiently
serious, such that significant physical or emotional injury
resulted from it, while the second prong is a subjective test
requiring evidence that prison officials acted with a
sufficiently culpable state of mind. Id. (citing
Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 298 (1991)).
plaintiff alleges that Warden Stephon and A/W Peoples have
prevented him from attending outdoor recreation and that upon
request, the defendants informed him that recreation time was
a privilege and not a right (id. at 5-6). Although
the denial of out-of-cell exercise may violate the
constitution over an extended period of time, Mitchell v.
Rice, 954 F.2d 187, 192 (4th Cir. 1992), the
plaintiff's amended complaint does not allege sufficient
facts to state a plausible claim for relief. Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (noting that “a
claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.”) (citing Twombly v. Bell Atl. Corp.,
550 U.S. 544, 556-57 (2007)); Griffith v. State Farm Fire
and Cas. Co., C/A No. 2:12-239-DCN, 2012 WL 2048200, at
*1 (D.S.C. June 6, 2012) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
678) (noting that the plausibility standard requires more
than “‘an unadorned,
Indeed, although “it is well-established that there is
a constitutional necessity for some out-of-cell exercise, it
is equally recognized that penological considerations may
justify restrictions.” Koon v. Ozmint, C/A No.
8:06-1072-RBH, 2007 WL 1585161, at *1 (D.S.C. May 21, 2007)
(citing Mitchell v. Rice, 954 F.2d 187, 192 (4th