United States District Court, D. South Carolina
ORDER AND NOTICE
V. Hodges United States Magistrate Judge
Frazier (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se, filed
this complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
Lieber Correctional Institution's Warden Kindel
(“Kindel”), as well as Warden James Blackwell
(“Blackwell”) and Warden Joseph McFadden
“Defendants”), in their official and individual
capacities, alleging violations of his constitutional rights.
Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B)
and Local Civ. Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d) (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 housed at Perry Correctional Institution.
[ECF No. 1 at 2, 6]. He alleges Defendants deprived him of
his constitutional rights. Id. at 2-4.
alleges that from July 4, 2017, to April 15, 2018,
was confined to his cell with only one shower per week, no
recreation, and no access to the law library. Id. at
5. He claims he was served three cold meals per day during
this period and his cell was not cleaned for months at a
time. Id. He maintains his inability to access the
law library and the absence of a table and chair in his cell
prevented him from timely filing a petition for writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Id.
He claims his health deteriorated from a lack of sunlight and
fresh air, and he developed a Staphylococcus infection as a
result of infrequent showers, poor drainage, and an unclean
cell. Id. at 7.
requests the court order his health problems be treated and
award him damages of $10 per day for each day he was
subjected to these conditions, as well as punitive damages.
Id. at 7.
Standard of Review
undersigned anticipates Plaintiff will proceed with 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).
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). 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). 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. 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).
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). 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
does not allege any specific personal actions by Kindel,
Blackwell, or McFadden that violated his rights.
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 & Arthur R. Miller,
Federal Practice and Procedure § 1230 (3d ed.
2014). To assert a viable § 1983 claim against a public
official, a causal connection or affirmative link must exist
between the public official and his/her conduct. See
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676 (providing a plaintiff in a
§ 1983 action must plead that the defendant, through his
own individual actions, violated the Constitution); Rizzo
v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 371-72 (1976) (a § 1983
plaintiff must show he suffered a specific injury as a result
of specific conduct of a defendant, and an affirmative link
between the injury and that conduct); Wright v. Co
lins, 766 F.2d 841, 850 (4th Cir. 1985)
(“In order for an individual to be liable under §
1983, it must be ‘affirmatively shown that the official
charged acted personally in the deprivation of the
plaintiff's rights. The doctrine ...