Locke v. Eastergard et al
ORDER accepting 8 Report and Recommendation and dismissing Plaintiff's 1 Complaint without prejudice and without issuance and service of process. Signed by Chief Judge Terry L Wooten on 2/3/2017. (mwal)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Jeffery D. Locke, #158388,
Case No. 1:15-3727-TLW-SVH
Nurse Eastergard; Nurse Johnson; Dr.
Sherman; Sonya Moss, Medical Staff; Tracy
Krien, Medical Staff; Mr. James Dorreity, Jail
Administrators; Scotty Bodiford, Jail
Administrators; and Steve Loftis, Sheriff,
Plaintiff Jeffery D. Locke, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, is an inmate
incarcerated at the Kershaw Correctional Institution (KCI). ECF No. 1. He filed this action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging a violation of his constitutional rights while he was
incarcerated at the Greenville County Detention Center (GCDC). The matter now comes before
the Court for review of the Report and Recommendation (R&R) filed by Magistrate Judge Hodges,
to whom this case was assigned. ECF No. 8. In the R&R, the magistrate judge recommends the
Complaint should be summarily dismissed without prejudice and without issuance of service of
process because the claim was filed after the statute of limitations had run. Plaintiff filed
objections to the R&R. ECF No. 10. This matter is now ripe for decision.
In reviewing the R&R, the Court applies the following standard:
The magistrate judge makes only a recommendation to the Court, to which any
party may file written objections . . . . The Court is not bound by the
recommendation of the magistrate judge but, instead, retains responsibility for the
final determination. The Court is required to make a de novo determination of those
portions of the report or specified findings or recommendation as to which an
objection is made. However, the Court is not required to review, under a de novo
or any other standard, the factual or legal conclusions of the magistrate judge as to
those portions of the report and recommendation to which no objections are
addressed. While the level of scrutiny entailed by the Court's review of the Report
thus depends on whether or not objections have been filed, in either case the Court
is free, after review, to accept, reject, or modify any of the magistrate judge's
findings or recommendations.
Wallace v. Hous. Auth. of City of Columbia, 791 F. Supp. 137, 138 (D.S.C. 1992) (citations
omitted). In light of the standard set forth in Wallace, the Court has reviewed de novo the R&R
and Plaintiff’s objections.
In his objections, Plaintiff first asserts the statute of limitations was tolled while a prior
lawsuit based on these same facts was pending, captioned Locke v. Greenville County Detention
Center, C/A No. 3:08-cv-01887-TLW-JRM. However, that case was dismissed without prejudice
on procedural grounds on October 24, 2008 (ECF No. 14 in the prior case), and the present case
was filed on September 16, 2015—nearly 7 years after his first case was dismissed. ECF No. 1.
Therefore, even if the 3-year statute of limitations 1 was tolled while the first lawsuit was pending,
it still expired long before this case was filed. Therefore, Plaintiff’s first objection fails.
Next, Plaintiff asserts the “continuous injury and treatment doctrine” tolls the statute of
limitation through February 2014, when his MRSA last reoccurred during his stay at KCI. ECF
No. 10 at 2-3. This argument fails because Plaintiff’s claims arise not from any alleged continuous
treatment or injury, but from the alleged failure of certain individuals to properly examine him
before placing him with infected inmates and the protocol related to this decision. ECF No. 1 at
4-5. Therefore, despite his assertion that the MRSA has reoccurred several times, his allegations
do not support the application of the doctrine in this case. Moreover, even if the doctrine were
properly applied in this case, the statute of limitations would not be tolled until his treatment ended
because Plaintiff discovered, or should have discovered, the injury giving rise to the cause of action
in 2006 when he was first diagnosed. See Anderson v. Short, 476 S.E.2d 475, 476 (S.C. 1996).
Plaintiff does not dispute the applicable statute of limitations is 3 years.
Therefore, Plaintiff’s second objection also fails.
After an appropriate review, the R&R is ACCEPTED and Plaintiff’s objections are
OVERRULED. Plaintiff’s Complaint is hereby DISMISSED without prejudice and without
issuance of service of process for the reasons stated by the magistrate judge and those stated herein.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/ Terry L. Wooten
Chief United States District Judge
February 3, 2017
Columbia, South Carolina
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