Ramu v. Johnson
ORDER denying Plaintiff's 43 motion to deny summary judgment ; denying 45 motion for issuance of a subpoena and denying 46 motion for monetary relief or trial. Signed by Magistrate Judge Shiva V. Hodges on 7/14/2021. (lbak)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Samual Earl Ramu,
Major Jeff Johnson, Director of
Florence County Detention Center,
C/A No.: 1:21-197-BHH-SVH
Samual Earl Ramu (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se and in forma
pauperis, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Major Jeff
Johnson (“Defendant”), Director of the Florence County Detention Center
(“FCDC”), in his individual and official capacities, alleging violation of
Plaintiff’s Fourteenth Amendment rights regarding alleged unsanitary
conditions found at FCDC, including in the showers and contaminated
drinking water. All pretrial proceedings in this case were referred to the
undersigned pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civ.
Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d) (D.S.C.).
This matter comes before the court on Plaintiff’s motion to deny any
and all summary judgment and grant monetary relief requested [ECF No.
43], motion for issuance of a subpoena [ECF No. 45], and motion for monetary
relief or trial [ECF No. 46].
In his first motion, notwithstanding the title, Plaintiff appears to
request the court direct Defendant to answer certain outstanding discovery
requests and offers the evidence he has gathered thus far in anticipation of a
motion for summary judgment that Defendant may file in the future. [See
ECF Nos. 43, 47]. Regarding the discovery requests, it appears the court has
previously addressed Plaintiff’s concerns in denying his motion to compel [see
ECF No. 39] or addresses his concerns below in his motion for issuance of a
subpoena. Regarding any response to Defendant’s motion for summary
judgment, such a motion has not been filed and the deadline to do so is not
until August 13, 2021. Provided that Defendant files a motion for summary
judgment, Plaintiff will be given directions regarding filing a response and an
opportunity to do so. Accordingly, the undersigned denies Plaintiff’s motion
as premature. 1
Plaintiff’s second motion is entitled “subpoena for evidence from
Florence County Detention Center and testimony from officers from FCDC
and U.S. Marshal,” in which Plaintiff requests certain testimony from
roughly 10 employees at FCDC “who can attest to the [relevant] conditions”
found at FCDC during the relevant time period, pictures that were taken of
To the extent Plaintiff seeks a court order directing Defendant to meet with
Plaintiff to discuss settlement [ECF No. 43 at 3], the parties are free to
engage in such discussions at any time, but the undersigned declines the
invitation to become involved in them.
the showers located at FCDC, and information about individuals who
developed relevant medical concerns while at FCDC in 2020. [ECF No. 45].
This evidence is the same evidence, at least in part, that was the subject of
Plaintiff’s motion to compel that was previously denied by the court. [See
ECF Nos. 32, 39].
For example, regarding Plaintiff’s requests for pictures and for
information about individuals who developed relevant medical concerns,
including ear and skin infections, while housed at FCDC, Defendant
responded that he was not aware of any documentation responsive to these
requests, presumably including documentation in possession of FCDC, where
Defendant represented that “counsel for Defendant is seeking to determine if
any documentation responsive to this request is maintained at FCDC.” [See
ECF No. 34-1 at 2, ECF No. 34-2 at 2–3, see also ECF No. 34-3 at 3–4].
Therefore, it appears that at least some of the information sought by
Plaintiff does not exist. To the extent Plaintiff seeks information that does
exist, such as testimony from numerous FCDC employees about the
conditions at FCDC, it is unclear if the testimony sought is proportional to
the needs of the case where Plaintiff has submitted numerous declarations
from inmates attesting to the same. [See ECF Nos. 1-1, 15, 16, 42]. Finally,
Plaintiff has failed to show that he can pay the costs associated with serving
the subpoenas or the costs of witness fees. There is no requirement under 28
U.S.C. § 1915 that the court pay costs incurred with regard to a subpoena.
See Badman v. Stark, 139 F.R.D. 601, 604 (M.D. Pa. 1991) (inmates
proceeding under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 are not entitled to have their discovery
costs underwritten or waived); see also Nance v. King, C/A No. 88-7286, 1989
WL 126533, at *1 (4th Cir. Oct. 18, 1989) (unpublished opinion). For these
reasons, Plaintiff’s motion for issuance of a subpoena is denied.
Turning to his motion for monetary relief or trial, Plaintiff appears to
again provide an overview of his case based on “the evidence I can provide
and evidence that has not been provided to me,” requesting that no future
summary judgment be granted to Defendant. [ECF No. 46 at 11]. For the
same reasons as stated above, Plaintiff’s motion is denied as premature.
In sum, Plaintiff’s motions to deny summary judgment [ECF No. 43],
for issuance of a subpoena [ECF No. 45], and for monetary relief or trial are
denied. [ECF No. 46].
IT IS SO ORDERED.
July 14, 2021
Columbia, South Carolina
Shiva V. Hodges
United States Magistrate Judge
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