Segraves v. Powers et al

Filing 7

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION that the district court summarily dismiss Spartanburg County Detention Center from the case without prejudice and without issuance and service of process, re 1 Complaint filed by Darryl B Segraves, Objections to R&R due by 12/29/2008. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joseph R McCrorey on December 11, 2008. (kbos)

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA Darryl B. Segraves, #11967-171, Plaintiff, vs. Spartanburg County Detention Center; Larry W. Powers, Director, Individually; U.S. Dept. of Justice; and, United States Marshal, District of South Carolina, individually, Defendants. ________________________________________________ ) C/A No. 3:08-3855-HFF-JRM ) ) ) ) ) Report and Recommendation ) for ) Partial Summary Dismissal ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Background of this Case The plaintiff is a federal inmate at FCI-Jesup in Jesup, Georgia. He is serving concurrent terms of twenty-four (24) months for convictions for mail fraud and wire fraud entered in United States v. Segraves, Criminal No. 7:07-1111 (DSC). He has brought suit against the Spartanburg County Detention Center, its Director, the United States Department of Justice, and the United States Marshal for jail conditions and exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke when the plaintiff was confined at the Spartanburg County Detention Center as a pre-trial detainee.1 In a separately filed It can be judicially noticed that the United States Marshals Service contracts with the Spartanburg County Detention Center to house federal detainees. 1 1 order, the undersigned is authorizing service of process upon all defendants except the Spartanburg County Detention Center. See Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25 (1993). Discussion Under established local procedure in this judicial district, a careful review has been made of the pro se complaint pursuant to the procedural provisions of 28 U.S.C. 1915, 28 U.S.C. 1915A, and the Prison Litigation Reform Act. The review2 has been conducted in light of the following precedents: Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25 (1992); Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 324-25 (1989); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972); Nasim v. Warden, Maryland House of Correction, 64 F.3d 951 (4th Cir. 1995)(en banc); Todd v. Baskerville, 712 F.2d 70 (4th Cir. 1983); Boyce v. Alizaduh, 595 F.2d 948 (4th Cir. 1979) (recognizing the district court's authority to conduct an initial screening of any pro se filing);3 Loe v. Armistead, 582 F.2d 1291 (4th Cir. 1978); and Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978). The plaintiff is a pro se litigant, and thus his pleadings are accorded liberal construction. See Erickson v. Pardus, ___ U.S. ___, 75 U.S.L.W. 3643, 167 L.Ed.2d 1081, 127 S.Ct. 2197 (2007)(per curiam); Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9-10 & n. 7 (1980)(per curiam); and Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319 (1972). When a federal court is evaluating a pro se complaint or petition, the plaintiff's or petitioner's allegations are assumed to be true. Fine Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil Rule 73.02 (DSC), the undersigned is authorized to review such complaints for relief and submit findings and recommendations to the District Court. Boyce has been held by some authorities to have been abrogated in part, on other grounds, by Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319 (1989) (insofar as Neitzke establishes that a complaint that fails to state a claim, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), does not by definition merit sua sponte dismissal under 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B)(i) [formerly 28 U.S.C. 1915(d)], as "frivolous"). 2 3 2 v. City of New York, 529 F.2d 70, 74 (2nd Cir. 1975). Even under this less stringent standard, the 1983 complaint is subject to partial summary dismissal. 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 currently cognizable in a federal district court. Weller v. Department of Social Services, 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990). The Spartanburg County Detention Center4 is a group of buildings or a facility. Inanimate objects ) such as buildings, facilities, and grounds ) do not act under color of state law. Hence, the Spartanburg County Detention Center is not a "person" subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983. See Allison v. California Adult Authority, 419 F.2d 822, 823 (9th Cir. 1969) (California Adult Authority and San Quentin Prison not "person[s]" subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983); Preval v. Reno, 57 F.Supp.2d 307, 310 (E.D. Va. 1999) ("[T]he Piedmont Regional Jail is not a `person,' and therefore not amenable to suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983."); and Brooks v. Pembroke City Jail, 722 F. Supp. 1294, 1301 (E.D.N.C. 1989) ("Claims under 1983 are directed at `persons' and the jail is not a person amenable to suit."). Cf. Wright v. El Paso County Jail, 642 F.2d 134, 136 n. 3 (5th Cir. 1981). Recommendation Accordingly, it is recommended that the District Court summarily dismiss the Spartanburg County Detention Center from the above-captioned case without prejudice and without issuance and service of process. See Denton v. Hernandez; Neitzke v. Williams; Haines v. Kerner; Brown v. The Spartanburg County Detention Center is officially known as the Spartanburg County Detention Facility. 3 4 Briscoe, 998 F.2d 201, 202-204 & n. * (4th Cir. 1993); 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2)(B) [essentially a redesignation of "old" 1915(d)]; and 28 U.S.C. 1915A [as soon as possible after docketing, district courts should review prisoner cases to determine whether they are subject to summary dismissal]. The plaintiff's attention is directed to the important Notice on the next page. December 11, 2008 Columbia, South Carolina Joseph R. McCrorey United States Magistrate Judge 4 Notice of Right to File Objections to Report and Recommendation The plaintiff is advised that he may file specific written objections to this Report and Recommendation with the District Court Judge. Objections must specifically identify the portions of the Report and Recommendation to which objections are made and the basis for such objections. In the absence of a timely filed objection, a district court judge need not conduct a de novo review, but instead must "only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation." Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310 (4th Cir. 2005). Specific written objections must be filed within ten (10) days of the date of service of this Report and Recommendation. 28 U.S.C. 636(b)(1); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b). The time calculation of this ten-day period excludes weekends and holidays and provides for an additional three (3) days for filing by mail. Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(a) & (e). Filing by mail pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 5 may be accomplished by mailing objections to: Larry W. Propes, Clerk United States District Court 901 Richland Street Columbia, South Carolina 29201 Failure to timely file specific written objections to this Report and Recommendation will result in a waiver of the right to appeal from a judgment of the District Court based upon such Recommendation. 28 U.S.C. 636(b)(1); Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985); United States v. Schronce, 727 F.2d 91 (4th Cir. 1984); and Wright v. Collins, 766 F.2d 841 (4th Cir. 1985). 5

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