Robinson v. Moore et al
ORDER RULING ON REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION: The Court adopts and incorporates the Magistrate Judge's Report (ECF No. 11 ), overrules Plaintiff's objections (ECF No. 13 ), and dismisses this action without prejudice. Signed by Honorable Bruce Howe Hendricks on 10/17/2016. (dsto, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Keyon Robinson, #31823,
Warden Bernard McKee;
A. W. Joyner;
Captain Brightheart; and
Civil Action No. 5:16-560-BHH
This matter is before the Court upon Plaintiff Keyon Robinson’s pro se complaint
alleging that Defendants violated his constitutional rights under the First and Fourteenth
Amendments between September 2013 and June 2014 when they placed him on “lock up,”
which he also calls “SD” and “security detention,” and which allegedly resulted in Plaintiff
receiving no visitors and no telephone calls. In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B)
and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d) (D.S.C.), the matter was referred to a United States
Magistrate Judge for preliminary determinations.
On March 25, 2016, Magistrate Judge Kaymani D. West issued a report and
recommendation (“Report”) outlining Plaintiff’s claims and recommending that the Court
dismiss the complaint without prejudice based on Plaintiff’s failure to allege facts sufficient
to state a plausible constitutional claim. First, the Magistrate Judge noted that South
Carolina law confers no protected liberty interest upon an inmate from being classified or
placed in some type of administrative segregation. See Keeler v. Pea, 782 F. Supp. 42,
43-44 (D.S.C. 1992) (noting that “[t]he use of administrative segregation, or ‘lock up,’ is an
acceptable form of confinement or discipline, within the discretion of prison officials, absent
‘explicitly mandatory language’ in the state law which limits the discretion of prison officials
or prohibits the use of administrative segregation,” and stating that “[a]n inmate has no
liberty interest in remaining in the general population” because administrative segregation
is a condition of confinement to be reasonably expected) (quoting Berrier v. Allen, 951 F.2d
622, 625 (4th Cir. 1991), and Hewitt v. Helms, 459 U.S. 460, 468 (1983)). In addition, the
Magistrate Judge rejected Plaintiff’s conclusory equal protection claim, noting that Plaintiff
has not alleged that he is a member of a suspect class or that he was denied a
fundamental right, and that Plaintiff’s classification was rationally related to a legitimate
governmental purpose because he was deemed a security risk. See Allgood v. Morris, 724
F.2d 1098, 1101 (4th Cir. 1984) (finding no equal protection violation for those in protective
segregation [b]ecause the differences in treatment among prisoners in protective
segregation and in the general population has a substantial, rational basis in the legitimate
state interest of prison security”). Finally, the Magistrate Judge rejected Plaintiff’s claim
that Defendants violated his constitutional rights by prohibiting visitors and telephone calls
while Plaintiff was segregated, noting that a prisoner has no liberty interest or other
constitutional right to any type of visitation or unlimited telephone use. See Williams v.
Ozmint, 716 F.3d 801, 806-07 (4th Cir. 2013), and United States v. Alkire, 82 F.3d 411 (4th
Cir. 1996) (unpublished).
Plaintiff filed written objections to the Magistrate Judge’s Report on April 15, 2016,
asserting that he has not been given the chance to prove his claims and again reiterating
his assertion that Defendants violated his constitutional rights by segregating him and by
denying him visitation and access to a telephone. (ECF No. 13 at 1-2.)
The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to the Court.
recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the responsibility to make a final
determination remains with the Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261 (1976). The Court
is charged with making a de novo determination only of those portions of the Report to
which specific objections are made, and the Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole
or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, or recommit the matter to the
Magistrate Judge with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
Here, after review, the Court finds that the Magistrate Judge correctly summarized
the facts and applied the appropriate legal standards, and the Court agrees with the
Magistrate Judge that Plaintiff has offered legal conclusions but has failed to allege
sufficient facts to state a plausible constitutional claim. Moreover, the Court finds Plaintiff’s
objections unavailing. Accordingly, the Court adopts and incorporates the Magistrate
Judge’s Report (ECF No. 11), overrules Plaintiff’s objections (ECF No. 13), and dismisses
this action without prejudice.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/Bruce Howe Hendricks
United States District Judge
October 14, 2016
Charleston, South Carolina
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