Beckman v. Davis et al
ORDER RULING ON REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION: The Court adopts the 20 Report by reference in this Order. Defendants Davis, Albert, and Frye are DISMISSED without prejudice and without issuance of service of process. Signed by Honorable Donald C Coggins, Jr on 2/12/2018. (prou, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Henry A. Beckman,
Warden Davis, Lieutenant Chestnut, Sergeant
Wright, Ms. D. Albert, C. Frye,
C/A No. 5:17-cv-2479-DCC
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s complaint alleging violations of civil rights
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. ECF No. 1. In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil
Rule 73.02(B)(2) (D.S.C.), this matter was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Kaymani D.
West for pre-trial proceedings and a Report and Recommendation (“Report”). On December 6,
2017, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report recommending that the complaint be dismissed without
issuance of service of process with respect to Defendants Warden Davis, Ms. D. Albert, and C. Frye
and with respect to Plaintiff’s claims that he was denied access to courts and was subjected to
“ridicule and scorn.” ECF No. 20. The Magistrate Judge advised Plaintiff of the procedures and
requirements for filing objections to the Report and the serious consequences if he failed to do so.
ECF No. 1. Plaintiff has filed no objections, and the time to do so has passed.
The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court. The recommendation has
no presumptive weight, and the responsibility to make a final determination remains with the Court.
See Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261 (1976). The Court is charged with making a de novo
determination of any portion of the Report of the Magistrate Judge to which a specific objection is
made. The Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation made by
the Magistrate Judge or recommit the matter to the Magistrate Judge with instructions. See 28
U.S.C. § 636(b). The Court reviews the Report only for clear error in the absence of an objection.
See Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005) (stating that
“in the absence of timely filed objection, a district court 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.” (citation omitted)).
Dismissal of Plaintiff’s denial of access to courts claim is appropriate because Plaintiff failed
to allege an actual injury from the purported denial. See Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 349–52
(1996) (finding that a plaintiff must allege a specific injury resulting from the alleged denial of
access courts in order to state a claim). Further, Plaintiff has failed to allege any plausible claim that
his constitutional rights have been violated by Defendant’s “ridicule and scorn.” See Paul v. Davis,
424 U.S. 693, 697–710 & n. 3–4 (1976) (holding that an alleged act of defamation is not actionable
under § 1983) . With respect to Plaintiff’s claim against Warden Davis, Plaintiff has failed to allege
sufficient facts to state a plausible claim that Warden Davis is subject to supervisory liability under
§ 1983. See Shaw v. Stroud, 13 F.3d 791, 799 (4th Cir. 1994) (supervisory livability under § 1983
requires a showing “(1) that the supervisor had actual or constructive knowledge that his subordinate
was engaged in conduct that posed ‘a pervasive and unreasonable risk’ of constitutional injury to
citizens like the plaintiff; (2) that the supervisor’s response to that knowledge was so inadequate as
to show ‘deliberate indifference to or tacit authorization of the alleged offensive practices,’; and (3)
that there was an ‘affirmative causal link’ between the supervisor's inaction and the particular
constitutional injury suffered by the plaintiff.” (citations omitted)).
After considering the record, the applicable law, and the Report, the Court finds no clear
error and agrees with the Report’s recommendation that the Complaint be dismissed without
issuance of service of process with respect to Defendants Davis, Albert, and Frye1 and that
Plaintiff’s claims for “ridicule and scorn” and denial of access to courts be dismissed. This action
remains pending against Defendants Lieutenant Chestnut and Sergeant Wright. Accordingly, the
Court adopts the Report by reference in this Order. Defendants Davis, Albert, and Frye are
DISMISSED without prejudice and without issuance of service of process.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/Donald C. Coggins, Jr.
United States District Judge
February 12, 2018
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Plaintiff’s only allegation against Defendant Albert is that she denied Plaintiff meaningful
access to courts; similarly, Plaintiff’s only allegation against Defendant Frye is that he engaged in
“scorn and ridicule” of Plaintiff. Because these claims are dismissed, there are no remaining
allegations against Defendants Albert and Frye.
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