Evans v. McCall et al
ORDER RULING ON REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION adopts 30 Report and Recommendation. GRANTS Defendants' 53 motion for summary judgment and DENIES Plaintiff's 46 motion for summary judgment; DENIES AS MOOT Plaintiff's 21 motion for a mandatory preliminary injunction, for a permanent injunction. Signed by Honorable Margaret B Seymour on 3/30/2017. (gpre, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
BRIAN FRANKLIN EVANS,
MICHAEL MCCALL; DONIKIA GRAY;
JOETTE SCARBOROUGH; LARRY
CARTLEDGE; CHRISTINE LONG, each in )
their individual and official capacities,
Civil Action No.: 8:16-1112-MBS-JDA
ORDER AND OPINION
Plaintiff Brian Franklin Evans (“Plaintiff”), a prisoner in custody of the South Carolina
Department of Corrections (“SCDC”), is currently housed at the Broad River Correctional
Institution in Columbia, South Carolina. Plaintiff is suing under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that
Defendants Michael McCall, Donikia Gray, Joette Scarborough, Larry Cartledge, and Christine
Long, each in their individual and official capacities, (“Defendants”) have violated his
constitutional rights. ECF No. 1 at 4. Plaintiff is serving a thirty year sentence pursuant to a
guilty plea for the murder of his estranged wife and an acquaintance in two separate incidents.
See ECF No. 62-1 at 4. Defendant McCall is the Deputy Director of the SCDC. ECF No. 1 at 2.
Defendant Gray is a mental health evaluator for SCDC and was a voting member of the
Statewide Protective Custody Review Board (“SWPC Review Board”) in 2015 when Plaintiff
was removed from Statewide Protective Custody (“SWPC”) and placed in the general
population. ECF No. 40-7 at 1. Defendant Scarborough is the Division Director of Classification
and Inmate Records for SCDC. ECF No. 25-1 at 1. Defendant Cartledge was a Warden with
Perry Correctional Institution while Plaintiff was housed at Perry Correctional Institution.
Defendant Cartledge also served on the SWPC Review Board at the time of Plaintiff’s removal.
ECF Nos. 40-4 at 1; ECF No. 1 at 3. Defendant Long is the SCDC SWPC Coordinator. ECF No.
40-5 at 1.
Upon entering SCDC, Plaintiff was placed in SWPC. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants
violated his rights pursuant to the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments by taking
him out of and failing to return him to SWPC. Plaintiff requests a preliminary injunction,
permanent injunction, compensatory damages, punitive damages, costs, and any additional relief
that the court deems proper. ECF No. 1 at 16.
In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rule 73.02, D.S.C., the preliminary
injunction and permanent injunction were referred to United States Magistrate Judge Jacquelyn
D. Austin for pre-trial proceedings and a Report and Recommendation (“Report”).1 On
September 29, 2016, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report recommending the court grant
Plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction and deny Plaintiff’s motion for a permanent
injunction. ECF No. 30 at 9. Defendants filed their objections to the Report on October 17, 2016.
ECF No 40. The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this court. The
recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the responsibility for making a final
determination remains with this court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270 (1976). This court
is charged with making a de novo determination of any portions of the Report 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 may recommit the matter to the Magistrate
Judge with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and Defendants’ motion for summary judgment were
likewise referred to Judge Austin; however, the court withdrew the referral to best serve judicial
economy and efficiency.
Currently before the court are: review of the Report granting Plaintiff’s motion for a
preliminary injunction and denying Plaintiff’s motion for a permanent injunction (ECF No. 21);
Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 46), and Defendants’ motion for summary
judgment (ECF No. 53). Plaintiff moves for summary judgment on the grounds that Defendants
violated his Fourteenth Amendment due process right and Defendants were deliberately
indifferent to his Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment.2 Defendants
move for summary judgment on the grounds that (1) Plaintiff is not entitled to SWPC as a result
of a plea agreement, (2) Plaintiff’s constitutional rights have not been violated, (3) Defendants
are entitled to qualified immunity, and (4) Plaintiff’s property claims do not rise to the level of a
constitutional violation and are not actionable under state law. ECF No. 53.
After consideration of the objections, and for the points set forth below, the court declines
to adopt the Report, and Plaintiff’s motions for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief are
denied. Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is granted in part and denied in part.
Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment is denied.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
SCDC has various housing units. Based on the inmate’s conviction and behavior while
incarcerated, he may be placed in one of five housing units: (1) general population, (2) short term
detention, (3) disciplinary detention, (4) security detention, or (5) substantiated security risk. See
SCDC Policy 22.38. Alternatively, in response to threats made by others, an inmate may be
placed in (1) a restrictive housing unit, or (2) SWPC. SCDC Policy 22.23. SCDC only has fortyeight beds in SWPC. ECF No. 40-5 at 1. Placement of an inmate in SWPC is entirely at SCDC’s
As explained below, Plaintiff partially concedes one of his Fourth Amendment claims.
discretion based upon the policies and procedures set forth by the department. See SCDC Policy
SCDC Policy 22.23 states that an inmate requesting protective custody may be placed in
pre-hearing detention with protective concerns (“SP”) for up to seven days. SCDC must provide
an inmate a review of his request within seven days of the initial placement in SP. During this
time, the inmate must meet with the Institutional Protective Custody Committee (“IPCC”) to
discuss placement in SWPC, and
[i]f placement in SWPC is recommended , at least one of the following elements
must be established by the IPCC in order for the inmate’s request to be considered
valid: (1) record of having been assaulted, (2) reputation among the population,
attested to in writing by staff, as an informant or trial witness, (3) verified threats,
verbal abuse, or harassment, (4) former police or criminal justice activity resulting
in verified threats, verbal abuse, or harassment, (5) conviction of crime repugnant
to the inmate population, or (6) reliable confirmed evidence of sexual assault.
SCDC Policy 22.23 § 5.1. Upon review of the recommendation by the IPCC, the SWPC
Board may determine that: (1) the inmate’s protective custody concerns are alleviated through
transfer to another institution’s general population; (2) the inmate should be assigned and
transferred to the Restrictive Housing Unit; or (3) the inmate should be assigned and transferred
to the SWPC Housing Unit. SCDC Policy 22.23 § 7.1.2. According to the policy, if an inmate is
placed in SWPC, his status is reviewed every ninety to one hundred eighty days to determine if
the inmate should be released from SWPC and returned to the general population. SCDC Policy
22.23, §§ 12, 13.
The “[SW]PC review committee . . . [merely provides] recommendation[s] and [the
SWPC Review Board] [makes] the final determination, given they have more detailed
information.” ECF No. 62-1 at 20. The SWPC Review Board information generally includes:
Plaintiff does not dispute the constitutionality of SCDC’s procedures.
“history and purpose for protective placement, police services report, everything that was
presented at the PC committee review.” Id. at 21. An inmate is “also asked to provide written
and/or verbal statements, explaining his reason for wishing to remain or be released” to the
SWPC Review Board. Id. at 20. The SWPC Board must unanimously agree that an inmate
should be placed in or removed from SWPC.
Plaintiff alleges that he satisfies element number two of SCDC Policy 22.23 § 1, by
establishing that he has a reputation among the population as a “snitch” for his assistance to law
enforcement. ECF No. 28 at 1-2. Plaintiff further alleges that he satisfies element number three
as there has been verified threats, verbal abuse, or harassment against him, such as verbal threats
that he will be killed in any general population and could “be got to” even in lockup. ECF No. 28
at 3. Plaintiff also alleges that he meets element number five as there is reliable confirmed
evidence of sexual assault because he was sexually assaulted by a corrections officer in the
1990s. ECF No. 28 at 3; ECF No. 1 at 5. Plaintiff further claims that he has a court order
ordering placement in SWPC.
In exchange for pleading guilty, Plaintiff requested placement in SWPC. Id. at 6; ECF
No. 62-1 at 4. The solicitor sent a letter to the Division Director of Classification and Inmate
Records at SCDC inquiring if, given Plaintiff’s past history and present concerns, “[SCDC]
could give any sort of reassurance that” Plaintiff would be assigned to SWPC. ECF No. 62-1 at
4-5. Deputy General Counsel for SCDC responded that although it “cannot guarantee placement
in protective custody until an offender is actually in its custody, [Plaintiff] is likely to be placed
in protective custody upon his incarceration.” ECF No. 58-6. The solicitor recommended SWPC
as part of the plea agreement, and the court included the recommendation in the sentencing sheet.
ECF No. 40-2 at 2. However, the solicitor states that he informed Plaintiff that the plea
agreement would not be binding on SCDC. ECF No. 53-2 at 1. Plaintiff was placed in SWPC
when he entered SCDC.
Plaintiff has been in SWPC on numerous occasions. Plaintiff’s amount of time in SWPC
varies, some stays lasted days while others lasted months. ECF No. 62-1 at 11. Most recently,
Plaintiff was in SWPC from October 15, 2013, until April 17, 2015. ECF No. 40-4 at 1.
Defendants Gray and Long attended the April 3, 2015, review of Plaintiff’s SWPC status.
Defendant Gray questioned Plaintiff about his safety concerns at the April 3, 2015, meeting. ECF
No. 62-1 at 19. The review classification official recommended Plaintiff remain on SWPC
“base[d] on [his] record.” ECF No. 46-1 at 2. The reviewer reasoned Plaintiff should stay on
SWPC as “no change in the safety that SCDC can [illegible].” ECF No. 62-1 at 18. The
recommendation that Plaintiff’s remain on SWPC was then given to the SWPC Review Board.
On April 13, 2015, the SWPC Review Board recommended Plaintiff “be released to the general
population at Perry [Correctional Institution] due to court order not sufficient enough to remain
in [SWPC].” The SWPC Review Board consisted of Joette Scarborough, Larry Cartledge,
Donikia Gray, and Christine Long. ECF No. 46-1 at 3. Defendant McCall is the Deputy Director,
Division of Operations for SCDC. ECF No. 62-1 at 24. The SWPC Review Board submits its
recommendation to Defendant McCall for final approval. ECF No. 62-1 at 23-24. Defendant
McCall approved the change and Plaintiff was released into the general population on April 17,
2015. ECF No. 62-1 at 11.
After being released into the general population at Perry Correctional Institution, Plaintiff
reiterated his safety concerns to Defendant Cartledge. ECF No. 1 at 7. Plaintiff alleges that
Defendant Cartledge told Plaintiff “to return to his unit and not create no problems and there
wouldn’t be any” and did not investigate the matter further. ECF No. 1 at 8. Plaintiff next alleges
that he was threatened he would be attacked on July 4, 2015. Id. Plaintiff contacted his attorney
on June 30, 2015, who responded that “she had  made contact with SCDC about [his] safety
concerns, and her requests to have [Plaintiff] put back on SWPC unit.” Id. Plaintiff’s cellmate
threw a television stand at Plaintiff on July, 4, 2015. Id. at 8. Plaintiff began hitting his cellmate
with the television stand, severely injuring his roommate. ECF No. 58-9 at 1. Plaintiff suffered a
back injury as a result. ECF No. 1 at 8. Based on this incident, prison officials placed Plaintiff on
short term detention and then moved him to long term security detention status (“SD”) after he
was convicted of assault of an inmate for the attack. Id. at 9. Plaintiff appealed his placement on
SD by filing a grievance with SCDC and requested to be returned to SWPC. ECF No. 1 at 9-10.
Plaintiff also filed a grievance alleging that prison officials left his prison cell open and permitted
Plaintiff’s television to be stolen. Id. 4
In October 2015, IPCC at Perry Correctional Institution recommended Plaintiff be placed
in SWPC again. However, the SWPC Review Committee unanimously recommended that
Plaintiff remain in the general population as SCDC Police Services could not substantiate the
threats Plaintiff claimed. ECF No. 62-1 at 23. Plaintiff alleges that no prison investigator ever
questioned him about the alleged threats. Id. at 21. SCDC transferred Plaintiff from Perry
Correctional Institute to Lieber Correctional Institute in May 2016 where he was placed in the
general population. ECF No. 21-1 at 1. Plaintiff asserts that his cellmate tampered with his legal
documents in June 2016. Id. Plaintiff states he is missing a copy of his federal complaint for the
present matter and a motion for Post-Conviction Relief filed on his behalf in his criminal matter.
Plaintiff alleges that his was missing his television and later filed a grievance for return of his
television. Plaintiff claims that Defendants’ caused his television to be stolen, in violation of his
Fourth Amendment rights. Plaintiff’s television has since been returned to him and he concedes
his claim. ECF No. 62 at 8.
Id. These documents corroborate Plaintiff’s assistance to law enforcement, confirming his
reputation as a “snitch.” After the June 2016 incident with his cellmate, Plaintiff claims he was
immediately approached in the yard by an individual known as Wali, whom he alleges is the
Blood gang leader. Wali allegedly told Plaintiff that he was going to be killed or tortured and
killed. Id. Plaintiff was able to slip the guard a note about the incident in the yard and was
immediately placed in protective custody. Id. On July 5, 2016, rather than being placed in
SWPC, Plaintiff was transferred to Broad River Correctional Institute and placed in the general
population. Id. As a result, Plaintiff has filed this lawsuit. Plaintiff has since been put in the
Restrictive Housing Unit, separated from the general population. ECF No. 58-3 at 2. Prison
officials state that anytime there was a threat to Plaintiff’s safety, prison officials investigated
and acted to remedy the situation in a manner compliant with their policies. ECF No. 40-4.
A. Claims Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Plaintiff brings this matter pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, asserting that his constitutional
rights have been violated by persons acting under the color of state law. Section 1983 provides in
[e]very person, who under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or
usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to
be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the
jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities
secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an
action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress . . . .
In order to establish a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must prove two elements: (1) that
the defendants “deprived [the plaintiff] of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of the
United States” and (2) that the defendants “deprived [the plaintiff] of this constitutional right
under color of [State] statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage.” Mentavlos v. Anderson,
249 F.3d 301, 310 (4th Cir. 2001) (citing Adickes v. S. H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 150
(1970)) (internal quotation marks omitted). The second element is met when “the deprivation [is]
caused by the exercise of some right or privilege created by the State . . . or by a person for
whom the state is responsible . . . .” West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 49 (1988) (quoting Lugar v.
Edmondson Oil Co., Inc., 457 U.S. 922, 937 (1982)). “[S]tate employment is generally sufficient
to render the defendant a state actor,” as the employee is a “person for whom the state is
responsible.” Id. Here, Defendants are prison officials employed by the State of South Carolina;
therefore, there is state action.
B. Summary Judgment
1. Legal Standard
The court shall grant summary judgment if “there is no genuine dispute as to any material
fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. The judge
does not weigh evidence but determines if there is a genuine issue for trial. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). The party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden
of coming forward and demonstrating an absence of genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Once the moving party has met its burden, the nonmoving
party must affirmatively demonstrate that there is a genuine issue of material fact for trial.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). The court
should grant summary judgment if a party fails to “establish the existence of an element essential
to that party’s case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial.” Celotex Corp.,
477 U.S. at 322. However, “[o]n summary judgment the inferences to be drawn from the
underlying facts . . . must be viewed in the light most favorable to the party opposing the
motion.” U.S. v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655 (1962).
Defendants argue that Plaintiff does not demonstrate a genuine issue of material fact that
he has a constitutional right to his custody status; therefore, they are entitled to summary
judgment as a matter of law.
a. Fourteenth Amendment Claims5
Plaintiff claims he has a liberty or property interest in the security status that was
provided for in the plea agreement and such a right was taken without due process. See ECF No.
1 at 15. Under the Fourteenth Amendment no state shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or
property without due process of law.” U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1. The Supreme Court held
[t]he initial decision to assign the [inmate] to a particular institution is not subject
to audit under the Due Process clause, although the degree of confinement in one
prison may be quite different from that of another. The conviction has sufficiently
extinguished the defendant’s liberty interest to empower the State to confine him
in any of its prisons.
Meachum v. Fano, 427 U.S. 215, 224 (1976) (emphasis in original). “[T]he federal constitution
vests no liberty interest in inmates retaining or receiving any particular security status as long as
the challenged conditions or degree of confinement are within the sentence imposed and are not
otherwise violative of the Constitution.” Brown v. Evatt, 470 S.E.2d 848, 851 (S.C. 1996) (citing
Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472 (1995)); Slezak v. Evatt, 21 F.3d 590 (4th Cir. 1994)). Further,
the constitution does not vest any property interest in his custodial classification. See Moody v.
The Fifth Amendment only applies to claims that the federal government deprived an
individual of due process. As Plaintiff is incarcerated in state prison, the Fifth Amendment is not
applicable and his due process claims will be analyzed solely under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Defendant’s motion for summary judgment is granted on Plaintiff’s Fifth Amendment claim.
Baker, 857 F.2d 256, 257-58 (5th Cir. 1988); Witherspoon v. Berry, No. 9:13-2942, 2015 WL
1790222, at *5 (D.S.C. Apr. 15, 2015). In Slezak, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found that
“no constitutionally protected liberty interest is thereby created if under the regime either the
primary decisionmaker or any reviewing authority is authorized to override as a matter of
discretion, any classification suggested by application of the prescribed substantive criteria.” 21
F.3d at 595.
SWPC “is not intended as a permanent classification for an inmate’s entire sentence and
is only utilized so long as there is valid threat or safety issue requiring SWPC.” ECF No. 40-5 at
1; see also Durdick v. Byars, No. 11-2979, 2012 WL 5306263, at *4 (D.S.C Sept. 28, 2012)
(stating that statewide protective custody is not to become a housing assignment), report and
recommendation adopted, No. 11-2979, 2012 WL 5305352 (D.S.C. Oct. 26, 2012). Here, the
SWPC Board unanimously agreed to remove Plaintiff from SWPC in April 2015 after the
committee determined that there were no verified threats to his life and he had adjusted to prison.
ECF No. 40-4 at 1. Plaintiff fails to demonstrate a genuine issue of material fact that he has a
Fourteenth Amendment right to placement in SWPC.
Plaintiff argues that the state court’s referral to SWPC creates a liberty or property
interest. In United States v. Lewis, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that a “plea
agreement is essentially a contract between the accused and the government” and as such, like in
any contract, “each party should receive the benefit of its bargain.” 633 F.3d 262, 269 (4th Cir.
2011). SCDC was not a party to the plea agreement. SCDC did not receive any benefits of the
bargain; therefore SCDC is not bound by either the plea agreement or the subsequent court order.
ECF Nos. 40-1 at 1, 40-4 at 1. The existence of a plea agreement does not modify the court’s
finding that Plaintiff does not have a liberty or property interest in being placed in SWPC. The
government performed its part of the contract by recommending Plaintiff be placed in SWPC, as
demonstrated by Plaintiff’s initial placement in SWPC. Additionally, the solicitor informed
Plaintiff that the plea agreement was not binding on SCDC. ECF No. 53-2 at 1. Accordingly,
Plaintiff’s security status is not subject to review under the Fourteenth Amendment. Defendant’s
motion for summary judgment on Plaintiff’s Fourteenth Amendment claims is granted.
b. Eighth Amendment Claim
Plaintiff argues that SCDC officials violated his Eighth Amendment rights by placing
him in the general population despite threats to his safety. ECF No. 1 at 11, 13.The Eighth
Amendment prohibits the infliction of “cruel and unusual punishments.” U.S. Const. amend. VII.
This proscription includes “more than physically barbarous punishments,” Estelle v. Gambel,
429 U.S. 97, 102 (1976), and extends to include “the treatment a prisoner receives in prison and
the conditions under which he is confined,” Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25, 31 (1993). Under
the broad scope of the Eighth Amendment, prison officials have a duty to protect prisoners from
violence stemming from other prisoners. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 833 (1994).
For a prison official to violate the Eighth Amendment, it is not sufficient to demonstrate
another prisoner caused an injury. Prison officials must have a sufficiently culpable state of
mind, i.e., deliberate indifference. Id. at 834. Liability for deliberate indifference requires “the
official [to] be aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of
harm exists, and he must also draw the inference.” Id. at 837. The Court further stated that the
standard for determining deliberate indifference is “subjective recklessness.” Id. at 838.
The Fourth Circuit in Odom v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, held that “a
prison official acts with deliberate indifference when he ignores repeated requests from a
vulnerable inmate to be separated from a fellow inmate.” 349 F.3d 765, 773 (4th Cir. 2003).
“[P]rison officials who actually knew of a substantial risk to inmate health or safety may be
found free from liability if they respond reasonably to the risk, even if the harm is not averted.”
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 844. Accordingly, prison officials may only be held liable if they know that
an inmate faces a substantial risk of serious harm and fail to take reasonable actions to abate the
threat of harm. Plaintiff alleges that prison officials knew about the threats against his life and
the violence he suffered from his cellmate and a prior prison guard. ECF No. 1 at 11. The court
will consider whether Plaintiff has shown a genuine issue of material fact as to each individual
There is no evidence that Defendant McCall had any personal knowledge of Plaintiff’s
safety concerns or the events causing his concern. Defendant McCall has a duty to review the
entire record to either accept or reject Plaintiff’s request to remain in SWPC. Based on the
information provided to Defendant McCall, Plaintiff has not shown a genuine issue of material
fact that Defendant McCall was deliberately indifferent.
The court finds that the change in Defendant Gray’s opinion, though within a short period
of time, was based on additional information. Plaintiff fails to demonstrate there is a genuine
issue of material fact that Defendant Gray was deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff’s safety.
Defendant Scarborough was a member of the SWPC Review Board on April 8, 2015, and
October 14, 2015. ECF No. 62-1 at 23-24. For the same reasons as Defendant McCall, Plaintiff
fails to show that Defendant Scarborough was deliberately indifferent.
Defendant Cartledge acted reasonably based on the information provided by Plaintiff.
While Defendant Cartledge did not place Plaintiff in SWPC, Defendant Cartledge investigated
the threats promptly and modified Plaintiff’s security status by transferring Plaintiff to two other
prisons and placing Plaintiff is the Restrictive Housing Unit to address Plaintiff’s concerns about
his safety. Based on the information before Defendant Cartledge, the court finds that Defendant
Cartledge responded reasonably to Plaintiff’s safety concerns. The court finds there is no genuine
issue of material fact whether Defendant Cartledge was deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff’s
Defendant Long is not a voting member of the SWPC Review Board. Id. at 14. As
Defendant Long recommended Plaintiff remain on SWPC and is not a voting member of the
SWPC Review Board, Plaintiff has not shown that there is genuine issue of material fact that
Defendant Long was deliberately indifferent.
Accordingly, there is no genuine issue of material fact that Defendants were not
deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff’s safety. Therefore, the court grants Defendants’ motion for
summary judgment on Plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment claims.
c. Fourth Amendment Claim
Plaintiff argues that Defendants seized him by removing him from SWPC, in violation of
his Fourth Amendment rights. ECF No. 1 at 14. The Fourth Amendment protects against
“unreasonable searches and seizures,” unless warranted by “probable cause, supported by Oath
or affirmation, and particularly describing . . . the persons or things to be seized.” U.S. Const.
amend. IV. The Fourth Amendment is limited when an individual is incarcerated. “Lawful
incarceration brings about the necessary withdrawal or limitation of many privileges and rights, a
retraction justified by the considerations underlying our penal system.” Price v. Johnston, 334
U.S. 266, 285 (1948). “[W]hen a prison regulation impinges on inmates’ constitutional rights, the
regulation is valid if it is reasonably related to penological interests.” Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S.
78, 89 (1987). In this case, the SWPC Board determined that Plaintiff no longer needed to be
placed in SWPC as they could not substantiate the threats. Further, there is limited space in
SWPC. The “seizure” was reasonably related to the penological interest of placing the inmate in
the correct custody status and controlling the ability to place other inmates in SWPC, as needed.
There is no genuine issue of material fact and Defendants are entitled to summary judgment on
Plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment claims.6 The court grants Defendants’ motion for summary
judgment on Plaintiff’s Fourth Amendment claims.
After reviewing the entire record, the applicable law, the findings of the Magistrate
Judge, and Defendant’s objections, the court GRANTS Defendants’ motion for summary
judgment and DENIES Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment. The court DENIES AS
MOOT Plaintiff’s motion for a mandatory preliminary injunction. The court DENIES AS
MOOT Plaintiff’s motion for a permanent injunction.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/ Margaret B. Seymour
The Honorable Margaret B. Seymour
Senior United States District Court Judge
March 30, 2017
Columbia, South Carolina
As the court grants Defendants’ motion for summary judgment, the court declines to address
whether Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity.
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