Lawrence v. Bamberg Adult Detention Center and Staff et al
ORDER adopting 61 Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant; granting 50 Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Honorable Richard M Gergel on 12/29/2016.(ssam, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Civil Action No. 9: 16-103-RMG
Captain Wilson, Corporal Jackson, Deputy )
Brooks, Lt. Woods, Officer Bronxon, and )
This matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate
Judge, recommending that Defendants' motion for summary jUdgment be granted. For the reasons
set forth below, the Court adopts the Report and Recommendation and grants summary judgment
Plaintiff Patrick Lawrence, proceeding pro se, filed this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on
January 8, 2016. At the time, he was an inmate in the Bamberg County Detention Center. He has
since been released from custody and he currently resides in Georgia. He allege that while he was
incarcerated in the detention center, his constitutional rights were violated because 1) lights in the
jail cells were turned off at 10 p.m. despite his fear ofthe dark, 2) he was not housed in his preferred
cell block, 3) the water in the showers was too hot, 4) the jail showers were moldy, 5) the jail has
insufficient security checks, 6) the inmate intake process is inadequate, 7) he was denied access to
mental health care professionals, and 8) he was not provided a follow-up visit with a physician
regarding a spider bite. On June 6, 2016, Defendants moved for summary judgment. After
considerable briefing, the Magistrate Judge recommended Defendants' motion be granted on
November 22, 2016. Plaintiff filed no objections.
Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge
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, 270-71 (1976). This Court is charged with making
a de novo determination of those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which specific
objection is made. Additionally, the Court may "accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the
findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). This Court
may also "receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with
instructions." Id. Where the plaintiff fails to file any specific objections, "a district court need not
conduct a de novo review, but instead must only satisfY itselfthat there is no clear error on the face
of the record in order to accept the recommendation," see Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident
Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005) (internal quotation omitted), and this Court is not
required to give any explanation for adopting the recommendation ofthe Magistrate Judge, Camby
v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198 (4th Cir. 1983).
Summary judgment is appropriate if a party "shows that there is no genuine dispute as to
any material fact" and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter oflaw. Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(a). In other words, summary judgment should be granted "only when it is clear that there is no
dispute concerning either the facts of the controversy or the inferences to be drawn from those
facts." Pulliam Inv. Co. v. Cameo Props., 810 F.2d 1282, 1286 (4th Cir. 1987). "In determining
whether a genuine issue has been raised, the court must construe all inferences and ambiguities in
favor ofthe nonmoving party." HealthSouth Rehab. Hosp. v. Am. Nat'l Red Cross, 101 F.3d 1005,
1008 (4th Cir. 1996). The party seeking summary judgment shoulders the initial burden of
demonstrating to the court that there is no genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317,323 (1986).
Once the moving party has made this threshold demonstration, the non-moving party, to
survive the motion for summary judgment, may not rest on the allegations averred in his pleadings.
Id. at 324. Rather, the non-moving party must demonstrate that specific, material facts exist that
give rise to a genuine issue. Id. Under this standard, "[c]onclusory or speculative allegations do
not suffice, nor does a 'mere scintilla of evidence'" in support of the non-moving party's case.
Thompson v. Potomac Elec. Power Co., 312 F.3d 645,649 (4th Cir. 2002) (quoting Phillips v.
CSXTransp., Inc., 190 F.3d 285, 287 (4th Cir. 1999)).
The Magistrate Judge thoroughly analyzed Plaintiffs claims under the applicable legal
standards in a lengthy and detailed Report and Recommendation. Plaintiff has not objected to the
Report and Recommendation, and the Court can find no error in it. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief
and monetary damages for unconstitutional conditions of confinement and deliberate indifference
to medical needs.
Plaintiffs claims for injunctive relief are moot because he is no longer
incarcerated: "as a general rule, a prisoner's transfer or release from a particular prison moots his
claims for injunctive and declaratory relief with respect to his incarceration there." Rendelman v.
Rouse, 569 F.3d 182, 186 (4th Cir. 2009).
Plaintiffs claims for monetary damages for
unconstitutional conditions of confinement and deliberate indifference to medical needs cannot
survive summary judgment because Plaintiff has presented no actual evidence to support any claim
that his constitutional rights were violated or that he suffered any injury from any purported
constitutional violation. As extensively detailed in the Report and Recommendation, Defendant
offers only general and conc1usory allegations and his own lay opinion regarding his own mental
Without supporting evidence, such allegations cannot survive summary judgment.
'" [T]here is no issue for trial unless there is sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party for
a jury to return a verdict for that party. If the evidence is merely colorable, or is not significantly
probative, summary judgment may be granted.'" Felty v. Graves-Humphreys Co., 818 F.2d 1126,
1128 (4th Cir. 1987) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249-50 (1986».
"Unsupported speculation is not sufficient to defeat a summary judgment motion," id, nor is lay
self-diagnosis of medical needs, see Green v. Senkowski, 100 F. App'x 45, 47 (2d Cir. 2004).
For the foregoing reasons, the Court ADOPTS the Report and Recommendation of the
Magistrate Judge (Dkt. No. 61) as the Order of the Court and GRANTS Defendants' motion for
summary judgment (Dkt. No. 50).
AND IT IS SO ORDERED.
United States District Court Judge
December '"'\'j , 2016
Charleston, South Carolina
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