Silva v. Rogers, C/A No. 2:15-CV-2359-BHH-MGB

CourtUnited States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
Docket NumberC/A No. 2:15-CV-2359-BHH-MGB
PartiesTyron Cardell Silva, PLAINTIFF, v. Capt. C. Rogers, Lt. G. Mickens, Sgt. T. Prioleau, Sgt. M. Williams, Officer W. Jones, Officer C. McCinico, Officer P. James, Officer Lucus, DEFENDANTS.
Decision Date11 July 2016

Tyron Cardell Silva, PLAINTIFF,
Capt. C. Rogers, Lt. G. Mickens, Sgt. T. Prioleau, Sgt. M. Williams, Officer W. Jones,
Officer C. McCinico, Officer P. James, Officer Lucus, DEFENDANTS.

C/A No. 2:15-CV-2359-BHH-MGB


July 11, 2016


The Plaintiff, appearing pro se and in forma pauperis, brings this action under Title 42, United States Code, Section 1983. The Plaintiff is currently in the custody of the South Carolina Department of Corrections ("SCDC") and currently housed at Ridgeland Correctional Institution. This matter is before the court on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment. (Dkt. No. 32.) On December 30, 2015, pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), the Plaintiff was advised of the dismissal procedure and the possible consequences if he failed to adequately respond to the motion. (Dkt. No. 33.) The Plaintiff responded to the Defendant's Motion on January 25, 2016, with an affidavit (Dkt. No. 38) and on March 11, 2016, with the Plaintiff [sic] Objection to Defendants [sic] Motion for Summary Judgment. (Dkt. No. 45.) Pursuant to the provisions of Title 28, United States Code, Section 636(b)(1) and Local Rule 73.02(B)(2)(e), D.S.C., all pretrial matters in cases involving pro se litigants are referred to a United States Magistrate Judge for consideration. For the reasons stated herein, the undersigned recommends that the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment be granted.

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On June 15, 2013 at approximately 8:30 p.m., the Plaintiff called for Officer W. Jones and requested to speak with him outside of the Plaintiff's cell. Jones took the Plaintiff out of the cell, and they spoke in the hallway. The Plaintiff told Jones that other inmates were planning to kill the Plaintiff and that he needed to be placed in protective custody. Jones relayed the information to his supervisor, Capt. C. Rogers, who denied the Plaintiff's request. Lt. G. Mickens and Sgt. T. Prioleau arrived to assist Jones in returning the Plaintiff to his cell. The Plaintiff told Mickens that other inmates had homemade keys to the cells and were planning to kill him that night. Mickens told the Plaintiff nothing could be done that night. The Plaintiff refused to go back to his cell. Mickens told the Plaintiff to return to his cell or the officers would use force to return him to his cell. Mickens, Prioleau, and Jones each pulled out their mace. The Plaintiff then ran towards the prison yard.

The Plaintiff ran to the plaza gate where eight (8) officers were able to surround him. The Plaintiff was twice told by Rogers to return to his cell. The Plaintiff continued telling the officers he could not return to his cell because other inmates would use homemade keys to enter his cell and kill him. After the Plaintiff continued to refuse to return to his cell, Rogers directed Prioleau to get a 37mm wood baton.2 Rogers then again told the Plaintiff to return to his cell. The Plaintiff refused stating he wanted to be placed in protective custody.

The Plaintiff then began climbing the gate which was topped with razor wire. (Dkt. Nos. 38 at 2; 32-3 at 1.) The Plaintiff was directed to stop climbing the gate and he complied. (Dkt. No. 38 at 2.) Rogers then directed Jones to block the Plaintiff in with a shield to stop him from

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running. Then Sgt. M. Williams, Mickens, Officer C. McCinico, Officer P. James, and Officer Lucus surrounded the Plaintiff with their mace pulled out. Rogers then directed Prioleau to shoot the Plaintiff with the wooden baton twice in the face, which he did. Simultaneously, Williams, James, and McCinico discharged their mace in the Plaintiff's face. The Plaintiff was then seen by a nurse who is not a party to this lawsuit. The Plaintiff alleges that these events caused him to experience mental health issues, back and neck problems, and headaches. The total amount of mace discharged was 186 grams.3 (Dkt. Nos. 32-3 at 3; 45-1 at 7.)


Pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment "shall" be granted "if the movant shows that 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(a). "Facts are 'material' when they might affect the outcome of the case, and a 'genuine issue' exists when the evidence would allow a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party." The News & Observer Publ'g Co. v. Raleigh-Durham Airport Auth., 597 F.3d 570, 576 (4th Cir. 2010) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, "'the nonmoving party's evidence is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in that party's favor.'" Id. (quoting Hunt v. Cromartie, 526 U.S. 541, 552 (1999)); see also Perini Corp. v. Perini Constr., Inc., 915 F.2d 121, 123-24 (4th Cir. 1990). Conclusory allegations or denials, without more, are insufficient to preclude the granting of the

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summary judgment motion. Ross v. Communications Satellite Corp., 759 F.2d 355, 365 (4th Cir.1985). "Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment. Factual disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary will not be counted." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. "This court is required to construe pro se complaints and petitions liberally." Stout v. Robnett, 107 F. Supp. 2d 699, 702 (D.S.C. 2000) (internal quotations and citations omitted). " [P]ro se complaints...are held to a less stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys,...and a federal district court is charged with liberally construing a complaint or petition filed by a pro se litigant to allow the development of a potentially meritorious case." Id.


In order to state a claim pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege (1) that he or she "has been deprived of a right, privilege or immunity secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States," and (2) "that the conduct complained of was committed by a person acting under color of state law." Dowe v. Total Action Against Poverty in Roanoke Valley, 145 F.3d 653, 658 (4th Cir. 1998) (citing 42 U.S.C. § 1983); see also Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 540 (1983); Hall v. Quillen, 631 F.2d 1154, 1155-56 (4th Cir. 1980). In a § 1983 action, "liability is personal, based upon each defendant's own constitutional violations." Trulock v. Freeh, 275 F.3d 391, 402 (4th Cir. 2001).

The Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment "protects inmates from inhumane...

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