Case: Incumaa v. Stirling

9:12-cv-03493 | U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina

Filed Date: Dec. 12, 2012

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 12, 2012, a prisoner at the SCDC serving a life-sentence without the possibility of parole filed this pro se lawsuit against the director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC). The plaintiff claimed the SCDC was substantially burdening his practice of religion which violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA). Additionally, the plaintiff sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on the grounds that the SCDC violated his Fourteenth Amendment …

On December 12, 2012, a prisoner at the SCDC serving a life-sentence without the possibility of parole filed this pro se lawsuit against the director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC). The plaintiff claimed the SCDC was substantially burdening his practice of religion which violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA). Additionally, the plaintiff sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on the grounds that the SCDC violated his Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process rights. The plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

Specifically, the complaint alleged that the plaintiff had been in administrative segregation since 1995, after his involvement in a riot where several guards were taken hostage. Since being placed in administrative segregation, he had committed no infractions. The plaintiff practiced a religion called the Nation of Gods and Earths (NOGE), a derivation of the Nation of Islam, also known as the Five Percenters. The SCDC did not recognize NOGE as a legitimate religious denomination and classified NOGE as a Security Threat Group. The plaintiff claimed that the SCDC would not release the plaintiff into the general population unless he renounced his religion.

On October 9, 2013, the case was reassigned to Judge David C. Norton. After requesting supplemental memoranda on the case, Judge Norton granted summary judgment to the defendant in district court on March 11, 2014. The director of the SCDC was terminated on March 11, 2014, and the new director's name was substituted on the docket.

The plaintiff then appealed to the Fourth Circuit. On July 1, 2015, the Fourth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court affirmed the dismissal of the RLUIPA claims because the plaintiff failed to show that his confinement in administrative segregation was because of his religious affiliation rather than because of his participation in the riot.

The appeals court reversed the district court’s decision as to the Fourteenth Amendment due process claims. The appeals court determined that the plaintiff had a protected liberty interest because of the hardships of indefinite solitary confinement. Though a prisoner’s placement in administrative segregation was reviewed every 30 days, the appeals court determined there was a triable dispute as to the adequacy of the procedure and remanded that issue.

After the case was remanded, the plaintiff retained private counsel. While it is likely that the case was resolved outside of court after counsel became involved, as of March 2017, no further motions have been filed in response to the remanded section of the case.

Summary Authors

Amanda Kenner (3/4/2017)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5219049/parties/incumaa-v-byars/


Judge(s)

Norton, David C. (South Carolina)

Thacker, Stephanie Dawn (West Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Franklin-Best, Elizabeth Anne (South Carolina)

Johnston, Erin Camille (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Lindemann, Andrew F. (South Carolina)

Judge(s)

Norton, David C. (South Carolina)

Thacker, Stephanie Dawn (West Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Franklin-Best, Elizabeth Anne (South Carolina)

Johnston, Erin Camille (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Lindemann, Andrew F. (South Carolina)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

9:12-cv-03493

Docket [PACER]

Incumaa v. Byars

Dec. 3, 2015

Dec. 3, 2015

Docket
1

9:12-cv-03493

Complaint

Dec. 12, 2012

Dec. 12, 2012

Complaint
25

9:12-cv-03493

Notice of Motion and Motion for Summary Judgment

Incumaa v. Byars

July 16, 2013

July 16, 2013

Pleading / Motion / Brief
28

9:12-cv-03493

Response to Summary Judgment

Incumaa v. Byars

Aug. 5, 2013

Aug. 5, 2013

Pleading / Motion / Brief
34

9:12-cv-03493

Reply to Plaintiff's Response to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment

Incumaa v. Byars

Aug. 13, 2013

Aug. 13, 2013

Pleading / Motion / Brief
44

9:12-cv-03493

Order

Jan. 28, 2014

Jan. 28, 2014

Order/Opinion
46

9:12-cv-03493

Supplemental Memorandum in Support of Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment

Feb. 27, 2014

Feb. 27, 2014

Pleading / Motion / Brief
47

9:12-cv-03493

Plaintiff's Reply to Defendant's Supplemental Memorandum and Affidavit of Robert E. Ward

March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014

Pleading / Motion / Brief
48

9:12-cv-03493

Order

2014 WL 958679

March 11, 2014

March 11, 2014

Order/Opinion

14-06411

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

791 F.3d 517

July 1, 2015

July 1, 2015

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5219049/incumaa-v-byars/

Last updated July 23, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
37

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION of Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant. It is recommended that the Defendants motion for summary judgment be granted, and that this case be dismissed. Objections to R&R due by 10/11/2013. Signed by Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant on 9/24/2013. (cwhi, )

Sept. 24, 2013

Sept. 24, 2013

RECAP
48

ORDER granting 25 Motion for Summary Judgment; adopting Report and Recommendations re 37 Report and Recommendation. Signed by Honorable David C Norton on 3/11/2014.(cahe, ) (Main Document 48 replaced on 3/11/2014) (jbry, ). Modified on 3/11/2014 to replace with corrected document per chambers (jbry, ).

March 11, 2014

March 11, 2014

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: South Carolina

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 12, 2012

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Prisoner member of the Nation of Gods and Earth (NOGE).

Plaintiff Type(s):

State Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

South Carolina Department of Corrections, State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Religious Freedom Rest. Act/Religious Land Use and Inst. Persons Act (RFRA/RLUIPA)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

Unknown

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

Administrative segregation

Religious programs / policies

Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)

Discrimination-basis:

Religion discrimination

Type of Facility:

Government-run