Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Judicial Notice of Internet Evidence — Party’s Admissions in Prior Lawsuit in Same Court

Martin v. Duffy, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175102 (D.S.C. Dec. 30, 2015):

The plaintiff, Anthony Fred Martin, a self-represented state prisoner, brings this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This matter is before the court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2) (D.S.C.). Plaintiff is an inmate at Broad River Correctional Institution and files this action in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Having reviewed the Complaint in accordance with applicable law, the court concludes that it should be summarily dismissed.


Plaintiff further alleges a violation of his right to equal protection. (ECF No. 1.) "To succeed on an equal protection claim, a plaintiff must first demonstrate that he has been treated differently from others with whom he is similarly situated and that the unequal treatment was the result of intentional or purposeful discrimination." Morrison v. Garraghty, 239 F.3d 648, 654 (4th Cir.2001). In this case, Plaintiff [*6]  provides no factual allegations to show that the Defendant treated Plaintiff differently than any other similarly situated inmate or that his placement in segregation (in anticipation of an investigation)2 resulted from intentional or purposeful discrimination. The court must liberally construe a pro se complaint, the United States Supreme Court has made clear that a plaintiff must do more than make conclusory statements to state a claim. See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-79, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007). Further, the reviewing court need only accept as true the complaint's factual allegations, not its legal conclusions. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79 (citation omitted). As Plaintiff fails to plead facts that would support a plausible equal protection claim, the Complaint is subject to summary dismissal.

2   In a previous action, based on almost identical facts, Plaintiff indicates that Defendant Duffy told him that he was going into segregation while his allegations were being investigated, and that the segregation was to help maintain the "integrity of the investigation." See Doc. # 1 in CA No. 4:15-2104. The Court takes judicial notice of these court filings from Plaintiff's prior civil vase. see Aloe Creme Laboratories, Inc. v. Francine Co., 425 F.2d 1295, 1296 (5th Cir. 1970)(a federal court may take judicial notice of the contents of its own records); [*7]  see also In Re Katrina Canal Breaches Consol. Litig., 533 F. Supp. 2d 615, 631-33 & nn.14-15 (E.D. La. 2008)(collecting cases indicating that federal courts may take judicial notice of governmental websites, including court records); Williams v. Long, 585 F. Supp. 2d 679, 686-88 & n.4 (D. Md. 2008) (collecting cases indicating that postings on government websites are inherently authentic or self-authenticating); See also Colonial Penn Ins. Co. v. Coil, 887 F. 2d 1236, 1239 (4th Cir. 1989) (federal courts may take judicial notice of proceedings in other courts if those proceedings have a direct relation to matters at issue);

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