Powell v. Williams
ORDER 5 Memorandum and Recommendations; dismissing 8 Motion to Establish Parentage; and dismissing 9 Motion for Permanent Injunction, Motion for Preliminary Injunction, Motion for Temporary Restraining Order - Signed by District Judge Louise Wood Flanagan on 08/01/2014. (Baker, C.)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
EDDIE F. POWELL,
WANDA T. WILLIAMS,
This matter is before the court on the Memorandum and Recommendation (“M&R”) of
United States Magistrate Judge Kimberly A. Swank, (DE 5), upon frivolity review pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). It is recommended therein that the court dismiss plaintiff’s complaint as
frivolous. Plaintiff did not file objections to the M&R. Also pending is plaintiff’s motion to
establish parentage (DE 8) and motion for temporary and permanent injunctive relief (DE 9). For
the reasons that follow, the court adopts the findings and recommendation of the magistrate judge
and dismisses the suit as frivolous, including dismissal of the pending motions.
The court previously set forth the background of the case in its order entered May 19,
2014, which background the court restates here. In plaintiff’s complaint, filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§§ 1983, 1985, and 1986, plaintiff asserts unspecified constitutional violations and conspiracies
against the mother of his minor child, and seeks injunctive relief including the stay of a state court
restraining order as well as other injunctive relief concerning care and custody of his minor child.
Plaintiff references custody hearing scheduled for May 22, 2014 and May 23, 2014 in state court.
Accompanying the proposed complaint is a motion for temporary restraining order, preliminary
injunction, and permanent injunction seeking to restrain defendant from leaving the state with his
On May 19, 2014, the court denied plaintiff’s motion for temporary restraining order,
noting no likelihood of success on the merits, where the court likely lacks subject matter jurisdiction
over the subject matter of the proposed complaint. The court then referred the matter to magistrate
judge for in forma pauperis determination and frivolity review.
On July 14, 2014, M&R and order was entered describing lack of basis for jurisdiction or
claim in law or fact, thus recommending that plaintiff’s complaint be dismissed as frivolous. In
plaintiff’s motion to establish parentage, plaintiff seeks an order proving that plaintiff is the father
of minor child W. (full-name redacted per magistrate judge’s July 14, 2014, order) so that plaintiff’s
name can be added to the birth certificate. In plaintiff’s motion for injunctive relief, plaintiff
reiterates arguments raised previously in support of injunctive relief.
Upon a careful review of the M&R, 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). The
court does not perform a de novo review where a party makes only “general and conclusory
objections that do not direct the court to a specific error in the magistrate’s proposed findings and
recommendations.” Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). Absent a specific and
timely filed objection, the court reviews only for “clear error,” and need not give any explanation
for adopting the M&R. Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir.
2005); Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 200 (4th Cir.1983). Upon careful review of the record, “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).
The court, after carefully reviewing the M&R and the record, finds the analysis in the
M&R to be thorough and cogent, and adopts it in full. the court is required to dismiss all or part of
an action found to be frivolous or malicious, which fails to state a claim on which relief can be
granted, or which seeks money damages from a defendant immune from such recovery. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2); Michau v. Charleston County, 434 F.3d 725, 728 (4th Cir. 2006). A case is frivolous
if it lacks an arguable basis in either law or fact. Neitzke v.Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989).
The complaint in this case is deficient, and must be dismissed for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction, for two reasons. First, this court does not have jurisdiction to determine child custody
or child support matters. See Ankenbrandt v. Richards, 504 U.S. 689, 703 (1992); Cantor v. Cohen,
442 F.3d 196, 202 (4th Cir.2006). Second, to the extent such matters have been determined by the
state court, this court is further barred from reviewing the state court’s decisions or any claims that
are “inextricably intertwined” with the decisions. Shooting Point, LLC v. Cumming, 368 F.3d 379,
383 (4th Cir. 2004). Accordingly, the lawsuit must be dismissed as frivolous.
For the same reasons, and for the reasons expressed in the court’s previous order denying
plaintiff’s motion for temporary restraining order, plaintiff’s motion for injunctive relief and motion
to establish parentage must also be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
Based on the foregoing, the court ADOPTS the M&R in full, and DISMISSES plaintiff’s
complaint (DE 1) as frivolous pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). Plaintiff’s remaining motions
(DE 8, 9), are DISMISSED for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
SO ORDERED, this the 1st day of August, 2014.
LOUISE W. FLANAGAN
United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?