Watkins v. Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Filing 6

ORDER adopting 5 Memorandum and Recommendation and denying 2 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis. Signed by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II on 3/27/2024. (McNally, Kimberly)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA WESTERN DIVISION Case No. 5:24-CV-00035-M ERICA RENEE WATKINS, Plaintiff, ORDER V. SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, Defendant. This matter comes before the court for review of the Memorandum and Recommendation (the "Recommendation") filed on February 16, 2024, by Magistrate Judge Robert T. Numbers, II, in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b). DE 5. In the Recommendation, Judge Numbers recommends that the court deny Plaintiffs application to proceed in forma pauperis and dismiss the Complaint due to Plaintiff's failure to timely file suit after receiving a notice of right to sue letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Id. at 3-5. The Recommendation, which includes instructions and a deadline for objections, was served on February 16, 2024. See id. at 6. Plaintiff did not object to the Recommendation. See Docket Entries dated February 16, 2024, to present. 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), but need only "make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made," id. Notwithstanding that Plaintiff raised no objections to the Recommendation, the court has reviewed the in forma pauperis application and concurs with the Recommendation, in that Plaintiff has sufficient income and assets such that she is not entitled to have the public bear the costs of her litigation. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a); United States v. Valdes, 300 F. Supp. 2d 82, 85 (D.D.C. 2004) (observing that court may not turn "blind eye to [applicant' s] actual financial circumstances," which would "render[] court an unfit steward of the public purse"). The court further discerns no clear error in the Recommendation's analysis related to administrative exhaustion. The Recommendation [DE 5] is hereby ADOPTED, the application to proceed in forma pauperis [DE 2] is DENIED, and Plaintiffs Complaint [DE 1] is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. 1 :tt- so ORDERED this 27 day of March, 2024. Q; [ fYlv-4-n ~ RICHARD E. MYERS II CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT nJDGE 1 This dismissal is without prejudice to Plaintiff re-raising her claim of employment discrimination under a federal statute that does not require administrative exhaustion.

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