Pierce v. Reid et al
ORDER adopting Report and Recommendations re 3 Memorandum and Recommendations; granting 1 Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis. Signed by US District Judge Terrence W. Boyle on 2/15/2013. (Edwards, S.) Copy sent to plaintiff via US Mail.
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
RO-L YAN REID, MYRTLE BEACH
EMPLOYEE, AND BRUNSWICK
This cause comes before the Court on the memorandum and recommendation of United
States Magistrate Judge James E. Gates regarding frivolity review of plaintiffs complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). Plaintiffhas objected to the memorandum and
recommendation (M&R), and the matter is ripe for review. For the reasons discussed below, the
Court adopts the M&R and dismisses plaintiffs complaint.
Plaintiff filed this action under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985 asserting medical negligence
and malpractice by defendants. Plaintiff alleges that defendants violated her First Amendment
rights to freedom of religion and freedom of speech, and in addition asserts state law causes of
action for conspiracy, failure to prevent depravation of rights, obstruction of justice, fraud, libel,
and slander. Each cause of action arises out of plaintiffs inpatient treatment at Brunswick
Community Hospital after she sought medical attention for apparent stroke symptoms. Plaintiff
alleges that defendants, inter alia, urged her to give up her job as mayor of Atlantic Beach,
mocked her religious beliefs, ordered, over her objection, that she be transported to a mental
health facility, and that defendants falsified a mental illness diagnosis to damage her political
career. The M&R concludes that plaintiff has failed to state any federal claim upon which relief
may be granted, Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), and recommends that those claims be dismissed and
that the Court decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiffs state law claims. 28
u.s.c. § 1367.
A district court is required to review de novo those portions of an M&R to which a party
timely files specific objections or where there is plain error. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l); Thomas v.
Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149-50 (1985). "[I]n the absence of a timely filed objection, a district court
need not conduct de novo review, but instead must only satisfy itself that there is no clear error
on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation." Diamond v. Colonial Life &
Ace. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310,315 (4th Cir. 2005).
The deadline to file objections to Judge Gates' M&R was January 3, 2013; plaintiff filed
her objection on January 4, 2013. As plaintiffs objection was untimely, the Court need only
review the M&R for clear error. Even if the Court were to consider plaintiffs untimely
objection, however, de novo review is not required when an objecting party makes only general
or conclusory objections that do not direct a court to a specific error in the magistrate judge's
recommendations. Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d 44,47 (4th Cir. 1982). Further, when
"objections to strictly legal issues are raised and no factual issues are challenged, de novo review
may be dispensed with." !d.
Upon review of the complaint and Judge Gates' recommendation, the Court is satisfied
that there is no clear error. Plaintiff has failed to allege that defendants acted under color state
law and her claim under§ 1983 must therefore be dismissed. See West v. Atkins, 487, U.S. 42,
48 ( 1988) ("to state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the violation of a right secured
by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation
was committed by a person acting under color of state law.") Plaintiff's § 1985 claim must also
be dismissed as she has failed to allege any facts that would suggested a conspiracy to violate her
constitutional rights. Simmons v. Poe, 47 F.3d 1370, 1377 (4th Cir. 1995) (to prove§ 1985
conspiracy plaintiff must show "an agreement or a 'meeting of the minds' by defendants .... ").
In light of the appropriateness of dismissal of plaintiff's federal claims, the Court declines to
exercise supplemental jurisdiction over plaintiff's state law claims. Plaintiff's untimely
objections do not alter the Court's holding as they are general, conclusory, and point to no
For the foregoing reasons, the Court ADOPTS the M&R [DE 3] as it is not clearly
erroneous or contrary to law. Accordingly, for the reasons discussed therein, plaintiff's
complaint is hereby DISMISSED in its entirety.
SO ORDERED, this
J ~ay of February, 2013.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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