Jones v. Correct Care Solutions et al
ORDER RULING ON REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION adopting the portions of 12 Report and Recommendation pertaining to Defendants Lexington County Detention Center and Bradacs, as well as the portion barring claims related to Plain tiff's 2009 action concerning his broken nose, and declining to adopt the portion pertaining to claims arising from Defendant Correct Care Solutions' treatment of Plaintiff's 2010 gunshot wound. The claims against Defendants Lexington County Detention Center and Bradacs are dismissed without prejudice. Signed by Honorable R Bryan Harwell on 11/20/2012. (jpet, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
ROCK HILL DIVISION
Dwight Xavier Jones,
Correct Care Solutions; Lexington )
County Detention Center, and PSO )
Katherine Elizabeth Bradacs,
Civil Action No.: 0:11-cv-02890-RBH
Plaintiff Dwight Xavier Jones, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983
action alleging constitutional violations while he was a pretrial detainee at the Lexington County
Detention Center (“LCDC”). This matter is before the Court after the issuance of the Report and
Recommendation (“R&R”) of United States Magistrate Judge Paige J. Gossett.1 In the R&R, the
Magistrate Judge recommends that the Court dismiss Plaintiff’s action against Defendants with
prejudice and without service of process for frivolousness. The Magistrate Judge also recommends
that this action be deemed a “strike” under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Plaintiff filed this action in October 2011, alleging claims the Court construes as
constitutional claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as state negligence claims. Although Plaintiff
largely raises issues too incoherent and inappropriate for a civil pleading, he appears to allege
claims of medical negligence and deliberate indifference (specifically against Defendant Correct
In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil Rule 73.02 (D.S.C.), this matter was
referred to the Magistrate Judge for pretrial handling. The Magistrate Judge’s review of Plaintiff’s
complaint was conducted pursuant to the screening provisions of 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and
1915A. The Court is mindful of its duty to liberally construe the pleadings of pro se litigants. See
Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978); but see Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775
F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985).
Care Solutions) arising from treatment he received for a gunshot wound following his detention in
the Lexington County Detention Center in May 2010.
Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant
Katherine Elizabeth Bradacs provided false evidence against him regarding an arrest and
conviction. He seeks damages up to $1 million. Compl., ECF No. 1.
The Magistrate Judge issued her R&R on November 28, 2011, finding Plaintiff’s complaint
frivolous and recommending that Plaintiff’s complaint be dismissed with prejudice as to all
Defendants and that the case be deemed a strike. R&R, ECF No. 12.
Plaintiff filed timely
objections on December 8, 2011, as well as timely supplemental objections on December 12, 2011.
ECF Nos. 15 & 16.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to the Court. The recommendation has
no presumptive weight. The responsibility to make a final determination remains with the Court.
Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). The Court is charged with making a de novo
determination of those portions of the R&R to which specific objection is made, and the Court may
accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, or
recommit the matter to her with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
The right to de novo review may be waived by the failure to file timely objections. Orpiano
v. Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). The Court need not conduct a de novo review when a
party makes only “general and conclusory objections that do not direct the [C]ourt to a specific
error in the [M]agistrate’s proposed findings and recommendations.” Id. Moreover, in the absence
of objections to the R&R, the Court is not required to give any explanation for adopting the
recommendation. Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983). However, in the absence of
objections, the Court must “ ‘satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in
order to accept the recommendation.’ ” Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d
310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 72 advisory committee’s note).
The Magistrate Judge recommends dismissing Plaintiff’s complaint against each defendant
for entirely different reasons. First, she concludes Plaintiff’s claim against Defendant Correct Care
Solutions is precluded by the doctrine of res judicata. Second, she concludes Plaintiff’s claim
against Defendant Lexington County Detention Center should be dismissed on the basis that the
detention center is not a person amenable to suit under § 1983. Finally, she concludes Plaintiff’s
claim against Defendant Bradacs is barred under Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994).
Plaintiff’s objections are largely an irrelevant tirade against the Magistrate Judge and the
legal system. The Court reiterates that it may only consider objections to the R&R that direct this
Court to a specific error. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b); United States v. Schronce, 727 F.2d 91, 94 n.4
(4th Cir. 1984); Wright v. Collins, 766 F.2d 841, 845-47 nn.1-3 (4th Cir. 1985). “Courts have . . .
held de novo review to be unnecessary in . . . situations when a party makes general and conclusory
objections that do not direct the court to a specific error in the [Magistrate Judge’s] proposed
findings and recommendation.” Orpiano, 687 F.2d at 47. Furthermore, in the absence of specific
objections to the R&R, this Court is not required to give any explanation for adopting the
recommendation. Camby, 718 F.2d at 199. Plaintiff does not specifically object to the Magistrate
Judge’s finding that Defendant Lexington County Detention Center is not a person amenable to suit
under § 1983.
Moreover, he does not challenge the recommendation that his claim against
Defendant Bradacs is barred under Heck. Therefore, finding no clear error in the Magistrate
Judge’s recommendation as to Defendants Lexington County Detention Center and Bradacs, the
Court finds dismissal of Plaintiff’s claims against the two defendants is appropriate.
In reviewing Plaintiff’s objections, however, the Court finds the Magistrate Judge’s
recommendation regarding the claim against Defendant Correct Care Solutions was erroneous. In
his objections, Plaintiff argues, in part, “I was not trying to reopen no case[.] I used [the previous
case] as a reference because they did the exact same thing again[.]” ECF No. 16, at 5. Similarly, in
his complaint, Plaintiff appears to allege that he was not properly treated for a 2010 gunshot wound
and that Defendant Correct Care Solutions’ negligence was habitual. Compl. 3-5, ECF No. 1.
Contrary to the conclusion of the Magistrate Judge, these allegations involve separate circumstances
than the circumstances of Plaintiff’s previous action, cited by the Magistrate Judge as having
preclusive effect. In that 2009 action, Plaintiff was complaining about treatment of a broken nose,
not a gunshot wound. Jones v. Correctional Care Solutions, et al., No. 0:09-cv-00269-HMH, 2010
WL 2926178 (D.S.C. July 23, 2010). The doctrine of res judicata, thus, is inapplicable in this
action, at least to Plaintiff’s complaints about the treatment of his gunshot wound. See, e.g., Brown
v. Felson, 442 U.S. 127, 131 (1979) (“Res judicata prevents litigation of all grounds for, or defenses
to, recovery that were previously available to the parties, regardless of whether they were asserted
or determined in the prior proceeding.” (emphasis added)); Peugot Motors of Am., Inc., v. E. Auto
Distribs., Inc., 892 F.2d 355, 359 (4th Cir. 1989).
The Court finds the proper course of action is to recommit the action to the Magistrate Judge
for further screening or, if appropriate, issuance of a summons to the remaining Defendant Correct
Care Solutions. Given this posture, dismissal of Defendants Lexington County Detention Center
and Bradacs without prejudice is proper. Accordingly, the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation to
deem this action a strike, at this time, is rejected.
The Court has thoroughly analyzed the entire record, including the R&R, objections to the
R&R, and the applicable law. For the reasons stated above and by the Magistrate Judge, the Court
hereby overrules Plaintiff’s objections and adopts the portions of the Magistrate Judge’s R&R
pertaining to Defendants Lexington County Detention Center and Bradacs, as well as the portion
barring claims related to his 2009 action concerning his broken nose.
However, the Court
respectfully rejects the portion of the Magistrate Judge’s R&R pertaining to claims arising from
Defendant Correct Care Solutions’ treatment of Plaintiff’s 2010 gunshot wound.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff’s claims against Defendants Lexington
County Detention Center and Bradacs are DISMISSED without prejudice.
The matter is
RECOMMITTED to the Magistrate Judge for further proceedings regarding Defendant Correct
Care Solutions and consistent with this order.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/ R. Bryan Harwell
R. Bryan Harwell
United States District Judge
November 20, 2012
Florence, South Carolina
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