Phillips v. Bryant
ORDER AND OPINION adopting 14 Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Mary Gordon Baker. The Complaint is dismissed with prejudice, and dismissal of this Complaint counts as a "strike" for the purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). Signed by Honorable Margaret B Seymour on 7/19/2016.(ssam, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Christopher M. Phillips,
Sheriff Bruce Bryant,
Civil Action No. 2:15-3359-MBS
ORDER AND OPINION
Petitioner Christopher M. Phillips (“Petitioner”), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis,
brings this action against Respondent Sheriff Bruce Bryant pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
On August 24, 2015, Petitioner filed the instant petition while he was a state detainee at the
York County Detention Center in Columbia, South Carolina. Petitioner was detained pending
charges for “Burning Crops and Other Kind of Personal Property,” Arson 3rd Degree, and
“Larceny/Petit or Simple Larcent - $2000 or less (Enhancement per 16-1-57). See ECF No. 14.
Petitioner brought this action to remedy what he deemed insufficient “service checks regarding the
maintenance of security operations,” and an abridgment of privileges due to his placement in a
“Special Needs Unit.” ECF No. 1 at 3. For relief, Petitioner requested, inter alia, 21 billion dollars,
immediate release from detention, and “a full scale investigation regarding all facts stated!” ECF No.
1 at 5.
In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) (2012) and Local Civil Rule 73.02, D.S.C., the matter
was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Mary Gordon Baker for a Report and
Recommendation. The Magistrate Judge reviewed the petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
The Magistrate Judge filed a Report and Recommendation on October 7, 2015. ECF No. 14. The
Magistrate Judge determined that Petitioner’s Complaint is nonsensical, unsupported by facts to
allege any constitutional violation, and fails to seek relief available under a § 1983 action. Id.
Additionally, the Magistrate Judge evaluated the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) three strike
rule, which bars a Petitioner from proceeding in forma pauperis if the court has already dismissed
three actions brought by a petitioner as “frivolous, malicious, or for failure to state a claim for which
relief may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). Finding that Petitioner’s Complaint is both frivolous
and fails to state a claim for relief, the Magistrate Judge recommended that the Complaint be
summarily dismissed with prejudice and that this dismissal count as a “strike” for the purposes of 28
U.S.C. § 1915(g). Id. Petitioner filed an objection to the Report and Recommendation on October
26, 2015. ECF No. 16.
The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this court. The recommendation has
no presumptive weight and the responsibility for making a final determination remains with this court.
Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270 (1976). The court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or
in part, the recommendation made by the Magistrate Judge. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). This court may
also receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the Magistrate Judge with instructions. Id.
The court is charged with making a de novo review of any portions of the Report and
Recommendation to which a specific objection is made. Id. The district court need not conduct a de
novo review when a party makes only general and conclusory objections that do not direct the court
to a specific error in the Magistrate Judge’s proposed findings and recommendations. Orpiano v.
Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47-48 (4th Cir. 1982). Petitioner’s response does not rebut the Magistrate
Judge’s conclusion that the Complaint should be summarily dismissed.
The court adopts the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge and incorporates
it herein by reference. The Complaint is dismissed with prejudice, and dismissal of this Complaint
counts as a “strike” for the purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/ Margaret B. Seymour
Margaret B. Seymour
Senior United States District Court Judge
July 19, 2016
Columbia, South Carolina
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