Taylor v. Grubbs et al
ORDER and OPINION adopting 24 Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Mary Gordon Baker. The Court summarily dismisses the Complaint, with prejudice and without issuance and service of process. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), this case counts as a strike. Signed by Honorable Richard M Gergel on 2/3/2017.(ssam, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Therl Taylor, #260961,
Virginia Grubbs, et aI.,
Case No: 2: 15-cv-4958-RMG
ORDER and OPINION
This matter comes before the Court on the Report and Recommendation ("R & R") of the
Magistrate Judge. (Dkt. No. 24). The Magistrate Judge has recommended that the Court
summarily dismiss the Complaint, with prejudice and without issuance and service of process.
The Court agrees with the Magistrate's analysis so ADOPTS the R & R as the order of the
a. Report and Recommendation from the Magistrate
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. 261,270-71 (1976). This Court is charged with making
a de novo determination of those portions of the R & R to which specific objection is made.
Additionally, 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)(I).
b. The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA)
The PLRA, at 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) provides that:
In no event shall a prisoner bring a civil action or appeal a judgment in a civil
action or proceeding under this section if the prisoner has, on 3 or more prior
occasions, while incarcerated or detained in any facility, brought an action or
appeal in a court of the United States that was dismissed on the gro.unds that it is
frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted,
unless the prisoner is under imminent danger of serious physical injury.
See McLean v. United States, 566 F.3d 391,404 (4th Cir. 2009). "[I]f a prisoner has already had
three cases dismissed as frivolous, malicious, or for failure to state a claim for which relief may
be granted, the prisoner generally may not proceed IFP but rather must pay up-front all filing
fees for his subsequent suits." Blakely v. Wards, 738 FJd 607, 609 (4th Cir. 2013), as amended
(October 22,2013). This means that, after receiving three strikes, a plaintiff will have to pay the
full filing fee for almost any future non-habeas civil actions that he might wish to file. Id. at 610.
Plaintiff is a state prisoner serving concurrent state sentences for murder (36 years) and
possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime (5 years). Plaintiffs
application for Post-Conviction Reliefwas denied. Plaintiffs federal habeas petition was
dismissed on the merits. See Taylor v. Warden, Case No. 2: 13-cv-2213-RMG-WWD, 2014 WL
4721183 (D.S.C. Sep. 22, 2014), appeal dismissed, 594 F.App'x 186 (4th Cir. March 2,2015),
cert. denied, 136 S.Ct. 323 (Oct. 13,2015). Plaintiff, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis
(lFP), commenced this action with a lengthy, 97-page complaint (with attachments) in December
2015. (Dkt. No.1). The Magistrate issued her R & R on November 8, 2016, and Plaintiff filed
objections to the R & R on February 2,2017. (Dkt. Nos. 24, 33.)
Liberally construed, Plaintiffs complaint contains allegations about deficient mail room
services and the inadequate processing of various grievances. Plaintiff seeks relief for over a
dozen specific claims including, in his own words, "civil conspiracy," "First Amendment,
specifically the Chilling Effect," denial of right of self-representation, and so on. Plaintiff has
supported these claims with allegations about illegible copies, the "attitude" of the mail room
attendant, and the fact that he has received responses to grievances by inter-departmental mail
instead of by certified mail.
Plaintiff seeks: 1) a declaration that the Defendants violated his rights; 2) an injunction
ordering them "not to interfere and violate" his future rights and "to correct and destroy
inaccurate and incorrect records connected to Plaintiff;" 3) a copy of the contents of the
Warden's file on him; 4) an official apology; 5) mental health counseling; and 6) $2,000.00 in
compensatory and punitive damages from each Defendant. Plaintiff also seeks to have
unspecified prior state court cases "re-opened." (Dkt. No.1 at 19).
Plaintiff's Objections to the R & R
The Magistrate Judge construed Plaintiffs complaint liberally and determined that
Plaintiff had not stated any claim for relief. Plaintiff has filed thirty-five pages of objections to
the Magistrate's R & R, totaling some 305 specific numbered objections. The Court has
reviewed all of these.
Many of Plaintiffs objections are incoherent, nonsensical, or irrelevant to this case. For
example, Plaintiff objects in that "As previously described and now further asserted of a federal
civil conspiracy count, Grubbs, Jones and Williams consistantly knodded [sic] in agreement to
cause [Plaintiff] repeated injury as referenced herein and within the four comers of his original
prose complaint, with 56 exhibits, seeking fairness in square truth." (Dkt. No. 33 at 25.) Many of
Plaintiffs objections are conclusory. For example, "[specific objection] is made that [plaintiffs]
federal counts are frivolous or malicious." (Dkt. No. 33 at 11.) Plaintiff's other statements were
general objections to the Magistrate's recommendation (e.g. conclusory claims that Plaintiffs
complaint has merit), recycled arguments from the complaint, or restatements of facts. Many of
the objections are simply personal attacks on the Magistrate. Plaintiff otherwise has objected to
items in the R & R that have no bearing on the outcome of this case. For example, he objects to
the Magistrate's reference to one of his previous lawsuits as "unsuccessful" (R & Rat 3 n.3)
without providing any facts to the contrary.
The Court finds that the Magistrate gave all claims in Plaintiff s complaint a generously
liberal construction. This Court has, in turn, liberally construed Plaintiffs claims and objections
because Plaintiff is proceeding pro se. The Court finds that the Magistrate's R & R has
adequately explained why each of Plaintiff's claims lacks merit.
The Court, having reviewed the complaint, the R & R, and Plaintiffs objections to the
R & R, agrees with and ADOPTS the R & R as the order of the Court. The Court summarily
dismisses the Complaint, with prejudice and without issuance and service of process. Pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), this case counts as a strike.
AND IT IS SO ORDERED.
United States District Court Judge
Charleston, South Carolina
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