Wannamaker v. Ransom
ORDER adopting Report and Recommendations of Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchan; Plaintiffs objections thereto are OVERRULED (Doc. #12); this action is DISMISSED without prejudice and without issuance and service of process. Signed by Chief Judge Terry L Wooten on 11/6/2014.(cwhi, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
KATHY N. RANSOM, State of South
Case No. 3:14-cv-03729-TLW
Plaintiff Sherinette Wannamaker, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed this civil
action for “professional negligence,” alleging that Defendant was negligent in losing the notes
and audiotapes from Plaintiff’s post-conviction relief hearing. (Doc. #1). This matter is now
before the Court for review of the Report and Recommendation (“the Report”) filed by United
States Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant, to whom this case was assigned pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2), (D.S.C.). In the Report, the Magistrate Judge
recommends that this Court dismiss the Complaint without prejudice and without issuance and
service of process because Plaintiff’s claims are not cognizable under federal law. (Doc. #10).
Plaintiff filed timely objections to the Report on October 9, 2014. (Doc. #12). She
asserts that (1) she qualifies to have counsel appointed to represent her; (2) the Magistrate Judge
should have referred this case to another judge because he previously recommended denial of
Plaintiff’s habeas petition; and (3) her civil suit is not frivolous. Id. However, Plaintiff also
states that she “erroneously alleged a state claim with the federal court,” and that “[b]ased on the
foregoing, [she] accept[s] the court’s dismissal . . . and will pursue [her] claim of negligence in
state court.” Id. at 3-4. Despite Plaintiff’s apparent acquiescence to the Magistrate Judge’s
recommendation that the Court dismiss this action, the Court has considered Plaintiff’s
objections to the Report.
In conducting its review of the Report, the Court applies the following standard:
The magistrate judge makes only a recommendation to the Court, to which any
party may file written objections . . . . The Court is not bound by the
recommendation of the magistrate judge but, instead, retains responsibility for the
final determination. The Court is required to make a de novo determination of
those portions of the report or specified findings or recommendation as to which
an objection is made. However, the Court is not required to review, under a de
novo or any other standard, the factual or legal conclusions of the magistrate
judge as to those portions of the report and recommendation to which no
objections are addressed. While the level of scrutiny entailed by the Court’s
review of the Report thus depends on whether or not objections have been filed,
in either case, the Court is free, after review, to accept, reject, or modify any of
the magistrate judge’s findings or recommendations.
Wallace v. Housing Auth. of the City of Columbia, 791 F. Supp. 137, 138 (D.S.C. 1992)
The Court has carefully reviewed the Report in accordance with this standard, and it
concludes that the Magistrate Judge accurately summarizes the case and the applicable law. It is
therefore ORDERED that the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation is ACCEPTED
(Doc. #10), and Plaintiff’s objections thereto are OVERRULED (Doc. #12).1 For the reasons
The Court specifically notes that Plaintiff’s contention that “[i]t is a conflict, for the same judge
who handled [her] Habeus [sic] Corpus relief--and recommended its dismissal as well, to also
preside over a civil suit [she is] pursuing” is without merit. (See Doc. #12 at 1-2). A judge
should recuse himself from any case in which “his impartiality might reasonably be questioned;”
he has “personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed
evidentiary facts concerning [the] proceeding;” he has been involved in the matter as a private or
governmental practitioner; he has a financial interest in the matter; or he has a familial
relationship affecting the matter. 28 U.S.C. § 455. “[P]revious adverse rulings against a party
do not constitute adequate grounds for recusal.” Jones Cnty. Improvement Ass’n, Inc. v. North
Carolina Dep’t of Transp., No. 4:07-cv-46, 2007 WL 4380098, at *1 (E.D.N.C. Dec. 12, 2007)
(citing Taylor v. Regents of the Univ. of Calif., 993 F.2d 710, 712 (9th Cir. 1993)). Thus,
contrary to Plaintiff’s assertion, there was no need for the Magistrate Judge to “refer [her]
articulated by the Magistrate Judge, this action is DISMISSED without prejudice and without
issuance and service of process.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/ Terry L. Wooten
Terry L. Wooten
Chief United States District Judge
November 6, 2014
Columbia, South Carolina
motion to another judge, to conduct the review fairly,” and this objection is overruled. (See Doc.
#12 at 1).
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