Brown v. Holbrook et al
ORDER adopting Report and Recommendations of Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant; denying 19 Motion to Dismiss. Signed by Honorable Mary Geiger Lewis on 1/6/2017.(cwhi, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
VERNON SAMUEL BROWN,
SKIP HOLBROOK, Chief of Columbia Police, §
and CPL. ERSKINE MOODY, Columbia
Police Department, individually and in their
Civil Action No. 3:16-02898-MGL-BM
ORDER ADOPTING THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
AND DENYING DEFENDANT CITY OF COLUMBIA’S MOTION TO DISMISS
This action arises under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is proceeding pro se. The matter is
before the Court for review of the Report and Recommendation (Report) of the United States
Magistrate Judge suggesting Defendant City of Columbia’s Motion to Dismiss (Motion to
Dismiss) be denied. The Report was made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local Civil
Rule 73.02 for the District of South Carolina.
Plaintiff has asserted claims against Defendants in both their individual and official
capacities. The Report and the Motion to Dismiss relate to Plaintiff’s claims against Defendants
in their official capacities only. Although Plaintiff has failed to explicitly name the City of
Columbia as a defendant, claims against an individual in his official capacity “generally represent
only another way of pleading an action against an entity of which an officer is an agent.” Kentucky
v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159, 165-66 (1986) (citation omitted) (internal quotation marks omitted).
The real party in interest regarding official-capacity claims is the entity, and such claims are “to
be treated as a suit against the entity.” Id. at 166 (citation omitted). Because Plaintiff’s Complaint
alleges Defendants are agents of the City of Columbia, the City of Columbia’s filing of the Motion
to Dismiss is appropriate as to Plaintiff’s official-capacity claims.
The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this 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 (1976). The Court is charged with making a de novo
determination of those portions of the Report 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 with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
The Magistrate Judge filed the Report on December 15, 2016, ECF No. 32, but Defendants
failed to file any objections to the Report. “[I]n the absence of a timely filed objection, a district
court need not conduct a 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
& Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 72 advisory
committee’s note). Moreover, a failure to object waives appellate review. Wright v. Collins, 766
F.2d 841, 845-46 (4th Cir. 1985).
After a thorough review of the Report and the record in this case pursuant to the standard
set forth above, the Court adopts the Report and incorporates it herein. Therefore, it is the
judgment of the Court Defendant City of Columbia’s Motion to Dismiss is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Signed this 6th day of January 2017, in Columbia, South Carolina.
s/ Mary Geiger Lewis
MARY GEIGER LEWIS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
NOTICE OF RIGHT TO APPEAL
The parties are hereby notified of the right to appeal this Order within thirty days from the
date hereof, pursuant to Rules 3 and 4 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.
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