Littlejohn v. Obama et al
OPINION AND ORDER denying 23 Motion to Vacate 19 Judgment. Signed by Honorable J Michelle Childs on 11/25/14.(jtho, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Quintin M. Littlejohn,
Barack H. Obama, President of the USA;
Novant Healthcare; Social Security Admin; )
and J. M. Childs, Judge;
Civil Action No. 6:14-cv-03224-JMC
ORDER AND OPINION
Petitioner Quintin M. Littlejohn (“Petitioner”) filed this pro se Petition for Writ of
Mandamus against President Barack Obama, Novant Healthcare, the Social Security
Administration, and the undersigned (collectively “Respondents”). Petitioner alleges delays in
adjudicating other pending civil actions he has filed. (ECF No. 1.) This action was summarily
dismissed on October 6, 2014. (ECF No. 18.) This matter is before the court on Petitioner’s
Motion to Vacate Judgment (ECF No. 23).
For the reasons set forth herein, the court DENIES Petitioner’s Motion to Vacate
Judgment (ECF No. 23).
I. RELEVANT FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
On August 19, 2014, Magistrate Judge Kevin F. McDonald issued a Report and
Recommendation (“Report”) recommending the court summarily dismiss this action. (ECF No.
14.) The Magistrate Judge found that mandamus relief could not be obtained against Respondent
Obama or the Social Security Administration “because mandamus relief is not available where a
federal official’s acts are discretionary in nature.” (Id. at 3 (citation omitted).) In addition, the
Magistrate Judge found that the case is moot against the undersigned as another District Judge
has been assigned to the case on which Petitioner wishes to compel action. (Id. at 4.) Finally,
the Magistrate Judge found that Respondent Novant Healthcare is subject to summary dismissal
“because it is not a federal government entity, and its employees are not federal employees.”
(Id.) In the Report, Petitioner was advised of his right to file objections to the report, and his
obligation to do so within 14 days of the date of service. (Id. at 5.) On August 25, 2014,
Petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 16.)
On October 6, 2014, 45 days after the Report was mailed to Petitioner, having received
no objections, this court issued an Order adopting the Report and dismissing the action. (ECF
No. 18.) Petitioner filed the Motion to Vacate Judgment on October 14, 2014. (ECF No. 23.)
II. LEGAL STANDARD AND ANALYSIS
A court may alter or amend a judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure if the movant shows either (1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2)
new evidence that was not available at trial; or (3) that there has been a clear error of law or a
manifest injustice. Robinson v. Wix Filtration Corp., 599 F.3d 403, 407 (4th Cir. 2010). The
court finds that Petitioner has failed to set forth any intervening change in the law or new
evidence that would alter the court’s decision to dismiss Petitioner’s Petition for Writ of
Mandamus. The court is also satisfied that no clear error of law or manifest injustice has resulted
from its October 6, 2014, order (ECF No. 18).
In his Motion, Petitioner asserts this court had no subject matter jurisdiction in this case,
as he filed this “on Judge Childs and to the Administrative Judge,” and therefore Petitioner “does
not except [sic] the judgment.” (ECF No. 23 at 1.) Petitioner cites to 28 U.S.C. 636, Local Rule
73.02, and Matthews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261 (1976), however, these all pertain to magistrate
judges. This case was indeed referred to Magistrate Judge Kevin F. McDonald, who reviewed
the case and offered a recommendation. (See ECF No. 14.) If a Magistrate Judge’s review is
what Petitioner seeks, he received that.
However, if what he seeks is review by an
Administrative Law Judge, a Petition for Writ of Mandamus is not the appropriate procedure.
An Administrative Law Judge hears matters regarding federal agencies, and thus an action to
compel a District Court to act would not be appropriately heard by any Administrative Law
Judge. Even so, any judge would be compelled to reach the same finding as this court made in
its October 6 order. As the Magistrate Judge noted, mandamus relief cannot be obtained against
any of the Respondents that Petitioner names: Respondents Obama and the Social Security
Administration because the acts are discretionary, Respondent Novant Healthcare because it is
not a federal agency, and the undersigned because the case at issue has been reassigned. (See
Id.) Therefore, even if Petitioner were to have his case heard by a judge of his choice, the result
would be the same.
Petitioner asserts he is “up in arms” over the “inaccurate summary when the Petitioner
did file a motion to Dismiss in 2014.” (ECF No. 23 at 1.) The court takes this to mean Petitioner
intended his Motion to Dismiss to act as an objection to the Report. In his Motion to Dismiss,
Petitioner fails to specifically address any of the Magistrate Judge’s findings. Objections to a
Report and Recommendation must specifically identify portions of the Report and the basis for
those objections. Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b). “[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, 316 (4th Cir. 2005) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 72
advisory committee’s note). As such, even if the court were to construe Petitioner’s Motion to
Dismiss as an objection to the Report, the objections fail to meet the required specificity and the
resulting order would not have changed.
In the Motion to Dismiss, Petitioner cites Will v. United States, 389 U.S. 90 (1967).
(ECF No. 16 at 2.) However, Will, aside from involving a Writ of Mandamus and a federal
judge, is not analogous to this case and does not help Petitioner’s argument. To the contrary,
Will helps to illustrate that Petitioner falls far short of his burden to obtain the writ: “only
exceptional circumstances amounting to a judicial ‘usurpation of power’ will justify the
invocation of this extraordinary remedy.” 389 U.S. at 95 (internal citation omitted). Further, the
Supreme Court noted in Will, “the party seeking mandamus has the burden of showing that its
right to issuance of the writ is “clear and indisputable.’” Id. at 96 (internal quotations and
citation omitted). Petitioner has failed to make such a showing. Petitioner also cites to United
States v. Morgan, 364 U.S. 502 (1954), in his Motion to Dismiss. Morgan involved a Writ of
Error Coram Nobis to set aside a conviction and sentence and is not analogous or applicable to
Finally, in his Motion to Vacate Judgment, Petitioner claims “there is a clear error in the
recommendation” (ECF No. 23 at 2), but fails to specify what that error is or why the Magistrate
Judge was in error. As such, Petitioner cannot make a showing under Rule 59(e) that the
October 6 Order should be vacated.
Based on the aforementioned reasons and a thorough review of the record in this case, it
is therefore ordered that Petitioner’s Motion to Vacate Judgment (ECF No. 23) is DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
United States District Judge
November 25, 2014
Columbia, South Carolina
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