Workman v. Manigault et al
ORDER RULING ON REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION 10 . ADOPTS the Magistrate Judges recommendation concerning Defendants Dorothy Manigault, John I. Mauldin, and the Greenville County Public Defenders Office and DISMISSES this acti on againstthese three defendants without prejudice and without issuance and service of process. The Court DENIES as moot Plaintiffs Motions for Issuance of Subpoena [ECF Nos. 5 & 21] and Motion to Appoint Counsel [ECF No. 12]. However, the Court respectfully REJECTS the Magistrate Judges recommendation concerningDefendants Bill M., Montre Jeter, Caleb Davis, Chris Mattern, Tee Brokiskie, and Michael Compos. The Court GRANTS Plaintiffs motion to divide this case into two separate cases [ECF No. 13] and SEVERS Plaintiffs claims against Bill M., Jeter, Davis, Mattern, Brokiskie, and Compos into a separate action. The Court DIRECTS the Clerk to open a separate case with a separate filing number listing Bill M., Montre Jeter, Caleb Davis , Chris Mattern, Tee Brokiskie, and MichaelCompos as the defendants. The Court further DIRECTS the Clerk to docket the following materials from the current case as the complaint in the new case: (1) all seven pages of ECF No. 1-1 and (2) page 13 of ECF No. 14. Signed by Honorable R Bryan Harwell on 4/13/2017. (kric, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Olandio Ray Workman,
John I. Mauldin;
Greenville County Public Defenders Office; )
Bill M., Engineered Product Inc. Co.;
Tee Brokiskie; and
Civil Action No.: 6:16-cv-04002-RBH
Plaintiff Olandio Ray Workman, a state pretrial detainee proceeding pro se, brings multiple
claims against multiple defendants. See ECF Nos. 1 & 1-1. The matter is before the Court for review
of the Report and Recommendation (“R & R”) of United States Magistrate Judge Kevin F. McDonald,
made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil Rule 73.02 for the District of South
Carolina.1 See R & R [ECF No. 10]. The Magistrate Judge recommends that the Court summarily
dismiss this action without prejudice. R & R at 4.
Standard of Review
The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to the Court. The Magistrate Judge’s
The Magistrate Judge reviewed Plaintiff’s pleadings pursuant to the screening provisions of 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A. The Court is mindful of its duty to liberally construe the pleadings of pro se litigants. See
Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978). But see Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278
(4th Cir. 1985) (“Principles requiring generous construction of pro se complaints are not, however, without limits.
Gordon directs district courts to construe pro se complaints liberally. It does not require those courts to conjure up
questions never squarely presented to them.”).
recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the responsibility to make a final determination
remains with the Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). The Court must conduct a
de novo review of those portions of the R & R to which specific objections are made, and it 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 Court must engage in a de novo review of every portion of the Magistrate Judge’s report
to which objections have been filed. Id. However, the Court need not conduct a de novo review when
a party makes only “general and conclusory objections that do not direct the [C]ourt to a specific error
in the [M]agistrate [Judge]’s proposed findings and recommendations.” Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d
44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). In the absence of specific objections to the R & R, the Court reviews only for
clear error, Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005), and the Court
need not give any explanation for adopting the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation. Camby v. Davis,
718 F.2d 198, 199-200 (4th Cir. 1983).
Plaintiff initiated this action by filing three separate documents mailed in the same envelope.
See ECF Nos. 1, 1-1, & 1-2. The first document is a form “Complaint for a Civil Case” containing
blanks with Plaintiff’s handwritten responses; he names three defendants—Dorothy Manigault, John
I. Mauldin, and the Greenville County Public Defenders Office (“GCPDO”)—and alleges constitutional
violations relating to his ongoing criminal prosecution.2 ECF No. 1. The second document is a mostly
The Greenville County Public Index indicates that Petitioner has been indicted on charges of kidnapping,
domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, and possession
of a firearm or ammunition by a person convicted of a violent felony, and that these charges are still pending. See
https://www2.greenvillecounty.org/SCJD/PublicIndex/PISearch.aspx (case numbers 2016A2330208655,
2016A2330208657, 2016A2330208658, and 2016A2330208659) (last visited Apr. 13, 2017). Regarding those
handwritten complaint3 that names six defendants—“Bill M.,” Montre Jeter, Caleb Davis, Chris
Mattern, Tee Brokiskie, and Michael Compos—and contains allegations relating to his employment at
Engineered Products Corporation, a manufacturing plant in Greenville County.4 ECF No. 1-1. The
third document is a “Motion of Discovery” in which Plaintiff states he “need[s] a copy of [his] bond
hearing court video” and other various other items. ECF No. 1-2.
The Magistrate Judge has issued an R & R treating this case as a single action brought pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and recommending summarily dismissal for failure to state a claim because the
defendants were not acting under color of state law and therefore are not amenable to suit under § 1983.
R & R at 1, 3-4.
Plaintiff has filed objections to the R & R in which he states, “I sent two lawsuits not
one. . . . We have 2 different lawsuits combined as one[.] We need to make them two.” Pl.’s Objs.
[ECF No. 14] at 1. Plaintiff claims that “lawsuit number 1” involves his claims against Manigault,
Mauldin, and the GCPDO5 and that “lawsuit number two” involves his claims against Bill M., Jeter,
Davis, Mattern, Brokiskie, and Compos. Id. at 1, 9-10, 13. Plaintiff asserts that the lawsuits “have
charges, Petitioner has filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2241 in this Court. See
Workman v. State of South Carolina et al., Case No. 6:17-cv-00767-RBH-KFM (docketed Mar. 20, 2017).
The second document (which is mostly handwritten) follows the same format as the “Complaint for a Civil
Case” form. See ECF No. 1-1.
Plaintiff indicates his claims against these six defendants arise under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act, and he further indicates he has a charge filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission. ECF No. 1-1 at 7. In his objections, Plaintiff indicates his claims against these six defendants also arise
under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information
Nondiscrimination Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pl.’s Objs. at 13.
In his objections, Plaintiff names a fourth defendant involved in “lawsuit number 1”— “Perry H. Gravely
Circuit Court Judge”— that he did not name in his original complaint, alleging Judge Gravely refused to give him a
bond. Pl.’s Objs. at 1, 6-9, 11. Additionally, Plaintiff expands upon his original allegations against Manigault, and
submits copies of complaints filed with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel of the Supreme Court of South Carolina
against Judge Gravely, Manigault, and Mauldin. Id. at 2-4, 7-8.
nothing to do” with one another and that “[i]t was a file error” to have them combined into a single
action. Id. at 9, 13. Besides his objections, Plaintiff has also filed a document that the Clerk docketed
as a “Motion case to be divided into 2 separate cases.” ECF No. 13.
First Complaint/Group of Defendants: Manigault, Mauldin, and the GCPDO
Plaintiff specifically objects to the Magistrate Judge’s proposed finding that Manigault and
Mauldin, who are public defenders,6 are not amenable to suit under § 1983 because they were not acting
under color of state law.7 Pl.’s Objs. at 11-12. Plaintiff cites two cases—Powers v. Hamilton County
Public Defender Commission, 501 F.3d 592 (6th Cir. 2007), and Ballard v. Wall, 413 F.3d 510 (5th Cir.
2005)—in which the Sixth and Fifth Circuits concluded criminal defense attorneys’ actions were under
the color of state law. Id. at 12. Plaintiff apparently believes these cases permit him to maintain § 1983
claims against Manigault and Mauldin. However, the Court finds both cases are clearly distinguishable.
Powers involved an exception to the general rule “that a public defender does not act under color of
state law when performing a lawyer’s traditional functions as counsel to a defendant in a criminal
Plaintiff’s complaint indicates that M anigault is his attorney and that M auldin is her supervisor. ECF No.
1 at 2, 4.
Plaintiff does not specifically object to the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation concerning the GCPDO.
See Diamond, 416 F.3d at 315 (stating that in the absence of specific objections to the R & R, the Court reviews only
for clear error). Plaintiff also purports to object to the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation concerning Judge
Gravely. Pl.’s Objs. at 11. However, the M agistrate Judge made no such recommendation because Judge Gravely
was not named as a defendant in Plaintiff’s original complaint. To the extent Plaintiff is attempting to amend his
complaint to add Judge Gravely as a defendant, the Court finds such amendment would be futile because Plaintiff’s
allegations relate entirely to judicial acts of Judge Gravely. See King v. Myers, 973 F.2d 354, 356 (4th Cir. 1992)
(“The Supreme Court has held that judges are absolutely immune from suit for a deprivation of civil rights brought
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, under certain conditions. Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547 (1967). The Supreme Court stated
that the common law has long recognized the ‘immunity of judges from liability for damages for acts committed
within their judicial jurisdiction,’ even if such acts were allegedly done either maliciously or corruptly. Id. at
554[.]”); Mayfield v. Nat’l Ass’n for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc., 674 F.3d 369, 379 (4th Cir. 2012) (stating leave
to amend should be denied if the amendment would be futile).
proceeding.”8 Polk Cty. v. Dodson, 454 U.S. 312, 325 (1981). Ballard involved a plaintiff’s allegation
that his constitutional rights were violated when private attorneys conspired with a state court judge to
keep the plaintiff in jail until he paid certain debts, and therefore the private attorneys could not be
dismissed on the basis that they were not state actors. 413 F.3d at 518-20. Neither Powers nor Ballard
(which are nonbinding authority) are applicable to the instant case, and the Court agrees with the
Magistrate Judge that Manigault and Mauldin are not amenable to suit under § 1983. See Polk, supra;
Hall v. Quillen, 631 F.2d 1154, 1155 (4th Cir. 1980) (holding court-appointed attorneys are not
amenable to suit under § 1983 because they do not act under color of state law). Accordingly, the Court
will summarily dismiss Plaintiff’s claims against Manigault, Mauldin, and the GCPDO.
Second Complaint/Group of Defendants: Bill M., Jeter, Davis, Mattern, Brokiskie, and
The Magistrate Judge recommends dismissing Bill M., Jeter, Davis, Mattern, Brokiskie, and
Compos because they were not acting under color of state law and are therefore not amenable to suit
under § 1983. R & R at 3. In his objections, Plaintiff asserts that his lawsuit against these six
defendants should be a separate action because it has “nothing to do” with his lawsuit against
Manigault, Mauldin, and the GCPDO. Pl.’s Objs. at 1, 9-10, 13. In addition to his objections, as
mentioned above, Plaintiff has filed a document that the Clerk has docketed as a “Motion case to be
divided into 2 separate cases.” ECF No. 13.
Having carefully studied Plaintiff’s filings and assertions, the Court recognizes Plaintiff intended
to file two separate actions: (1) one against Manigault, Mauldin, and the GCPDO and (2) another
Powers involved two exceptions to the general rule in Polk County: (1) “‘that a public defender [may] act
under color of state law while performing certain administrative and possibly investigative functions,’” and (2) “the
existence of an unconstitutional policy.” 501 F.3d at 612 (quoting and citing Polk Cty., 454 U.S. at 325-26).
against Bill M., Jeter, Davis, Mattern, Brokiskie, and Compos. The confusion apparently arose when
Plaintiff filed two complaints in a single envelope. The Court further notes Plaintiff’s claims against
the first group of defendants have nothing to do with the claims against the second group9—having all
parties in a single action creates a misjoinder scenario. Consequently, the Court will grant Plaintiff’s
motion to divide this case into two separate actions and will sever Plaintiff’s claims against Bill
M., Jeter, Davis, Mattern, Brokiskie, and Compos into a separate case with a separate filing
number. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 21 (“On motion or on its own, the court may at any time, on just terms,
add or drop a party. The court may also sever any claim against a party.”); Lim v. Tisack, No.
7:16-CV-00029, 2016 WL 4474243, at *3 (W.D. Va. Aug. 23, 2016) (“[W]hen a party is misjoined,
a district court has two remedial options under Rule 21: first, it can drop the party; [or] second, it can
sever the party.”).10 Once this separate case is opened, the Magistrate Judge should screen Plaintiff’s
complaint against these six defendants pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local
Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2).
The Court has thoroughly reviewed the entire record, including Plaintiff’s two separate
complaints, the R & R, and Plaintiff’s objections. See ECF Nos. 1, 1-1, 10, & 14. For the foregoing
reasons, the Court adopts in part and rejects in part the R & R [ECF No. 10]. Specifically, the Court
As explained in Footnote Four of this Order, Plaintiff’s claims against the second group of defendants relate
to his employment and are not brought exclusively under § 1983.
See also McCoy v. Willis, No. CA 4:07-cv-3563-PMD-TER, 2008 W L 4221745, at *5 (D.S.C. Sept. 15,
2008) (“[M]ultiple claims against a single party are fine, but Claim A against Defendant 1 should not be joined with
unrelated Claim B against Defendant 2. Unrelated claims against different defendants belong in different suits, not
only to prevent the sort of morass that this [multi]-claim, [multi]-defendant suit produced but also to ensure that
prisoners pay the required filing fees for the Prison Litigation Reform Act limits to 3 the number of frivolous suits
or appeals that any prisoner may file without prepayment of the required fees. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).” (alterations in
original) (quoting George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007))).
ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation concerning Defendants Dorothy Manigault, John
I. Mauldin, and the Greenville County Public Defenders Office and DISMISSES this action against
these three defendants without prejudice and without issuance and service of process. The Court
DENIES as moot Plaintiff’s Motions for Issuance of Subpoena [ECF Nos. 5 & 21] and Motion to
Appoint Counsel [ECF No. 12].
However, the Court respectfully REJECTS the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation concerning
Defendants Bill M., Montre Jeter, Caleb Davis, Chris Mattern, Tee Brokiskie, and Michael Compos.
The Court GRANTS Plaintiff’s motion to divide this case into two separate cases [ECF No. 13] and
SEVERS Plaintiff’s claims against Bill M., Jeter, Davis, Mattern, Brokiskie, and Compos into a
separate action. The Court DIRECTS the Clerk to open a separate case with a separate filing
number listing Bill M., Montre Jeter, Caleb Davis, Chris Mattern, Tee Brokiskie, and Michael
Compos as the defendants. The Court further DIRECTS the Clerk to docket the following
materials from the current case as the complaint in the new case: (1) all seven pages of ECF No.
1-1 and (2) page 13 of ECF No. 14. The Magistrate Judge should screen the new case pursuant to the
provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Florence, South Carolina
April 13, 2017
s/ R. Bryan Harwell
R. Bryan Harwell
United States District Judge
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