Washington v. McCormick Corr Inst et al

Filing 12

ORDER ADOPTING 8 REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS, dismissing this action without prejudice and without issuance and service of process. Signed by Honorable Joseph F Anderson, Jr on 11/22/10. (rpol, )

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W a s h i n g t o n v. McCormick Corr Inst et al D o c . 12 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT F O R THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA W illia m Washington, ) ) P l a in tif f , ) v. ) ) M c C o rm ic k Correctional Institution; Collie L. ) R u s h to n , Warden; C.E. Pratt, Lt./Capt.; and ) A . Wright, Sgt. ) ) D e f e n d a n ts . ) ______________________________________ ) C/A No. 9:10-1710-JFA-BM ORDER T h e pro se plaintiff, William Washington, is an inmate at the South Carolina D e p a rtm e n t of Corrections. He initiated this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 seeking to re c o v er compensatory damages for wrist lacerations and residual problems relating to an in c id e n t that occurred while he was housed at the McCormick Correctional Institution. T h e Magistrate Judge assigned to this action 1 has prepared a Report and R ec om m en datio n wherein he suggests that this court should summarily dismiss the plaintiff's c la im s . The Magistrate Judge opines that under the Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, this court la c k s jurisdiction to consider the claims or to award the requested relief. The Report sets fo rth in detail the relevant facts and standards of law on this matter, and the court in c o rp o ra te s such without a recitation. The Magistrate Judge's review is made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil Rule 73.02. The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this court. The recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the responsibility to make a final determination remains with the court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261 (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 to the Magistrate Judge with instructions. 28 U.S.C. 636(b)(1). 1 1 Dockets.Justia.com T h e plaintiff was advised of his right to file objections to the Report and R e c o m m e n d a tio n and he has timely done so. T h e Magistrate Judge opines that plaintiff's complaint essentially reargues the basic f a c tu a l allegations that the plaintiff made in a previous case filed in this court in 2007 against th e same four defendants: Williamson v. McCormick Corr. Inst., C/A No. 0:07-26-GRAB M . That case resulted in summary judgment for the defendants and dismissal of the federal 1983 claim with prejudice. Plaintiff's state law claims, however, were dismissed without p r e ju d ic e so that the plaintiff could pursue them in state court without application of the d o c trin e of res judicata. Plain tiff's contends that defendants committed perjury and/or mail fraud by submitting a n "employee injury screening form" that he did not sign and that did not properly describe th e circumstances surrounding his injury. The Magistrate Judge takes judicial notice that p la in tif f included this claim in his unsuccessful appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of A p p e a ls . A s the Magistrate Judge correctly states, to the extent plaintiff's complaint raises state-b ase d claims and seeks a different result in this court by claiming that the state court's ru lin g s were incorrect, plaintiff's complaint is subject to summary dismissal under the R o o k e r-F e ld m a n Doctrine. See District of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 4 6 2 , 47682 (1983); and Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923). According to th e Fourth Circuit, "the Rooker-Feldman doctrine applies...when the loser in state court files su it in federal district court seeking redress for an injury allegedly cause by the state court's 2 d e c is io n itself." Davani v. Virginia Dep't of Transp., 434 F.3d 712, 713 (4th Cir. 2006). A s plaintiff claims he is injured by the state court's decisions and procedures by the d e f en d a n ts in that action, such a review is prohibited by this court. Moreover, the relief p la in tif f seeks was fully litigated, considered, and decided on the merits in his 2007 case. A c c o rd in g ly, it is barred by the doctrine of res judicata. T h is court agrees with the Magistrate Judge's conclusion that plaintiff is barred from c la im in g any entitlement to damages or other relief on this duplicative action. T h e court has reviewed the plaintiff's objections to the Report and finds them to be w ith o u t merit. As such, the objections are overruled. A f te r a careful review of the record, the applicable law, and the Report and R ec o m m en d a tio n , and the objections thereto, the court finds the Magistrate Judge's recom m en d atio n to be proper. Accordingly, the Report and Recommendation is incorporated h e re in by reference and this action is dismissed without prejudice and without issuance and s e rv i c e of process. IT IS SO ORDERED. N o v e m b e r 22, 2010 C o lu m b ia , South Carolina J o s e p h F. Anderson, Jr. U n ite d States District Judge 3

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