Brooks v. South Carolina Department of Corrections et al
ORDER granting 30 Motion for Summary Judgment; adopting 43 Report and Recommendation. Signed by Honorable Patrick Michael Duffy on 03/24/2017.(adeh, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Altony Brooks, # 313000,
Major Stephone, NFN Johnson, Cpl.
Bethea, Lt. Anthony Davis, Cpl. Bell,
Sgt. Ramsey, Ofc. Jonas, Sgt. Gibbs,
NFN Smith, and Warden Davis,
C.A. No.: 9:15-cv-3989-PMD-BM
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Altony Brooks’ objections to Magistrate
Judge Bristow Marchant’s Report and Recommendation (“R & R”) (ECF Nos. 49 & 43). The
Magistrate Judge recommends that the Court grant Defendants summary judgment on Brooks’
federal claims and decline to exercise jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s state-law claims.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
The R & R has no presumptive weight, and the responsibility for making a final
determination remains with the Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270–71 (1976). Parties
may make written objections to the R & R within fourteen days after being served with a copy of
it. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). This Court must conduct a de novo review of any portion of the
R & R to which a specific objection is made, and the Court may accept, reject, or modify the
Magistrate Judge’s findings and recommendations in whole or in part. Id. Additionally, the
Court may receive more evidence or recommit the matter to the Magistrate Judge with
instructions. Id. A party’s failure to object is taken as the party’s agreement with the Magistrate
Judge’s conclusions. See Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985). Absent a timely, specific
objection—or as to those portions of the R & R to which no specific objection is made—this
Court “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 & Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315
(4th Cir. 2005) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 72 advisory committee’s note).
In reviewing the R & R and Brooks’ objections, the Court is mindful that pro se filings
are held to a less stringent standard than those drafted by attorneys, Gordon v. Leeke, 574 F.2d
1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978), and federal district courts must construe such pleadings liberally to
allow the development of potentially meritorious claims, see Hughes v. Rowe, 449 U.S. 5, 9
(1980) (per curiam). The liberal construction requirement, however, does not mean courts can
ignore a clear failure to allege facts that set forth claims cognizable in federal district court. See
Weller v. Dep’t of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990).
Brooks’ sole objection is a conclusory, two-line statement that he disagrees with the
portion of the R & R addressing his state-law claims. The Court overrules that improper
objection. See, e.g., Anderson v. Dobson, 627 F. Supp. 2d 619, 623 (W.D.N.C. 2007) (“An
‘objection’ that does nothing more than state a disagreement with a magistrate’s suggested
resolution . . . is not an ‘objection’ as that term is used in this context.” (citation and quotation
marks omitted)). The Court has carefully reviewed the R & R for clear error. Seeing none, the
Court adopts the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation. Defendants’ summary judgment motion
(ECF No. 30) is therefore GRANTED.
Brooks asks the Court to order Defendants to provide him a copy of his complaint so that
he can file it in state court. The request is unwarranted and is therefore DENIED.
AND IT IS SO ORDERED.
March 24, 2017
Charleston, South Carolina
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