Brooks v. South Carolina Department of Corrections et al

Filing 50

ORDER granting 30 Motion for Summary Judgment; adopting 43 Report and Recommendation. Signed by Honorable Patrick Michael Duffy on 03/24/2017.(adeh, )

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA CHARLESTON DIVISION Altony Brooks, # 313000, Plaintiff, v. Major Stephone, NFN Johnson, Cpl. Bethea, Lt. Anthony Davis, Cpl. Bell, Sgt. Ramsey, Ofc. Jonas, Sgt. Gibbs, NFN Smith, and Warden Davis, Defendants. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) C.A. No.: 9:15-cv-3989-PMD-BM ORDER 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). DISCUSSION 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 2

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