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Gamble v. Bank of America, N.A.

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division

June 2, 2014

Beaver K. Gamble, Plaintiff,
v.
Bank of America, N.A., Defendant.

ORDER

R. BRYAN HARWELL, District Judge.

Plaintiff Beaver K. Gamble, proceeding pro se, filed this action in January 2014 against Defendant Bank of America, N.A. Compl., ECF No. 1. This matter is now before the Court after the issuance of the Report and Recommendation ("R&R") of United States Magistrate Judge Kaymani D. West.[1] The Magistrate Judge issued her R&R on February 24, 2014, R&R, ECF No. 24, and Plaintiff filed timely objections to the R&R, Pl.'s Objs., ECF Nos. 27. Defendant, in turn, filed a timely reply to Plaintiff's objections. Def.'s Reply, ECF No. 30.[2] In the R&R, the Magistrate Judge recommends that the Court dismiss Plaintiff's complaint without prejudice and without service of process for failure to state a claim and for lack of jurisdiction.[3]

The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to the Court. The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The responsibility to make a final determination remains with the Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). The Court is charged with making a de novo determination of those portions of the R&R 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). The right to de novo review may be waived by the failure to file timely objections. Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). 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's proposed findings and recommendations." Id. Moreover, in the absence of objections to the R&R, the Court is not required to give any explanation for adopting the recommendation. Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983). However, in the absence of objections, the Court must "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).

The Magistrate Judge recommends dismissing Plaintiff's complaint because he fails to allege claims that would support this Court's jurisdiction.[4] Specifically, the Magistrate Judge reports (1) that Plaintiff's complaint "is too confusing and vague to satisfy Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8, as interpreted by" the United States Supreme Court; (2) that, "[e]ven if Plaintiff had stated some plausible federal claim or claims, the [C]ourt is unable to determine whether it could exercise personal jurisdiction over any Defendant"; (3) that, to the extent Plaintiff seeks the review of the judgments of state courts, the Court is barred from doing so under the Rooker-Feldman [5] doctrine; and (4) that, to the extent Plaintiff alleges state law claims, he does not allege a sufficient amount in controversy.

The Court has reviewed Plaintiff's objections. Plaintiff's objections to not point the Court to any specific error committed by the Magistrate Judge in recommending the dismissal of this action. The Court may only consider objections to the R&R that direct it to a specific error in the Magistrate Judge's R&R. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); United States v. Schronce, 727 F.2d 91, 94 n.4 (4th Cir. 1984); Wright v. Collins, 766 F.2d 841, 845-47 nn.1-3 (4th Cir. 1985). "Courts have... held de novo review to be unnecessary in... situations when a party makes general and conclusory objections that do not direct the court to a specific error in the [Magistrate Judge's] proposed findings and recommendation." Orpiano, 687 F.2d at 47. Furthermore, in the absence of specific objections to the R&R, this Court is not required to give any explanation for adopting the recommendation. Camby, 718 F.2d at 199. However, after reviewing Plaintiff's complaint in light of the objections and exhibits submitted by Plaintiff, the Court cannot find a claim alleged that would support its subject matter jurisdiction. The Court is mindful that it must liberally construe Plaintiff's complaint, but it is unaware, based on the facts alleged, of a claim upon which relief can be granted. In short, allowing this action to proceed past § 1915(e)(2) screening would require this Court "to conjure up questions never squarely presented to it" in the complaint. Beaudett v. City of Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985). The Magistrate Judge's well-reasoned recommendation to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint without prejudice is thus without error.

CONCLUSION

The Court has thoroughly reviewed the entire record, including Plaintiff's complaint, the R&R, objections to the R&R, and applicable law. For the reasons stated above and by the Magistrate Judge, the Court hereby overrules Plaintiff's objections and adopts the R&R of the Magistrate Judge.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff Beaver K. Gamble's motion to strike Defendant Bank of America, N.A.'s reply to his objections (ECF No. 31) is DENIED; that Defendants Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 12) is DENIED; and that Plaintiff's complaint be DISMISSED without prejudice and without issuance and service of process. All pending motions are deemed MOOT.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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