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Jones v. Lyons

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

May 6, 2015

Dwight Xavier Jones, Plaintiff,
v.
Sgt. Lyons; Officer Kelly; Officer F. Ballentine; Sgt. Todd; Officer Rentas; Lt. Clawson; Officer Thomas; and MCO Christopher Shirley, Defendants.

ORDER

R. BRYAN HARWELL, District Judge.

Plaintiff Dwight Xavier Jones, ("Plaintiff"), proceeding pro se, brought this civil action against the above captioned Defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on July 2, 2014. See Compl., ECF No. 1. Plaintiff was a detainee at the Lexington County Detention Center ("LCDC") when he filed this action, but asserts that he was released on July 22, 2014. See ECF No. 25 at 2. This matter is before the Court after the issuance of the Report and Recommendation ("R & R") of United States Magistrate Judge Kaymani D. West.[1] See R & R, ECF No. 28. In the R & R, the Magistrate Judge recommends that the Complaint be dismissed without prejudice. See id. at 8. Plaintiff timely filed a response to the R & R on October 15, 2014. See Pl.'s Resp., ECF No. 31.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to the district court. The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The responsibility to make a final determination remains with the district court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). The district 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 with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

The district court is obligated to conduct 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's proposed findings and recommendations." Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). The Court reviews only for clear error in the absence of a specific objection. See Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310 (4th Cir. 2005).

DISCUSSION[2]

In the R & R, the Magistrate Judge noted that Plaintiff's complaint only requests injunctive relief. See ECF No. 28 at 2. More particularly, Plaintiff seeks removal from LCDC custody and to have this Court order a federal investigation into the conditions of the LCDC and the allegedly corrupt operation of the Cayce Departmnet of Public Safety. See id. (citing ECF No. 1 at 4-5; 1-1 at 1-3, 1-4 at 4; and 1-5 at 1). The Magistrate Judge found that the Complaint should be dismissed as moot insofar as it seeks injunctive relief regarding the conditions of Plaintiff's confinement at the LCDC, as he is no longer confined there. See ECF No. 28 at 4-6. Since Plaintiff's allegations against Defendants Sgt. Lyons, Officer Kelly, Sgt. Todd, Officer Rentas, Officer Thomas, and MCO Shirley all relate solely to the conditions of Plaintiff's confinement at the LCDC, the Magistrate Judge recommended finding that they are entitled to dismissal. See id. at 6. Moreover, the Magistrate Judge noted that the Complaint does not allege any personal involvement of Defendant Lt. Clawson in any wrongdoing, and thus he is also entitled to dismissal. See id. Finally, the Magistrate Judge reasoned that, to the extent the Complaint could be liberally construed to state a claim for malicious prosecution or false arrest against Defendant Ballentine, the only relief requested on such claims (release from LCDC custody) has been obtained. See id. at 6-7. The Magistrate Judge recommends dismissing the Complaint, as Plaintiff has failed to state any plausible claims upon which relief may be granted against any Defendant. See id. at 7.

Plaintiff timely filed what was styled as a "response" to the R & R, which the Court will construe as objections. Plaintiff's objections, however, do not discuss any of the Magistrate Judge's analysis. See generally ECF No. 31. Instead, Plaintiff merely lists a string of case citations detailing general principles governing suits brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See id. Plaintiff does not provide any further analysis or discussion; much less address the findings in the R & R.

In light of Plaintiff's failure to provide any specific objections, the Court need only analyze the R & R for any clear error. Nevertheless, having conducted a full de novo review of the record the Court agrees with the analysis of the Magistrate Judge as set forth in the R & R. Plaintiff's complaint only requests injunctive relief arising out of his confinement in the LCDC. Because he has been released from said confinement, the Complaint is moot.

CONCLUSION

The Court has thoroughly reviewed the entire record, including Plaintiff's Complaint, the R & R, Plaintiff's 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 Magistrate Judge's R & R.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff's Complaint is DISMISSED, without prejudice.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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