United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division
Timothy M. Cain United States District Court Judge
proceeding pro se, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)
and Local Civil Rule 73.02, D.S.C., this matter was referred
to a magistrate judge for pretrial handling. Before the court
is the magistrate judge’s Report and Recommendation
(“Report”), recommending that the court dismiss
Plaintiff’s action without prejudice and without
issuance of service of process. (ECF No. 10). Plaintiff was
advised of his right to file objections to the Report. (ECF
No. 10 at 10). Plaintiff did not file objections to the
Report. Instead, Plaintiff filed a motion to amend his
complaint. (ECF No. 12).
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 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). However, the court need not
conduct a de novo review when a party makes only
“general and conclusory objections that do not direct
the court to a specific error in the magistrate’s
proposed findings and recommendations.” Orpiano v.
Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). In the absence
of a timely filed, specific objection, the magistrate
judge’s conclusions are reviewed only for clear error.
See Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident Ins.
Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005).
a pretrial detainee, filed this lawsuit against James Smith,
an investigating police officer, and Alison Shuster, a
correctional officer at Edgefield County Detention Center.
(ECF No. 1 at 2-3). He asserts that Defendant Smith committed
perjury so that he would be indicted, and that he was denied
his constitutional rights because he could not contact law
enforcement about a crime he witnessed. (ECF No. 1 at 5-6,
16). He claims Defendant Shuster violated his constitutional
rights by not forwarding his jail grievance to law
enforcement. (ECF No. 1 at 15). In the grievance, Plaintiff
sought to report the alleged perjury. (ECF No. 1 at 6, 15).
complaint asks this court to remove Defendant Smith from his
position and that the court hold Defendant Smith accountable
for alleged fraud he committed to have Plaintiff indicted.
(ECF No. 1 at 6). The complaint further seeks injunctive
relief to prevent Defendant Smith from working on
Plaintiff’s underlying criminal case. (ECF No. 1 at
17). Plaintiff also seeks a declaration that he has the right
to report any crime he witnesses to law enforcement, and he
seeks punitive damages for the violations. (ECF No. 1 at 17).
Report recommended dismissing the claims because the
complaint fails to state a claim. (ECF No. 10). The Report
thoroughly discussed Plaintiff’s claims and determined
that they lack merit. (ECF No. 10 at 5-8).
of filing objections, Plaintiff filed a motion to amend his
complaint. (ECF No. 12). In his motion, Plaintiff clarifies
the amount of punitive damages he is seeking from both
defendants, and states he has no intentions to interfere with
his underlying criminal proceedings. (ECF No. 12 at 1).
Plaintiff’s motion and amended complaint seeks only to
clarify his factual and legal claims against Defendant
Shuster. Because Plaintiff does not seek to remedy the
deficiencies of his original complaint with respect to
Defendant Smith, the court finds that, after a review of the
filings, the action should be dismissed as to Defendant
Defendant Shuster, the court finds that the new allegations
also fail to state a cognizable claim, and that, therefore,
the motion to amend should be denied as futile. In his new
factual allegations,  Plaintiff asserts that he was given an
inmate rules and regulations book, which provides that his
grievance would be forwarded to the proper authority. (ECF
No. 12-1 at 1). Plaintiff claims that Defendant Shuster read
his grievances and forwarded them, on numerous occasions, to
the magistrate court. (ECF No. 12-1 at 1). In those
grievances, Defendant Shuster became aware that Plaintiff
sought to have police officers, who work in the same building
as her, arrested. (ECF No. 12-1 at 1).
asserts that he submitted two grievances, asking that the
sheriff press charges against the officers. (ECF No. 12 at
2). Plaintiff claims that Defendant Shuster did not forward
the grievance, but instead he received a response that he
should contact his criminal defense lawyer about these
matters. (ECF No. 12 at 2). He states that he does not need a
lawyer to file criminal charges for him. (ECF No. 12 at 2).
argues that the decision by Defendant Shuster not to forward
the mail seeking charges against fellow officers violated his
Equal Protection rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. (ECF
No. 12 at 2).
court finds the proposed amendment to the complaint does not
remedy any of the deficiencies in the initial complaint.
Plaintiff claims that he filed a grievance under the Inmate
Rules and Regulations of Edgefield County Detention Center.
(ECF No. 12-3 at 6). He does not assert that he mailed a
letter to the sheriff and that the detention center prevented
the letter from being mailed. Instead, Plaintiff alleges that
his constitutional rights were violated because his grievance
form was not reviewed by the sheriff. State inmates have
“no [constitutional] entitlement to grievance
procedures or access to any such procedure voluntarily
established by a state.” Adams v. Rice, 40
F.3d 72, 75 (4th Cir. 1994).
proposed amendment to the complaint, Plaintiff has not set
forth any allegations that directing Plaintiff to contact his
attorney about his concerns with the investigating police
violated his constitutional rights.
motion to amend a pleading is governed by Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 15(a). Rule 15(a)(2) provides that “a
party may amend its pleading only with the opposing
party’s written consent or the court’s leave. The
court should freely give leave when justice so
requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). Under Rule 15, a
court should deny a motion to amend “only where it
would be prejudicial, there has been bad faith, or the
amendment would be futile.” Nourison Rug Corp. v.
Parvizian, 535 F.3d 295, 298 (4th Cir. 2008) (citing
HCMF Corp. v. Allen, 238 F.3d 273, 276-77 (4th Cir.
on this standard, the court finds the proposed amendment to