Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Coyne v. South Carolina Secretary of State

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

September 29, 2016

Thomas Joseph Coyne, Plaintiff,
v.
South Carolina Secretary of State and South Carolina Republican Party, Defendants.

          ORDER

          JOSEPH F. ANDERSON, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Thomas Joseph Coyne (“Coyne”), filed this action pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the South Carolina Secretary of State (“SCSOS”) and the South Carolina Republican Party (“SCGOP”) seeking a declaration that the filing fee and loyalty pledge requirements violate his rights under the First, Fourteenth, and Twenty-Fourth Amendments to the United States Constitution. ECF No. 1.

         II. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On September 15, 2015, Coyne filed his complaint and a motion for preliminary injunction.[1] ECF Nos. 1, 2. On November 16, 2015, SCGOP filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). ECF No. 18. On November 18, 2015, SCSOS filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). ECF No. 21. Because Coyne is proceeding pro se, the Court entered orders pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.3d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), advising him of the importance of the motions and of the need for him to file adequate responses. ECF Nos. 19, 22. On December 10, 2015, Coyne timely responded to both motions to dismiss. ECF No. 24. On December 29, 2015, Coyne filed a motion for summary judgment. ECF No. 25. On March 18, 2016, SCSOS supplemented its motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. ECF No. 31.

         Only July 26, 2016, the Magistrate Judge assigned to this action[2] prepared a thorough Report and Recommendation (“Report”) and opined that this Court deny Coyne's motion for preliminary injunction, grant SCSOS's motion to dismiss, deny SCGOP's motion to dismiss, and deny Coyne's motion for summary judgment. ECF No. 36. The Report set forth in detail the relevant facts and standards of law[3] on this matter, and this Court incorporates those facts and standards without a recitation. The parties were advised of their right to object to the Report, which was entered on the docket on July 26, 2016. Id. The Magistrate Judge gave the parties until August 12, 2016, to file objections. Id.

         On August 30, 2016, after receiving no objections, this Court entered an order adopting the Report. ECF No. 38. Thereafter, however, the Court received various documents from Coyne asserting that he did not know of the Report's existence prior to the Court's order filed on August 30, 2016. ECF Nos. 42-45. Therefore, on September 13, 2016, the Court vacated its order and provided Coyne with an opportunity to receive and object to the Report. ECF No. 46. On September 26, 2016, Coyne's objections to the Report were filed. ECF No. 50. Thus, this matter is ripe for the Court's review.

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court. The recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the responsibility to make a final determination remains with the Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261 (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 to the Magistrate Judge with instructions. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). In the absence of specific objections to the Report of the Magistrate Judge, this Court is not required to give an explanation for adopting the recommendation. See Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983).

         IV. DISCUSSION

         Coyne essentially raises three specific objections to the Report.[4] ECF No. 50. Each objection will be addressed in turn. In reviewing his response, the Court will not consider the objections raised to its order dated August 30, 2016, because the order was vacated in an effort to ensure Coyne received due process with regard to this matter. ECF No. 46, p. 2.

         A. First Objection - SCSOS's Motion to Dismiss

         Coyne's first objection relates to the Magistrate Judge's recommendation to grant SCSOS's motion to dismiss. ECF No. 50, pp. 2-3. Coyne claims SCSOS failed to comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12 (“Rule 12”) because it did not respond to his complaint within the timeframe required, and, therefore, concludes that SCSOS “has NO legal standing in this case.” ECF No. 50, p. 2. Furthermore, Coyne claims “SCSOS had and has NO legal authority to file any motion or introduce any new evidence and/or procedure(s) because of its decision to violate Rule 12.” Id. Finally, Coyne claims that SCSOS made an “illegal initial motion” violating Rule 12. Id. at 4.

         “On or after filing the complaint, the plaintiff may present a summons to the clerk for signature and seal. If the summons is properly completed, the clerk must sign, seal, and issue it to the plaintiff for service on the defendant.” Fed R. Civ. P. 4(b). “A summons must be served with a copy of the complaint.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(c).[5] A defendant must answer or respond by motion within the appropriate timeframe of being served. Fed R. Civ. P. 12. “When a party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend, and that failure is ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.