United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division
Anderson, Vincent Edward d/b/a Vincent Edward Anderson, Plaintiff,
Dean Ford, Diane Cagle, Tim Brown, Defendants.
Anderson, Vincent Edward d/b/a Vincent Edward Anderson
(“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se, brings
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1.)
Plaintiff is a non-prisoner and files this action in
forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Id.
Plaintiff claims that his constitutional right to travel was
violated because he is permitted to travel without a
commercial driver's license. (ECF No. 1 at 3-5.)
Plaintiff claims that his Driving Under Suspension
(“DUS”) conviction and sentence should be
vacated. Id. Further, Plaintiff contends that a
letter sent from the Greenville County Deputy's Office
regarding an arrest warrant linked to his state DUS charge is
a form of malicious prosecution. (ECF No. 1 at 3-4.)
Plaintiff seeks monetary damages, revocation of two
magistrate judges' positions within public office, and an
order requiring both judges to “uphold the law of the
Constitution” through permitting his right to travel
without a commercial driver's license. (ECF No. 1 at 5.)
Based on a review of the parties' submissions, the court
finds that the Complaint is subject to summary dismissal.
(ECF No. 12.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
filed this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915; this
statute requires a court to dismiss a civil action filed
in forma pauperis that is frivolous, fails to state
a claim upon which relief can be granted, or that
“seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). This matter was referred to United States
Magistrate Judge Jacquelyn D. Austin in accordance with 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(e)
for the District of South Carolina. A magistrate judge is
authorized to review a complaint for relief and submit
findings and recommendations to the District Court.
Id. Judge Austin issued a Report and Recommendation
(“Report”) on May 8, 2014, recommending that the
court dismiss this case, without prejudice and without
issuance and service of process. (ECF No. 12.) This review
considers Plaintiff's Objections to the Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation
(“Objections”), filed May 19, 2014. (ECF No. 14.)
magistrate judge makes only a recommendation to this court,
which has no presumptive weight. See Mathews v.
Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). The responsibility
to make a final determination, de novo, remains with
this court. Id. This court is charged with making a
de novo determination of those portions of the
Report to which specific objections are made. Id.
The court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part,
the Magistrate Judge's recommendation or recommit the
matter with instructions. See 28 U.S.C. § 636
pro se litigant, Plaintiff's arguments are
afforded liberal construction and a less stringent standard
than attorney drafted pleadings, but are still subject to
summary dismissal. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S.
89, 94 (2007). A court cannot construct a Plaintiff's
arguments for him, Small v. Endicott, 998 F.2d 411,
417-18 (7th Cir. 1993), or “conjure up questions never
squarely presented.” Beaudett v. City of
Hampton, 775 F.2d 1274, 1278 (4th Cir. 1985). The court
addresses only those arguments that, when liberally
construed, reasonably state a claim. Barnett v.
Hargett, 174 F.3d 1128, 1133 (10th Cir. 1999). Where
there is a clear failure to allege facts that set forth a
claim, this court must dismiss the complaint. See Weller
v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir.
court has conducted a de novo review of the issues
in this case and concludes that Magistrate Judge Austin has
properly applied the relevant law. This court specifically
reviewed those conclusions of the Magistrate Judge mentioned
in Plaintiff's Objections.
court concludes upon its own careful review of the record
that the factual and procedural summation in the Magistrate
Judge's Report is accurate, and the court adopts this
summary as its own. (See ECF No. 12.) The court will
only recite herein facts pertinent to the analysis of
Petitioner's Objection. Plaintiff brings this 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 action against two state magistrate judges, Dean
Ford (“Ford”) of Simpsonville, South Carolina and
Diane Cagle (“Cagle”) of Greenville, South
Carolina, and against a deputy sheriff with the Greenville
County Sheriff's Office, Tim Brown (“Brown”).
(ECF No. 1 at 1-4.) Plaintiff alleges that, prior to October
15, 2013, he owed an outstanding fine of four hundred and
forty dollars to Greenville County, and he attempted to pay
this fine using an “International Bill of Exchange
(I.B.O.E.).” (ECF No. 1 at 3.) Greenville County
informed Plaintiff on December 18, 2013, that it would not
accept payments using I.B.O.E., and that he should resubmit
payment in a proper form, certified check or postal money
order. (ECF No. 1-3 at 5.) Plaintiff alleges that he
continued his attempts to pay his outstanding fines using
I.B.O.E., but both Ford and Cagle rejected his attempts at
payment using I.B.O.E. (ECF No. 1 at 3-5.)
December 12, 2013, Plaintiff was charged with driving under
suspension (“DUS”), and he was found guilty of
these charges and received a fine on January 13, 2014. (ECF
No. 1 at 3-4; ECF No. 1-3 at 2.) On February 21, 2014, a
Greenville County or City judge notified Plaintiff that he
owed an additional six hundred and fifty-two dollars and
fifty cents as a result of his DUS sentence, and that he must
pay this amount within two weeks, or a warrant may be issued
for his arrest. (ECF No. 1-3 at 2.) Plaintiff alleges on
March 6, 2014, that he “submitted an Open Bond to the
United States Treasury for discharge of the tickets.”
(ECF No. 1 at 4.) Plaintiff states that he received a letter
from Brown, of the Greenville County Sheriff's Office,
notifying Plaintiff that the sheriff's office had been
given a warrant for his arrest, and that he should report to
the law enforcement center. (ECF No. 1 at 4; ECF No. 1-3 at
6.) He asserts that Brown's letter constitutes a
“threat for not rendering the court an accepted form of
debt set off and for failure to appear.” (ECF No. 1 at
4.) Plaintiff filed his Complaint on April 25, 2014. (ECF No.
reviewing the Complaint and Plaintiff's cognizable causes
of action under § 1983, the Magistrate Judge filed the
Report, recommending dismissal of the case. (ECF No. 12.) The
Report reflects that the Magistrate Judge understood
Plaintiff's Complaint to list three claims related to his
“right to travel.” (Id.) Plaintiff
asserts (1) that Ford and Cagle violated his constitutional
rights by rejecting his payments for invalid payment form.
(Id.) Next, (2) that his state DUS conviction and
sentence should be vacated. (Id.) Finally, (3) that
Deputy Sheriff Brown's “threatening” letter
regarding Plaintiff's arrest warrant for fines from his
state DUS sentence was a form of malicious prosecution.
(Id.) The parties were advised of their right to
file objections to the Report by May 27, 2014. (ECF No. 12.)
filed a timely Objection to the Magistrate Judge's Report
on May 19, 2014. (ECF No. 14.) Plaintiff raised seemingly two
objections to the Report: (i) magistrate judges are not
subject to judicial immunity, and (ii) this court does have
authority to overturn the state's rejection of his
I.B.O.E payment and his DUS conviction. No objections
were made regarding the Magistrate Judge's reasoning for
dismissal of Plaintiff's malicious prosecution claim so
this Order will adopt, but not address, the Magistrate
Judge's recommendation on that specific issue.
Magistrate Judge properly explains, this Complaint is filed
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which “is not itself
a source of substantive rights, ” but merely an avenue
to vindicate violations of rights conferred via the
Constitution or laws of the United States. Albright v.
Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994); Rehberg v.
Paulk, 132 S.Ct. 1497, 1501 (2012). A cognizable §
1983 claim requires a plaintiff allege two essential
elements: that a person violated a right secured to the
plaintiff through the Constitution or law of the United
States, and that the alleged violation was committed by a
person acting under the color of state law. West v.
Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).
No cognizable claim under § 1983 because the challenged
actions were ...