United States District Court, D. South Carolina
Bryan Harwell United States District Judge.
Robert Lee Clayton, Jr., a state pretrial detainee proceeding
pro se, filed a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against the four above-named Defendants alleging violations
of his constitutional rights. See ECF No. 1. The
matter is before the Court for review of the Report and
Recommendation (R & R) of United States Magistrate Judge
Jacquelyn D. Austin, made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 73.02 for the District of South
Carolina. See R & R, ECF No. 11. The
Magistrate Judge recommends that the Court summarily dismiss
Defendant Brenda Carpenter from this action without issuance
and service of process. R & R at 1, 4.
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to the Court.
The Magistrate Judge's recommendation has no presumptive
weight, and the responsibility to make a final determination
remains with the Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S.
261, 270-71 (1976). The Court must conduct a de novo review
of those portions of the R & R to which specific
objections are made, and it 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. §
Court must engage in 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 [Judge]'s proposed
findings and recommendations.” Orpiano v.
Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). In the absence
of specific objections to the R & R, the Court reviews
only for clear error, Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc.
Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005), and the
Court need not give any explanation for adopting the
Magistrate Judge's recommendation. Camby v.
Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199-200 (4th Cir. 1983).
§ 1983 complaint, Plaintiff alleges Defendant Brenda
Carpenter-a state magistrate judge in Edgefield County, South
Carolina-gave Defendant James Mosely (a law enforcement
officer) verbal permission to arrest Plaintiff without a
warrant. ECF No. 1. at 3-4; ECF No. 1-3 at 1-3. The
Magistrate Judge recommends summarily dismissing Defendant
Carpenter from this action based on judicial immunity. R
& R at 3-4.
the Magistrate Judge issued the R & R, Plaintiff
submitted a filing entitled “Motion to Amend Compliant
[sic] for Denial of Access to Court and Retaliation
by Local Officials” and another filing entitled
“Motion to Grant Leave to Amend New Issue for
Retaliation.” ECF Nos. 15 & 18. In both filings,
Plaintiff alleges new facts relating to other allegedly
unconstitutional, retaliatory acts committed by Defendant
Carpenter. See Id. He has also attached a
copy of a proposed amended complaint and several exhibits.
ECF No. 15-1; ECF No. 18-1. Significantly, Plaintiff does
not object to the Magistrate Judge's conclusion
that Defendant Carpenter is protected by judicial immunity,
which acts as an absolute bar to suit. See King v.
Myers, 973 F.2d 354, 356 (4th Cir. 1992) (“The
Supreme Court has held that judges are absolutely immune from
suit for a deprivation of civil rights brought under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, under certain conditions.” (citing
Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547 (1967));
Diamond, 416 F.3d at 315 (stating that in the
absence of specific objections to the R & R, the Court
reviews only for clear error).
to the extent Plaintiff seeks to supplement his allegations
against Defendant Carpenter, any such amendment would be
futile because Plaintiff's allegations relate entirely to
judicial acts of Defendant Carpenter. See King, 973
F.2d at 356 (“The Supreme Court stated that the common
law has long recognized the ‘immunity of judges from
liability for damages for acts committed within their
judicial jurisdiction, ' even if such acts were allegedly
done either maliciously or corruptly.” (quoting
Pierson, 386 U.S. at 554)); Mayfield v.
Nat'l Ass'n for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc., 674
F.3d 369, 379 (4th Cir. 2012) (stating leave to amend should
be denied if the amendment would be futile). Accordingly, the
Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge's recommendation
to summarily dismiss Defendant Carpenter from this action.
thorough review of the R & R, Plaintiff's filings,
and the relevant law, the Court adopts and incorporates the R
& R [ECF No. 11] by reference and summarily DISMISSES
Defendant Carpenter from this action without issuance and
service of process. The Court RETURNS this case to the
Magistrate Judge for further pretrial handling.
IS SO ORDERED.