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Brockington v. South Carolina Department of Corrections

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

October 24, 2016

Clara Lewis Brockington, Plaintiff,
v.
South Carolina Department of Corrections, Angela Warren, Ginny Barr, and Toni Boone, Defendants.

          ORDER

          R. Bryan Harwell United States District Judge

         Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, has filed this action against the four above-captioned Defendants. See ECF Nos. 1 & 8. The matter is before the Court for review of the Report and Recommendation (R & R) of United States Magistrate Judge Thomas E. Rogers, III, made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 73.02 for the District of South Carolina.[1] See R & R, ECF No. 14. The Magistrate Judge recommends that the Court summarily dismiss this action without prejudice and without issuance and service of process based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction. R & R at 1, 5. Plaintiff has filed objections to the R & R. See ECF No. 16.

         Standard of Review

         The 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. § 636(b)(1).

         The 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).

         Discussion[2]

         In her pleadings, Plaintiff alleges she fell on the job and was denied workers' compensation benefits. See ECF No. 1 at 1-2; ECF No. 8 at 7. The Magistrate Judge recommends summarily dismissing this action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. R & R at 3-5.

         In her objections, Plaintiff asserts this “case is ready to proceed” and requests that the Court authorize service of process. ECF No. 16. She states this case should remain on the docket “and not be dismissed, due to evidence that was pointed out during an earlier hearing before another Judge”; however, Plaintiff does not identify or otherwise explain what that “evidence” is. Id. Significantly, Plaintiff does not object to the Magistrate Judge's conclusion that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction-both federal question and diversity-over this action. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 & 1332. The Court's review of the R & R reveals no clear error. See Diamond, 416 F.3d at 315 (stating a district court need only review the magistrate judge's R & R for clear error in the absence of specific objections).

         Although de novo review is not required in light of Plaintiff's nonspecific objections, the Court has nonetheless exercised its discretion and conducted a de novo review of the R & R. Having done so, the Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this action and sees no reason to repeat his thorough analysis here.[3] See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(h)(3) (“If the court determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.”); Lovern v. Edwards, 190 F.3d 648, 654 (4th Cir. 1999) (“[A] federal court is obliged to dismiss a case whenever it appears the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction.”). Accordingly, the Court overrules Plaintiff's objections and adopts and incorporates the Magistrate Judge's R & R by reference.

         Conclusion

         The Court has conducted a thorough review of the entire record, including Plaintiff's pleadings, the Magistrate Judge's R & R, and Plaintiff's objections to the R & R. See ECF Nos. 1, 8, 14, & 16. For the reasons stated in this Order and in the R & R, the Court overrules Plaintiff's objections and adopts and incorporates the R & R [ECF No. 14] by reference. The Court DISMISSES this action without prejudice and without issuance and service of process.

         IT IS SO ORDERED.

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