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Williams v. American International Recovery

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

December 19, 2016

Randy Williams, Plaintiff,
v.
American International Recovery, McAngus, Goudelock & Courie LLC, Pamela Gadsden, and E. Scott Winburn, Defendants.

          ORDER

          R. Bryan Harwell, United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Randy Williams, proceeding pro se, has filed this action against the four above-captioned Defendants alleging they prevented him from realizing his workers' compensation benefits after his claim was settled. See ECF Nos. 1 & 17. The matter is before the Court for review of the Report and Recommendation (R & R) of United States Magistrate Judge Kaymani D. West, 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. 21. The Magistrate Judge recommends that the Court summarily dismiss Plaintiff's complaint without prejudice and without service of process for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. R & R at 4-7. Plaintiff has filed timely objections to the R & R. See ECF Nos. 23 & 25.

         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]

         The Magistrate Judge recommends summarily dismissing Plaintiff's complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. R & R at 4-7. The Magistrate Judge reports (1) that no diversity jurisdiction exists under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, (2) that no federal question jurisdiction exists under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, [3]and (3) that this Court should decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state-law claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3).[4] Id.

         In his objections, Plaintiff rehashes many of the allegations raised in his complaint and voluminous supplemental pleadings, and he asserts “this case should not be dismiss[ed] because the plaintiff ha[s] presented enough evidence to send the case to trial.” ECF No. 23 at 1. Significantly, Plaintiff does not specifically object to the Magistrate Judge's conclusion that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction-both federal question and diversity-over this action.[5] 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 reviewed the R & R de novo. 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 her thorough analysis here. 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 adopts the Magistrate Judge's recommendation and overrules Plaintiff's objections.

         Conclusion

         The Court has conducted a thorough review of the entire record, including Plaintiff's complaint and supplemental pleadings, the Magistrate Judge's R & R, and Plaintiff's objections to the R & R. See ECF Nos. 1, 17, 21, 23, & 25. 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. 21] by reference. The Court DISMISSES this action without prejudice and without issuance and service of process.

         IT IS SO ORDERED.

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