United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
Bryan Harwell United States District Judge.
Clara Lewis Brockington, proceeding pro se, has filed this
action against the two above-captioned Defendants.
See ECF No. 1. 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.See R
& R, ECF No. 14. The Magistrate Judge recommends
summarily dismissing Plaintiff's complaint for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. R & R at 1, 4-5. Plaintiff
has filed objections to the R & R. See
Pl.'s Objs., ECF No. 16.
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).
complaint, Plaintiff alleges she was denied workers'
compensation benefits after falling at work and was
wrongfully terminated from her employment. See ECF
No. 1 at 5. The Magistrate Judge recommends summarily
dismissing this action for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction. R & R at 4-5. Specifically, the Magistrate
Judge reports that no diversity jurisdiction exists under 28
U.S.C. § 1332 and that no federal question jurisdiction
exists under 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Id.
objections, Plaintiff asserts this Court should hear this
case because she “has pleaded subject matter
jurisdiction.” Pl.'s Objs. at 3. First, Plaintiff
appears to argue federal question jurisdiction exists under
§ 1331 “because this matter . . . arises under the
Constitution or laws of the United States, or treaties made,
or which shall be made, under the court authority, ”
and because Defendant “refused to provide worker's
compensation to plaintiff which is a federal obligation by
all employers when the defendant agreed that plaintiff fell
at the workplace.” Id. at 3. However, as the
Magistrate Judge thoroughly explains, Plaintiff's
allegations and request for relief related to workers'
compensation implicate matters of state law to be heard in
state courts. See R & R at 5; see generally
Northbrook Nat. Ins. Co. v. Brewer, 493 U.S. 6, 13
(1989) (Stevens, J., dissenting) (“Workers'
compensation is generally a subject of local interest and
control with which federal courts have only minimal
Plaintiff appears to argue diversity jurisdiction exists
under § 1332 “because this matter in controversy
exceeds, exclusive of interest and costs, the sum or value of
$3000.” Pl.'s Objs. at 3. Plaintiff apparently
believes the amount-in-controversy requirement is $3, 000
based on the Supreme Court's 1936 decision in McNutt
v. General Motors Acceptance Corp. of Indiana, 298 U.S.
178 (1936), a case that she cites in her objections.
Pl.'s Objs. at 3; see McNutt, 298 U.S. at 179
(“The question arises whether the matter in controversy
exceeds the sum or value of $3, 000, exclusive of interest
and costs, so as to give the District Court
jurisdiction.”). The present-day amount-in-controversy
requirement is that “the matter in controversy exceed
the sum or value of $75, 000, exclusive of interest and
costs.” 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) (emphasis added).
Furthermore, diversity jurisdiction cannot be a basis for
subject matter jurisdiction because, as the Magistrate Judge
explains, there is not complete diversity of parties. See
Weidman v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 776 F.3d 214, 218 (4th
Cir. 2015) (“Normally, complete diversity of citizens
is necessary for a federal court to exercise diversity
jurisdiction, meaning the plaintiff cannot be a citizen of
the same state as any other defendant.”).
the Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge that it lacks
subject matter jurisdiction over this action, and therefore,
this action must be dismissed. 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
Court has conducted a thorough review of the entire record,
including Plaintiff's complaint, the Magistrate
Judge's R & R, and Plaintiff's objections.
See ECF Nos. 1, 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.