United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
BRYAN HARWELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
William Von Long, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against
Defendant Keven Bradley Suggs. 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 Civil Rule 73.02
for the District of South Carolina. See R & R, ECF
No. 9. The Magistrate Judge recommends that the Court
summarily dismiss Plaintiff's complaint without prejudice
and without issuance and service of process. R & R at 5.
Plaintiff has filed timely objections to the R & R.
See Pl.'s Objs., ECF No. 12.
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 filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff
alleges Defendant Suggs (a police officer) unlawfully seized
and searched him, which led to his being “arrested,
convicted, and sentenced to 55 years in the Department of
Correction[s].” ECF No. 1 at 5-6. The Magistrate Judge
has construed Plaintiff's claims as alleged violations of
his Fourteenth and Fourth Amendment rights. R & R at 4.
The Magistrate Judge recommends summarily dismissing
Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), wherein the Supreme Court
held that to recover damages for an allegedly
unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment, or for other
harm caused by actions whose unlawfulness would render a
conviction invalid, a plaintiff bringing a § 1983 claim
must establish that the conviction or sentence has been
reversed, expunged, or otherwise declared invalid. 512 U.S.
at 487 (1994).
objections,  Plaintiff asserts, “This is not a
case where Plaintiff is alleging constitutional violations in
connection with state criminal charges. This case involves
the violation of one['s] rights before criminal
charges.” Pl.'s Objs. at 5. Plaintiff contends
“the facts which support [his] claim are the
testimonies given under oath by the defendant himself”;
to support this contention, Plaintiff cites several pages of
his trial transcript that apparently contain the testimony of
Defendant Suggs. Id. at 3-4.
on the arguments in his objections, it appears Plaintiff
believes Heck does not bar his claims because the
alleged constitutional violations occurred prior to his being
criminally charged. However, as the Magistrate Judge
explained, Plaintiff was convicted and sentenced on two
counts of armed robbery and one count of possession of a
weapon during a violent crime. R & R at 1-2. And, in his
own complaint, Plaintiff alleges the unlawful search and
seizure by Defendant Suggs led to his being “arrested,
convicted, and sentenced to 55 years” in
prison. ECF No. 1 at 5-6 (emphasis added). Consequently,
Heck bars Plaintiff's claims because success on
them would necessarily imply the invalidity of his
convictions and sentences, which have not been overturned or
otherwise called into question. See Young v. Nickols,
413 F.3d 416, 417 (4th Cir. 2005) (“Heck . . .
bars a prisoner's § 1983 claim if the relief sought
necessarily implies the invalidity of his criminal
judgment.”); Ballenger v. Owens, 352 F.3d 842,
846 (4th Cir. 2003) (“When evidence derived from an
[allegedly] illegal search would have to be suppressed in a
criminal case if the judgment in the § 1983 claim were
to be applied to the criminal case and the suppression would
necessarily invalidate the criminal conviction, the stated
principle of Heck would apply, and the § 1983
claim would have to be dismissed; there would be no cause of
action under § 1983.”). Accordingly, the Court
overrules Plaintiff's objections and adopts the
Magistrate Judge's recommendation.
Court has thoroughly reviewed the entire record, including
Plaintiff's complaint, the R & R, and Plaintiff's
objections. See ECF Nos. 1, 9, & 12. For the
reasons stated in this Order and in the R & R, the Court
overrules Plaintiff's objections, adopts and incorporates
the R & R [ECF No. 9] by reference, and DISMISSES this
action without prejudice and without issuance and service