United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
ORDER AND OPINION
MARGARET B. SEYMOUR SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
RELEVANT FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
January 10, 1996, Defendant, Richard H. Edwards took out a
student loan with Sallie Mae Servicing Corporation, borrowing
$7, 531.52 that was disbursed on February 28, 1996.
See ECF No. 20-2 and ECF. No. 20-3. The loan was
secured by a promissory note, accrued an interest at ten (10)
percent per year, was guaranteed by United Student Aid Funds,
Inc., and reinsured by the United States Department of
Education. Id. Evidence shows that Defendant
defaulted on the note on October 15, 1998. ECF No. 20-3. As a
result, the United Student Aid Funds, Inc. paid a claim to
Sallie Mae Servicing Corporation, the holder of the note, in
the amount of $7, 700.61. Id. The United States
Department of Education then reimbursed United Student Aid
Funds, Inc., the guarantor, under its reinsurance agreement.
United Student Aid Funds, Inc. assigned its right and title
to the loan to the United States Department of Education on
November 2, 2004, after unsuccessful attempts to collect the
debt from Defendant. Id.
owed Plaintiff, as of May 1, 2014, the total amount of $17,
921.38, with interest accruing thereafter per day at the rate
of $2.11. ECF No. 20-3. The underlying action was filed on
September 23, 2015 by the United States, with jurisdiction
provided by 28. U.S.C. § 1345. ECF No. 1 at 1.
filed a pro se answer to Plaintiff's Complaint
on October 14, 2015, asserting that he never received the
loaned funds and that he believed the money “had been
transferred to the school because of veteran
disability.” ECF No. 5. In accordance with 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b) and Local Rule 73.02 D.S.C., the matter was
referred to United States Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant
for pretrial handling.
16, 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment,
contending that Defendant never contested that the funds were
dispersed on his behalf. ECF No. 20-1 at 2. As of that date,
Defendant was indebted to the United States in the total
amount of $19, 562.86. Further, Plaintiff asserts it
“served requests to admit on Defendant pursuant to
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 36, requiring that Defendant
admit that the Promissory Note and Certificate of
Indebtedness were genuine, thus admissible.”
Id. According to Plaintiff, Defendant did not
respond to said request, such that the requests were deemed
admitted. Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(a)(3).
17, 2016, the Magistrate Judge filed a Roseboro Order
directing the clerk to forward summary judgment explanation
to the opposing party within 34 days. ECF No. 21. Defendant
filed an “answer” to Plaintiff's motion for
summary judgment on June 12, 2016. Defendant maintains that
he did not receive the funds disbursed by Salle Mae Servicing
Corporation, and that he did not attend school or sign
“for any of their materials.” ECF No. 23 at 1. On
June 24, 2016, Plaintiff filed a reply to Defendant's
response, stating: “To the extent Defendant denies that
he is the Richard H. Edwards who signed the loan documents,
the evidence refutes this.” ECF No. 24 at 1. To support
this statement, Plaintiff points out that the address listed
on the certificate of indebtedness is the same address at
which Defendant was served with the complaint. Id.
Further, Plaintiff contends, the certificate shows the last
four digits of Defendant's correct social security number
and birthdate. Id.
12, 2016, Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant issued a report
and recommendation advising that Plaintiff's motion for
summary judgment be granted and Plaintiff awarded judgment
against Defendant in the amount of $19, 562.86. ECF No. 26 at
6. Judge Marchant directed Plaintiff to provide an affidavit
in response to the report and recommendation detailing any
attorney's fees as well as any post-judgment interest it
may be seeking. Id. At this time, no affidavit has
been filed. Defendant filed objections to the report and
recommendation on July 20, 2016 to which Plaintiff filed no
District Court Review of Magistrate Judge's Report and
magistrate judge makes only a recommendation to this court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The
responsibility to make a final determination remains with
this court. See Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261,
270-71 (1976). The court reviews de novo only those
portions of a magistrate judge's report and
recommendation to which specific objections are filed, and
reviews those portions which are not objected to-including
those portions to which only “general and
conclusory” objections have been made-for clear error.
Diamond v. Colonia Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416
F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005); Camby v. Davis, 718
F.2d 198, 200 (4th Cir. 1983); Opriano v. Johnson,
687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). The court 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).
judgment should be granted “if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed
R. Civ. P. 56(a). A fact is “material” if proof
of its existence or non-existence would affect the
disposition of the case under the applicable law.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248-49
(1986). A genuine question of material fact exists where,
after reviewing the record as a whole, the court finds that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party. Newport News Holdings Corp. v. Virtual City
Vision, 650 F.3d 423, 434 (4th Cir. 2011).
inference drawn from the facts should be viewed in the light
most favorable to the non-moving party. United States v.
Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655 (1962). The
party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of
demonstrating to the district court that there is no genuine
issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S 317-23 (1986). Once the moving party ...