United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Aiken Division
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis,
brought this action (ECF No. 1) seeking relief pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. This matter is before the court for
review of the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation (“Report”) (ECF No. 7), filed on
December 19, 2016, recommending that this action be dismissed
without prejudice and without issuance and service of
process. The Report sets forth in detail the relevant facts
and legal standards on this matter which the court interprets
herein without a recitation.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Magistrate Judge's Report is made in accordance with 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(e)
for the District of South Carolina. “The Court is not
bound by the recommendation of the magistrate judge but,
instead, retains responsibility for the final
determination.” Wallace v. Hous. Auth., 791
F.Supp. 137, 138 (D.S.C. 1992) (citing Matthews v.
Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 271 (1976)). Moreover, the court is
charged with making a de novo determination of those
portions of a report and recommendation to which specific
objections are made, and the court may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, a magistrate judge's
recommendation or recommit the matter with instructions.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Objections to a
report and recommendation must specifically identify portions
of the report and the basis for those objections.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). “[I]n the absence of a timely filed
objection, a district court need not conduct a de
novo review, but instead must ‘only satisfy itself
that there is no clear error on the face of the record in
order to accept the recommendation.'” Diamond
v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 316
(4th Cir. 2005) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory
was notified of his right to file objections to the Report
within fourteen days of the date of service of the Report.
(ECF No. 7 at 5.) Plaintiff filed untimely objections to the
Report on January 6, 2017. (ECF No. 10.) In his objections,
Plaintiff apologizes to the court for the delayed filing and
alleges that he was not properly served with the Report or
notified of his right to file objections until January 3,
2017. (ECF No. 10 at 1.) Assuming this allegation is true,
Plaintiff promptly filed objections within three days of
receiving the Report and notice of his right to file
objections. Therefore, the court assumes that
Plaintiff's objections were timely filed.
objections, Plaintiff explains that he named Spartanburg
County Detention Facility (“SCDF”) as the
Defendant in this action because he could not name specific
individuals at SCDF responsible for his injuries.
Specifically, Plaintiff states that “given the scope of
this Complaint which covers ‘all divisions' and
‘branches' of this department - it is impossible to
name the persons amenable under suit individually.”
(ECF No. 10 at 3). Despite this objection, Plaintiff
nevertheless fails to establish that SCDF is a
“person” amenable to suit under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. See Nelson v. Lexington Cnty. Det. Ctr., No.
8:10-2988-JMC, 2011 WL 2066551, at *1 (D.S.C. May 26, 2011).
in addition to his objections, Plaintiff contemporaneously
filed an Amendment to Claim (ECF No. 10) requesting that the
court name two individual prison officers amenable to suit
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 as Co-Defendants instead of SCDF.
On January 17, 2017, Plaintiff filed a subsequent
Amendment/Addition to Claim (ECF No. 13) requesting again
that the court name two individual prison officers as
Co-Defendants instead of SCDF. The court construes the Amended
Complaint (ECF No. 10) and Amendment/Addition to Claim (ECF
No. 13) conjunctively as a Motion to Amend and supplemental
objection to the Report. See Franklin v. Alford, No.
1:12-CV-393, 2013 WL 1984367 at *1, (E.D. Tex. May 13, 2013).
court may grant a party leave to amend its pleading when
justice so requires. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). Furthermore, a
motion to amend should be denied only where it would be
prejudicial, there has been bad faith, or the amendment would
be futile. Nourison Rug Corp. v. Parvizian, 535 F.3d
295, 298 (4th Cir. 2008) (citing HCMF Corp. v.
Allen, 238 F.3d 273, 276-77 (4th Cir. 2001)). The
district court has the sound discretion to grant or deny a
party leave to amend. Sandcrest Outpatient Servs., P.A.
v. Cumberland Cnty. Hosp. Sys., Inc., 853 F.2d 1139,
1148 (4th Cir. 1988). However, “it is well-settled that
‘in the absence of any apparent or declared reason . .
. the leave sought should, as the rules require, be freely
given.'” National Bank of Washington v.
Pearson, 863 F.2d 322, 327 (4th Cir. 1988) (quoting
Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962)).
court has conducted a de novo review of
Plaintiff's Motion to Amend in relation to the pleadings
and applicable law. After careful consideration, the court
concludes that pro se Plaintiff's amendment
naming two individual prison officers as Co-Defendants
instead of SCDF is neither prejudicial, futile or made in bad
faith. Furthermore, the naming of individual persons amenable
to suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 may transform
Plaintiff's Complaint into a cognizable claim that would
survive dismissal. Therefore, justice requires that the court
grant Plaintiff leave to amend his complaint.
reasons discussed herein, the court OVERRULES Plaintiff's
supplemental objection (ECF No. 10) and GRANTS
Plaintiff's motions for leave to amend his complaint (ECF
Nos. 11, 13). Plaintiff is DIRECTED to file an amended
complaint, bringing it into proper form in accordance with
Local Civ. R. 83.VIII.01 (D.S.C.) and incorporating all the
allegations he wishes to pursue in this matter, on or before
February 17, 2017. If Plaintiff fails to file an amended
complaint by this date, his claim will be subject to
dismissal. The court RECOMMITS this matter to the Magistrate
Judge for further proceedings consistent with the rulings in