United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
BRYAN HARWELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Robert Lee, proceeding pro se, filed this action pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 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 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 1, 6.
Plaintiff filed timely objections to the R & R as well as
a motion to amend. See ECF Nos. 12 & 13.
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 the Florence County Police
Department arrested him on July 4, 2016, at 501 East Pine
Street in Florence, South Carolina, questioned him at the
Florence City-County Complex, and took him to the Darlington
County Detention Center. See ECF No. 1 at 6-8. He
claims he has not been served with a warrant and requests the
Court to grant the following relief: “order the State
to give me due process. Follow rules of law when probable
cause hearing and warrant has [sic] not been served
within the required time[.]” Id. at 5-6, 9.
The Magistrate Judge recommends summarily dismissing
Plaintiff's complaint because he fails to state a
plausible claim against the two named defendants: Kenny Boone
(the sheriff of Florence County) and Wayne Byrd (the former
sheriff of Darlington County). R & R at 3. Significantly,
the Magistrate Judge takes judicial notice that the
Darlington County Public Index indicates that Plaintiff's
offenses arose in Darlington County for four charges of
forgery, value less than $10, 000, and that bond was set at
$10, 000 for each charge by the Honorable Daniel B. Causey,
III (a municipal judge in Darlington). R & R at 4.
has filed objections to the R & R as well as a separate
motion to amend his complaint. See ECF Nos. 12 &
13. In these filings, he seeks to supplement the factual
allegations in his complaint and add two new defendants to
this action. However, the Court notes the Darlington County
Public Index indicates that Plaintiff's four forgery
charges were disposed of on October 19, 2016, that he pled
guilty to each charge in the Court of General Sessions for
Darlington County before the Honorable Steven H. John, and
that he received concurrent one-year prison sentences for
three charges and time-served credit for the fourth charge.
See State of South Carolina v. Robert Lee,
(indictment numbers 2016GS1601518, 2016GS1601519,
2016GS1601520, and 2016GS1601521). Additionally, after he
filed his objections and motion to amend, Plaintiff filed a
notice of change of address indicating he “went to
court in Darlington County” in October 2016 and
“was shipped to the Department of Corrections” on
October 24, 2016. See ECF No. 17.
Plaintiff's criminal convictions, the Court finds the
Supreme Court's decision in Heck v. Humphrey,
512 U.S. 477 (1994), bars Plaintiff's claims because
success on them would necessarily imply the invalidity of his
forgery convictions and sentences, which have not been
overturned or otherwise called into question. See
Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 81-82 (2005)
(explaining that under Heck and related cases,
“a state prisoner's § 1983 action is barred
(absent prior invalidation)-no matter the relief sought
(damages or equitable relief), no matter the target of the
prisoner's suit (state conduct leading to conviction or
internal prison proceedings)-if success in that action would
necessarily demonstrate the invalidity of confinement or its
duration”); Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641,
646 (1997) (extending Heck to civil rights actions
that do not directly challenge confinement, but instead
contest procedures which necessarily imply unlawful
confinement); 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.”). Under Heck and its progeny, the
Court cannot grant Plaintiff the relief he seeks (i.e.,
ordering the State of South Carolina to give him due process
and finding an arrest warrant was not timely served).
See, e.g., Mayfield v. King, No. CA
0:10-1487-JFA-PJG, 2010 WL 4929124, at *1 (D.S.C. Nov. 30,
2010) (finding Heck barred Plaintiff's §
1983 action alleging “that the defendants have violated
his due process rights and that he has been maliciously and
falsely imprisoned”). Accordingly, the Court must
overrule Plaintiff's objections, deny his motion to amend
his complaint, and dismiss this action.
Court has thoroughly reviewed the entire record, including
Plaintiff's complaint, the R & R, and Plaintiff's
objections and motion to amend. See ECF Nos. 1, 9,
12, & 13. 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, DENIES Plaintiff's motion to
amend his complaint [ECF No. 13], and
DISMISSES this action without prejudice
and without issuance and service of process.
IS SO ORDERED.