United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Beaufort Division
Michael E. Hamm, Plaintiff,
Ms. Holly Scaturo, Director; NFN Poholochck, Assistant Program Coordinator-BMC; NFN Helff, BMC; Dr. Gothard, Psychologist; NFN Jones, CM/CC; Captain Abney, Dept. of Public Safety; Bryant Morton, Supervisor Activity Therapy; NFN Haley, Governor of State of South Carolina; State of South Carolina Department of Mental Health,, Defendants.
ORDER AND OPINION
Richard Mark Gergel, United States District Court Judge.
matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
("R. & R.") of the Magistrate Judge (Dkt. No.
43) recommending that this Court grant Defendants' motion
for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 35) with respect to Plaintiffs
claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and remand Plaintiffs
remaining state law claims to state court. For the reasons
set forth below, this Court adopts the R. & R. (Dkt. No.
43) as the order of the Court. Defendants' motion for
summary judgment (Dkt. No. 35) is granted as to Plaintiffs
§ 1983 claims. Plaintiffs state law claims are remanded
to state court.
is civilly committed at the South Carolina Department of
Mental Health pursuant to South Carolina's Sexually
Violent Predator Act, SC Code Ann. §§ 44-48-10 et.
seq. Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, claims that he
has been subject to inadequate treatment (for several
reasons, including that his treatment sessions were sometimes
cancelled) and frequent lockdowns in violation of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Plaintiff also alleges state law claims for
breach of contract and/or breach of trust. The Magistrate has
provided a thorough summary of the facts of this case, so the
Court need not repeat them in detail here. (Dkt. No. 43 at
Pro Se Pleadings
Court liberally construes complaints filed by pro se
litigants to allow the development of a potentially
meritorious case. See Cruz v. Beto, 405 U.S. 319
(1972); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972). The
requirement of liberal construction does not mean that the
Court can ignore a clear failure in the pleadings to allege
facts which set forth a viable federal claim, nor can the
Court assume the existence of a genuine issue of material
fact where none exists. See Weller v. Dep't of Social
Services, 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990).
Magistrate's Report and Recommendation
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the
responsibility for making a final determination remains with
this Court. See Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261,
270-71 (1976). This Court is charged with making a de
novo determination of those portions of the Report and
Recommendation to which specific objection is made.
Additionally, the Court may "accept, reject, or modify,
in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by
the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Where
a plaintiff fails to file any specific objections, "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." See Diamond v. Colonial Life &
Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005)
(internal quotation omitted).
Magistrate evaluated Plaintiffs allegations in detail and
determined that Defendants are entitled to summary judgment
on Plaintiffs constitutional claims. (Dkt. No. 10-18.)
Plaintiff has filed Objections to the R. & R. in which he
restates what he considers to be the constitutional questions
he has raised and asks that his state claims be remanded to
the lower court. (Dkt. No. 45.) The Court has reviewed these
Objections and determined that they are not specific to the
Magistrate's R. & R. For this reason, the Court need
only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face
of the record. The Court finds that the Magistrate has
correctly applied the controlling law to the facts of this
reasons set forth above, this Court adopts the R. & R.
(Dkt. No. 43) as the order of the Court. Defendants'
motion for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 35) is granted with
respect to Plaintiffs claims arising under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. Plaintiffs remaining state law claims for breach of
contract and/or breach of trust are remanded to the South
Carolina Court of Common Pleas in Richland County.