United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Aiken Division
James B. Curry, #186737, Plaintiff,
United States Supreme Court; Scott S. Harris, Clerk of Court for Supreme Court of the United States, Defendants.
F. ANDERSON, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a United States Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation (“Report”),
recommending that this Court should dismiss the complaint
because the Defendants are protected by judicial or
quasi-judicial immunity. (ECF No. 8).
James B. Curry (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se,
is an inmate incarcerated at Lee Correctional Institution
(“LCI”). On August 2, 2016, Plaintiff filed this
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the United
States Supreme Court (the “Court”) and Scott S.
Harris, Clerk of Court for the United States Supreme Court
“Defendants”), alleging a violation of his
August 12, 2016, Magistrate Judge Shiva V. Hodges issued the
Report and Recommendation. (ECF No. 8). On November 9, 2016,
this Court issued an order adopting the Magistrate's
Report, dismissing the Complaint without prejudice and
without issuance and service of process. (ECF No. 12). Curry
subsequently appealed the Order to the Fourth Circuit Court
of Appeals (“Fourth Circuit”) on December 22,
2016, claiming that he did not receive the
Report. (ECF No. 15). Additionally, Curry paid the
USCA Appeal Fees on January 18, 2017. (ECF No. 22). On May 4,
2017, the Fourth Circuit issued an opinion, vacating this
Court's decision and remanding to the same to determine
whether Plaintiff actually received the Report. (ECF No. 24).
On July 20, 2017, the Court again mailed the Report to
Plaintiff and issued an order allowing Plaintiff until August
3, 2017 to respond to the Report. (ECF Nos. 27-28). On August
15, 2017, Plaintiff appealed, once again claiming that he did
not receive a copy of the Report. (ECF No. 31). The Court
issued yet another order on August 30, 2017, directing the
Clerk of Court to mail the Report to the Plaintiff, giving
the Plaintiff seventeen (17) days from the receipt of the
Report to file objections. (ECF No. 38). The certified mail
receipt from the Postmaster indicates that the Report was
received at LCI by U. Greene for the Plaintiff on September
5, 2017. Thus, the Court re-established the deadline for
Plaintiff to file objections to the Report for September 19,
2017. (ECF Nos. 40-41).
September 12, 2017, Plaintiff filed another motion, asserting
that he again did not receive a copy of the Report but that
he did receive the Court's order from August 30,
2017.(ECF No. 44). On September 15, the Clerk
was thereafter directed to resend the Report (ECF No. 8) and
relevant orders (ECF Nos. 12, 28, 38) by certified mail to
the Plaintiff, as well as a copy of the most recent docket
sheet. (ECF No. 44). This Order was delivered to the
Plaintiff on September 19, 2017. (ECF No. 46). The Court
thereafter set the deadline for objections to the Report for
October 6, 2017. (ECF No. 47). On September 21, 2017,
Plaintiff filed his objection to the Report. (ECF No. 48).
Magistrate Judge assigned to this action prepared a
thorough Report and opines that this Court should dismiss the
Complaint in this case without prejudice and without issuance
and service of process because the Defendants are protected
by judicial or quasi-judicial immunity. (ECF No. 8). The
Report sets forth in detail the relevant facts and standards
of law on this matter, and this Court incorporates those
facts and standards without a recitation.
Court is charged with making a de novo determination of those
portions of the Report to which specific objection is made,
and the Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in
part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, or recommit
the matter to the Magistrate Judge with instructions.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). In the absence of
specific objections to the Report of the Magistrate Judge,
this Court is not required to give an explanation for
adopting the recommendation. See Camby v. Davis, 718
F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983).
present case, Plaintiff has not made any specific objections
to the Magistrate's Report. (ECF No. 48). Instead, the
Plaintiff has repeatedly claimed that he has not received a
copy of the Report. (ECF No. 48). However, the Report, the
Court's orders, and a copy of the most recent docket
sheet were received for Plaintiff at LCI by D. Eastrider on
September 18, 2017. (ECF No. 46).
carefully reviewing the applicable laws, the record in this
case, as well as the Report, this Court finds the Magistrate
Judge's recommendation fairly and accurately summarizes
the facts and applies the correct principles of law. The
Court adds to the Report's analysis that the United
States Supreme Court was acting within its jurisdiction in
denying Plaintiffs petition for a writ of certiorari and his
request for a rehearing. See 28 U.S.C. § 1257;
U.S. Sup. Ct. R. 10 (“Review on a writ of certiorari is
not a matter of right, but of judicial discretion.”).
Thus, it is protected by absolute judicial immunity.
Furthermore, Scott Harris, Clerk of Court for the United
States Supreme Court, was fulfilling an integral role in the
judicial process as a designee in sending letters to
Plaintiff notifying him of the denials of his petition and
request for rehearing. See Jarvis v. Chasanow, 448
F. App'x. 406 (4th Cir. 2011) (citing cases supporting
the fact that that quasi-judicial immunity is accorded to
individuals who play an integral part in the judicial process
and that clerk's office employees, acting as a
judge's designee, are entitled to the same).
the Court adopts and incorporates the Report and
Recommendation, as modified. (ECF No. 8). Therefore, this
Complaint is hereby summarily dismissed without prejudice and
without issuance and service of process because Defendants
are protected by judicial or quasi-judicial immunity.
IS SO ORDERED
 Plaintiff does not specify the manner
in which he brings this claim, and the Magistrate Judge
couches the same as brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. However, Defendants are either federal entities or
employees and, as such, it appears to be more appropriate
that this action is brought pursuant to Bivens v. Six
Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403
U.S. 388 (1971). Nonetheless, as the United States Supreme
Court stated in Harlow v. Fitzgerald, “it
would be ‘untenable to draw a distinction for purposes
of immunity law between suits brought against state officials
under § 1983 and suits brought directly under the
Constitution against federal officials.'” 457 U.S.
800, 818 n.30 (1982) ...