Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Workman v. Lewis

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division

December 4, 2017

Olandio Ray Workman, Plaintiff,
v.
Sheriff Lewis, Robert Joseph Perry, Mayor Knox White, and J U Kalu, Defendants.

          ORDER

          R. Bryan Harwell United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Olandio Ray Workman, a state pretrial detainee proceeding pro se, filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the above-captioned Defendants. See ECF No. 1. The matter is before the Court for consideration of Plaintiff's objections to the Report and Recommendation (“R & R”) of United States Magistrate Judge Kevin F. McDonald, who recommends summarily dismissing this action without prejudice.[1] See ECF Nos. 8 & 10.

         Standard of Review

         The 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. § 636(b)(1).

         The Court must engage in a de novo review of every portion of the Magistrate Judge's report to which specific 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).

         Discussion[2]

          Plaintiff, a state pretrial detainee being held at the Greenville County Detention Center, has filed this § 1983 action against the sheriff of Greenville County (defendant Lewis), the mayor of Greenville (defendant Knox White), and two Greenville County investigators (defendants Robert Joseph Perry and J U Kalu). See ECF No. 1. The Magistrate Judge has reviewed Plaintiff's complaint, as well as public records, [3] and determined that Plaintiff seems to allege he was charged with threatening the life of a public official in retaliation for the lawsuits he has filed.[4] See R & R at pp. 1-2 (citing ECF No. 1 at pp. 5-6, 9). That criminal charge is pending in state court. See Footnote 3, supra. The Magistrate Judge recommends summarily dismissing this action because (1) Plaintiff fails to allege the second element of a First Amendment retaliation claim;[5] (2) regarding any claim for false arrest, public records indicate there exists a valid indictment for the charge of threatening the life of a public official; and (3) Plaintiff fails to provide any specific factual allegations against Defendants White and Lewis to establish personal or supervisory liability against them. R & R at pp. 3-5.

         Although Plaintiff lodges several objections to the R & R, [6] see ECF No. 10, the Court finds Plaintiff's claims fail not only for the reasons set forth in the R & R but also for an additional reason not discussed in the R & R-namely, that this Court should abstain from hearing this action pursuant to the Younger[7] abstention doctrine. The Court finds Younger abstention is appropriate because (1) Plaintiff is involved in ongoing state criminal proceedings (2) that implicate important state interests, and because (3) Plaintiff has an adequate opportunity to raise his federal claims in the state proceedings. See Sprint Commc'ns, Inc. v. Jacobs, 134 S.Ct. 584 (2013) (addressing the appropriate grounds for Younger abstention); Robinson v. Thomas, 855 F.3d 278, 285 (4th Cir. 2017) (summarizing the three Younger criteria). By alleging (in his complaint and objections) that Defendants Perry and Kalu violated his First Amendment rights by criminally charging him (with threatening the life of a public official) in retaliation for his lawsuits, and that Defendants Lewis and White condoned this activity, Plaintiff is effectively asking this Court to intervene in a pending state criminal matter. He is also seeking such intervention by asking the Court to “dismiss all charges” and to “clean [his] arrest record.” ECF No. 10 at p. 3. See, e.g., Bradley v. Salisbury Police Dep't, 2013 WL 6592489 (D. Md. Dec. 13, 2013) (summarily dismissing a complaint “requesting punitive, monetary, and injunctive, declaratory relief” based on Younger abstention where the plaintiff was involved in ongoing state criminal proceedings), aff'd, 562 F. App'x 166 (4th Cir. 2014) (“[W]e affirm for the reasons stated by the district court.”).

         Moreover, Plaintiff has not made a showing of “extraordinary circumstances” justifying federal interference with the state proceedings. See Robinson, 855 F.3d at 286 (“A federal court may disregard Younger's mandate to abstain from interfering with ongoing state proceedings only where ‘extraordinary circumstances' exist that present the possibility of irreparable harm.”). Accordingly, the Court modifies the R & R to reflect this additional reason for dismissal, and overrules Plaintiff's objections.

         Conclusion

          For the foregoing reasons, the Court overrules Plaintiff's objections, adopts the R & R [ECF No. 8] as modified herein, and DISMISSES this action without prejudice and without issuance and service of process.[8]

         IT IS SO ORDERED.

---------


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.