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South Carolina Department of Social Services v. Capers

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

December 19, 2017

South Carolina Department of Social Services, Plaintiff,
v.
Samuel Capers, Defendant.

          ORDER AND OPINION

         This matter is before the court pursuant to Magistrate Judge Shiva V. Hodges' Report and Recommendation (“Report”) for sua sponte remand filed on June 9, 2017, recommending that the case be remanded to state court (ECF No. 8). Defendant Samuel Capers, proceeding pro se, filed an objection. (ECF No. 11.) For the reasons set forth below, the court ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation to sua sponte REMAND this action to state court (ECF No. 8).

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On May 31, 2017, Defendant filed a Notice of Removal that purports to remove a child support enforcement action from the Allendale County Family Court in Allendale, South Carolina, Case No. 2013-DR-0095.[1] (ECF No. 1.) Defendant alleges removal of the action “for a right to review pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 702 because the Allendale County Family Court is an administrative court that has injured and/or [is] in the process of injuring [him].” (ECF No. 12.) The federal questions that Defendant alleges in his removal are:

1. “Can a corporation or entity bring charges/suit(s) against an American National State Citizen?
2. Are the Orders of an Administrative Court enforceable?
3. Is Title 22 U.S.C §§ 611-612 still applicable in the United States?
4. Does a Court have subject matter jurisdiction when the party that it is suing does not have authority to sue (right standing to sue)?”

(Id.) Defendant also claims that the court has jurisdiction under diversity citizenship pursuant to the theory that his citizenship is one of a “private American National citizen” generally, but not of South Carolina specifically. (Id.)

         On June 9, 2017, after considering Defendant's allegations, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report recommending that this court remand the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (ECF No. 8.)

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         The Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation is made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Civil Rule 73.02 for the District of South Carolina. The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this court. The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The responsibility to make a final determination remains with this court. See Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). The court is charged with making a de novo determination of those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which specific objection is made, and the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the Magistrate Judge's recommendation or recommit the matter with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

         Any party may remove a state court action to federal district court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441 where the state action would have been originally filed there. See Darcongelo v. Verizon Commc'ns, Inc., 292 F.3d 181, 186 (4th Cir. 2002). A case may be originally filed in a federal district court either under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 for diversity of citizenship and an amount in controversy greater than $75, 000.00 or under 28 U.S.C § 1331 where it arises under a federal question. A federal court should remand the case to state court where no federal subject matter jurisdiction is evident from the face of the Notice of Removal or any state court pleadings provided. Ellenburg v. Spartan Motor Chassis, Inc., 519 F.3d 192, 196 (4th Cir. 2008). Courts of this circuit have held that removal statutes favor remand where possible and are construed against removal jurisdiction. See, e.g., Cheshire v. Coca-Cola Bottling Affiliated, Inc., 758 F.Supp. 1098, 1102 (D.S.C. 1990); Bellone v. Roxbury Homes, Inc., 748 F.Supp. 434, 436 (W.D. Va. 1990). Where subject matter jurisdiction is at issue, “courts are obligated to consider sua sponte issues.” Gonzalez v. Thaler, 565 U.S. 134, 141 (2012).

         III. ANALYSIS

         The parties were advised of their right to file objections to the Report and Recommendation. (ECF No. 8 at 5.) On June 23, 2017, Defendant filed objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation. (ECF No. 11.) In his objections, Defendant essentially restates his position in his Complaint regarding his status as ...


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