United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
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.
115) recommending that the Court grant in part, deny in part,
and find moot in part the Charleston County Sheriffs Office
Defendants' (the "CCSO Defendants") Motion
for Partial Judgment on the Pleadings. (Dkt. No. 103.)
Plaintiff filed objections to the R. & R. on November 20,
2017, and the CCSO Defendants filed a reply on December 4,
2017. (Dkt. Nos. 117, 119.) For the reasons set forth below,
the Court adopts the R. & R. as the order of the Court.
The CCSO Defendants' Motion for Partial Judgment on the
Pleadings is GRANTED as to Plaintiffs fourth, seventh, and
ninth causes of action, DENIED as to Plaintiffs eighth cause
of action, and found MOOT as to Plaintiffs twelfth cause of
Court adopts the relevant facts as outlined in the R. &
R. (Dkt. No. 115 at 1-4.)
Magistrate Judge'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). In
the absence of any specific objections to the Report and
Recommendation, "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).
Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings
12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings is assessed by
"applying the same standard ... as motions made pursuant
to Rule 12(b)(6)." Burbach Broad. Co. of Delaware v.
Elkins Radio Corp., 278 F.3d 401, 406 (4th Cir. 2002)
(citing Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231,
243 (4th Cir. 1999)). Rule 12(b)(6) permits the dismissal of
an action if the complaint fails "to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6).
Such a motion tests the legal sufficiency of the complaint
and "does not resolve contests surrounding the facts,
the merits of the claim, or the applicability of defenses. .
. . Our inquiry then is limited to whether the allegations
constitute 'a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.'"
Republican Party of N.C. v. Martin, 980 F.2d 943,
952 (4th Cir. 1992) (citation omitted). In a Rule 12(b)(6)
motion, the Court is obligated to "assume the truth of
all facts alleged in the complaint and the existence of any
fact that can be proved, consistent with the complaint's
allegations." E. Shore Mkts., Inc. v. J.D. Assocs.
Ltd. P'ship, 213 F.3d 175, 180 (4th Cir. 2000).
However, while the Court must accept the facts in a light
most favorable to the non-moving party, it "need not
accept as true unwarranted inferences, unreasonable
conclusions, or arguments." Id.
survive a motion to dismiss, the complaint must state
"enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face." Bell All Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Although the
requirement of plausibility does not impose a probability
requirement at this stage, the complaint must show more than
a "sheer possibility that a defendant has acted
unlawfully." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009). A complaint has "facial plausibility"
where the pleading "allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged." Id.
CCSO Defendants have moved for judgment on the pleadings on
Plaintiffs fourth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and twelfth causes
of action. (Dkt. No. 103.)