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.

Strickland v. WSPA TV News 7

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

March 7, 2018

Cale Marcus Strickland, Plaintiff,
v.
WSPA TV News 7, Curt Varner, Robert Romine, Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Kevin F. McDonald United States Magistrate Judge

         The plaintiff, proceeding pro se, seeks relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d) (D.S.C.), this magistrate judge is authorized to review all pretrial matters in cases filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and submit findings and recommendations to the District Court.

         BACKGROUND

         The plaintiff filed this defamation action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that an article was published by WSPA TV News 7 that was false, and that the “material has had a damaging attire on the area of life I walk around.” (doc. 1 at 5). All of the defendants are located in South Carolina (id., at 2). The plaintiff seeks damages of $1, 650, 000.00 (id. at 6).

         DISCUSSION

         The plaintiff filed this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, the in forma pauperis statute. This statute authorizes the District Court to dismiss a case if it is satisfied that the action “fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted, ” is “frivolous or malicious, ” or “seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). As a pro se litigant, the plaintiff's pleadings are accorded liberal construction and held to a less stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by attorneys. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89 (2007) (per curiam). However, even under this less stringent standard, the pro se pleading remains subject to summary dismissal. The requirement of liberal construction does not mean that the Court can ignore a clear failure in the pleading to allege facts which set forth a claim cognizable in a federal district court. See Weller v. Dep't of Soc. Servs., 901 F.2d 387 (4th Cir. 1990).

         This complaint is filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, which “‘is not itself a source of substantive rights, ' but merely provides ‘a method for vindicating federal rights elsewhere conferred.'” Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994) (quoting Baker v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 144 n. 3 (1979)). A civil action under § 1983 “creates a private right of action to vindicate violations of ‘rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws' of the United States.” Rehberg v. Paulk, 132 S.Ct. 1497, 1501 (2012). To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two essential elements: (1) that a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States was violated, and (2) that the alleged violation was committed by a person acting under the color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988).

         The complaint should be dismissed for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted. The plaintiff cannot bring his defamation claim in this federal court pursuant to § 1983. An alleged act of defamation of character or injury to reputation is not actionable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693, 697-710 & n. 3-4 (1976). Civil rights statutes, such as 42 U.S.C. § 1983, do not impose liability for violations of duties of care arising under a state's tort law. DeShaney v. Winnebago Cty. Dep't of Soc. Serv., 489 U.S. 189, 200-03 (1989).

         Further, state law claims of defamation and slander are actionable in this Court only if diversity jurisdiction is satisfied. See Cent. W.Va. Energy Co. v. Mountain State Carbon, LLC, 636 F.3d 101, 103 (4th Cir. 2011). With the exception of certain class actions, the diversity statute requires complete diversity of parties and an amount in controversy in excess of seventy-five thousand dollars ($75, 000.00). See id.; 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). Complete diversity of parties in a case means that the citizenship of every plaintiff must be different from the citizenship of every defendant. Central West Virginia Energy Co., 636 F.3d at 103. Here, the plaintiff alleges that all of the parties are domiciled in South Carolina (doc. 10). Thus, complete diversity is lacking, and this Court has no diversity jurisdiction over this action.

         RECOMMENDATION

         It is recommended that the District Court dismiss this action without prejudice. The plaintiff's attention is directed to the important notice on the next page.

         IT IS SO RECOMMENDED.

         Notice of Right to File Objections to Report and Recommendation

         The parties are advised that they may file specific written objections to this Report and Recommendation with the District Judge. Objections must specifically identify the portions of the Report and Recommendation to which objections are made and the basis for such objections. “[I]n the absence of a timely filed objection, 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 ...


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.