United States District Court, D. South Carolina
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
F. McDonald United States Magistrate Judge
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
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).
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
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).
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,
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.
recommended that the District Court dismiss this action
without prejudice. The plaintiff's attention is
directed to the important notice on the next page.
of Right to File Objections to Report and
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 ...