United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
BRYAN HARWELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Cody Thomas Toomer, brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 for malicious prosecution, and state law claims
for intentional infliction of emotional distress and
malicious prosecution. Pending before the Court is
Defendants' [ECF No. 27] motion for summary judgment.
matter is before the court with the Report and Recommendation
[ECF No. 44] of Magistrate Judge Thomas E. Rogers, III filed
on January 29, 2018. The Magistrate Judge recommended that
Defendants' motion for summary judgment be granted as to
the § 1983 malicious prosecution claim because Plaintiff
could not establish that the charges were terminated in
Plaintiff's favor. The Magistrate Judge recommended the
remaining state law claims be remanded to state court under
28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3).
timely filed Objections [ECF No. 45] to the Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation.
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to the Court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The
responsibility to make a final determination remains with the
Court. 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 R & R to which
specific objection is made, and the Court may accept, reject,
or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of the
Magistrate Judge, or recommit the matter to the Magistrate
Judge with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
right to de novo review may be waived by the failure
to file timely objections. Orpiano v. Johnson, 687
F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). 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's
proposed findings and recommendations.” Id.
Moreover, in the absence of objections to the R & R, the
Court is not required to give any explanation for adopting
the recommendation. Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198,
199 (4th Cir. 1983). However, in the absence of objections,
the Court must “‘satisfy itself that there is no
clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the
recommendation.'” Diamond v. Colonial Life
& Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir.
2005) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory committee's
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a) (2010). “A party asserting that a
fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support the
assertion by: (A) citing to particular parts of materials in
the record . . .; or (B) showing that the materials cited do
not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute,
or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence
to support the fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). When no
genuine issue of any material fact exists, summary judgment
is appropriate. See Shealy v. Winston, 929 F.2d
1009, 1011 (4th Cir. 1991). The facts and inferences to be
drawn from the evidence must be viewed in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party. Id. However,
"the mere existence of some alleged factual
dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise
properly supported motion for summary judgment; the
requirement is that there be no genuine issue of
material fact." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986).
the moving party has met [its] burden, the nonmoving party
must come forward with some evidence beyond the mere
allegations contained in the pleadings to show that there is
a genuine issue for trial." Baber v. Hospital Corp.
of Am., 977 F.2d 872, 874-75 (4th Cir. 1992). The
nonmoving party may not rely on beliefs, conjecture,
unsupported speculation, or conclusory allegations to defeat
a motion for summary judgment. See Baber, 977 F.2d
at 875. Rather, the nonmoving party is required to
submit evidence of specific facts by way of affidavits,
depositions, interrogatories, or admissions to demonstrate
the existence of a genuine and material factual issue for
trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322
Magistrate Judge recommended that summary judgment be granted
as to Plaintiff's § 1983 malicious prosecution claim
because Plaintiff could not establish that his charges were
terminated in his favor. Plaintiff was arrested pursuant to
an arrest warrant for disturbing schools. The parties do not
dispute that the charges against Plaintiff were dismissed.
However, the Magistrate Judge found the Plaintiff failed to
present sufficient evidence to create an issue of fact as to
whether Plaintiff's charges were dismissed for reasons
consistent with Plaintiff's innocence.
state such a claim [for malicious prosecution], a plaintiff
must allege that the defendant (1) caused (2) a seizure of
the plaintiff pursuant to legal process unsupported by
probable cause, and (3) criminal proceedings terminated in
plaintiff's favor." Evans v. Chalmers, 703
F.3d 636, 647 (4th Cir. 2012) (citing Lambert v.
Williams, 223 F.3d 257, 261 (4th Cir.2000), Durham
v. Horner, 690 F.3d 183, 188 (4th Cir.2012)) (internal
McKenney v. Jack Eckerd Co., 304 S.C. 21, 402 S.E.2d
887 (S.C. 1991), the South Carolina Supreme Court held that
“where an accused establishes that charges were
nolle prossed for reasons which imply or are
consistent with innocence, an action for malicious
prosecution may be maintained.” 402 S.E.2d at 888. The
Fourth Circuit has also indicated that malicious prosecution
plaintiffs have the "affirmative burden of proving that
the nolle prosequi was entered under circumstances