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Strickland v. Turner

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

March 23, 2018

Glen Strickland, Jr., Plaintiff,
Lt. Troy Turner, Ofc. Mark Keaney, Ofc. Robert Forrest, Ofc. Luke McConnell, Sgt. Dehlem Compagna, Ofc. Marshall Stowers, and Sgt. Amber Morgan, Defendants.



         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Glen Strickland, Jr.'s objections to United States Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant's Report and Recommendation (“R & R”) (ECF Nos. 149 & 146). Plaintiff's motion requesting additional items (ECF No. 150) and Defendants' motion for a protective order (ECF No. 151) are also before the Court. For the reasons stated herein, the Court adopts the R & R, grants Defendants' motion for summary judgment, denies Plaintiff's motion for additional items, denies Defendants' motion for a protective order as moot, and dismisses this case.


         Plaintiff filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action on January 21, 2015, and amended his claim on June 3, 2015. Defendants filed their motion for summary judgment on November 6, 2017. On December 4, Plaintiff requested an extension to respond since he had not been able to review the motion and attached materials. On December 5, the Magistrate Judge granted the extension. On December 11, the Magistrate Judge updated the deadline to January 11, 2018. Plaintiff did not respond. On January 26, the Magistrate Judge issued his R & R. Plaintiff objected on February 9 and Defendants did not reply.

         In addition, Plaintiff filed a motion requesting additional items on February 9. Then on February 23, Defendants filed a motion for a protective order. Neither party responded to the other party's motions. Accordingly, these matters are now ripe for review.


         The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court. The R & R has no presumptive weight, and the responsibility for making a final determination remains with the Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). Parties may make written objections to the R & R within fourteen days after being served with a copy of it. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). This Court must conduct a de novo review of any portion of the R & R to which a specific objection is made, and it may accept, reject, or modify the Magistrate Judge's findings and recommendations in whole or in part. Id. Additionally, the Court may receive more evidence or recommit the matter to the Magistrate Judge with instructions. Id. A party's failure to object is taken as the party's agreement with the Magistrate Judge's conclusions. See Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985). Absent a timely, specific objection-or as to those portions of the R & R to which no specific objection is made-this Court “must ‘only 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 note).


         The Court first addresses Plaintiff's objections, then turns to an exhaustion issue not resolved in the R & R and the two pending motions. To grant a motion for summary judgment, a court must find that “there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The judge is not to weigh the evidence but rather must determine if there is a genuine issue for trial. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). All evidence should be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Perini Corp. v. Perini Constr., Inc., 915 F.2d 121, 124 (4th Cir. 1990). “[I]t is ultimately the nonmovant's burden to persuade [the court] that there is indeed a dispute of material fact. It must provide more than a scintilla of evidence-and not merely conclusory allegations or speculation-upon which a jury could properly find in its favor.” CoreTel Va., LLC v. Verizon Va., LLC, 752 F.3d 364, 370 (4th Cir. 2014) (citations omitted).

         I. Objections to the R & R

         As a preliminary matter, Plaintiff argues that he mailed a response to the motion for summary judgment on December 13. Plaintiff alleges that the Magistrate Judge never received this response because there was “likely a deliberate act.” (Pl.'s Obj. to R & R, ECF No. 149, at 1.) Other than the fact that no response was received, the Court has no evidence that anyone interfered with the processing of Plaintiff's alleged response. In any event, the Magistrate Judge thoroughly examined Plaintiff's previous filings in making his recommendation. In Plaintiff's objection to the R & R, he includes a copy of the response he allegedly mailed on December 13. The Court has thoroughly reviewed this material as part of Plaintiff's objections.

         A. Factual Background

         Plaintiff objects that the factual background does not include an incident that allegedly occurred on May 16, 2016. This incident occurred over a year after Plaintiff filed his Complaint and thus has no bearing on the present proceedings.

         B. ...

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