United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
Michael J. Cline, #156213, a/k/a Michael James Cline, Plaintiff,
Horry County Solicitor's Office, O'Neal Law Firm, Defendants.
OPINION & ORDER
M. Herlong, Jr. Senior United States District Judge
matter is before the court with the Report and Recommendation
of United States Magistrate Judge Jacquelyn D. Austin, made
in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Civil
Rule 73.02 of the District of South Carolina. Michael J. Cline
(“Cline”), proceeding pro se, alleges a violation
of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Cline files this action in forma
pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Cline alleges that he
was improperly charged, convicted, and sentenced for first
degree burglary based on a previously vacated conviction.
(Compl. 6, ECF No. 1.) In her Report and Recommendation,
Magistrate Judge Austin recommends dismissing this case
without prejudice and without issuance of service of process
because Cline's claims are barred by Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). (R&R 4-6, ECF No.
13.) Further, even if Heck did not bar Cline's
claims, the magistrate judge finds that Cline has failed to
name a party that is amendable to suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983.
(Id. at 6-9, ECF No. 13.)
filed objections to the Report and Recommendation. Objections
to the Report and Recommendation must be specific. Failure to
file specific objections constitutes a waiver of a
party's right to further judicial review, including
appellate review, if the recommendation is accepted by the
district judge. See United States v. Schronce, 727
F.2d 91, 94 & n.4 (4th Cir. 1984). In the absence of
specific objections to the Report and Recommendation
of the magistrate judge, this court is not required to give
any explanation for adopting the recommendation. See
Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983).
review, the court finds that many of Cline's objections
are non-specific, unrelated to the dispositive portions of
the magistrate judge's Report and Recommendation, or
merely restate his claims. However, the court was able to
glean one specific objection. Cline objects that the
magistrate judge erred in finding that absolute immunity
applied to a solicitor in the Horry County Solicitor's
Office. (Obj. 1-3, ECF No. 15.) The court concludes that this
objection is meritless.
1983 provides a cause of action against any person who
deprives an individual of federally guaranteed rights
‘under color' of state law.” Filarsky v.
Delia, 566 U.S. 377, 383 (2012) (quoting 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983). “Anyone whose conduct is ‘fairly
attributable to the state' can be sued as a state actor
under § 1983.” Id. Cline alleges that a
solicitor from the Horry County Solicitor's Office is
guilty of prosecutorial misconduct. (Compl. 6, ECF No. 1.)
However, any actions taken by the solicitor in preparing a
criminal charge and prosecuting the case against Cline were
part of the judicial process. Prosecutors have absolute
immunity for actions performed as “an officer of the
court” where the conduct at issue was closely
associated with the judicial phase of the criminal process.
Van de Kamp v. Goldstein, 555 U.S. 335, 340-43
(2009); see also Buckley v. Fitzsimmons, 509 U.S.
259, 273 (1993) (“[A]cts undertaken by a prosecutor in
preparing for the initiation of judicial proceedings or for
trial, and which occur in the course of his role as an
advocate for the State, are entitled to the protections of
absolute immunity.”); Mitchell v. Forsyth, 472
U.S. 511, 526 (1985) (absolute immunity is
“immunity from suit rather than a mere defense
to liability”); Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S.
409, 430 (1976) (prosecutors have immunity in performing
functions “intimately associated with the judicial
phase of the criminal process”); Dababnah v.
Keller-Burnside, 208 F.3d 467, 470 (4th Cir. 2000).
on the foregoing, any solicitor or assistant solicitor within
the Horry County Solicitor's Office has absolute immunity
under § 1983. Therefore, after a thorough review of the
Report and Recommendation and the record in this case, the
court adopts Magistrate Judge Austin's Report and
Recommendation and incorporates it herein by reference.
that Cline's complaint, docket number 1, is dismissed
without prejudice and without issuance and service of
IS SO ORDERED.
OF RIGHT TO APPEAL
is hereby notified that he has the right to appeal this order
within thirty (30) days from the date hereof, pursuant to
Rules 3 and 4 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.
 The recommendation has no presumptive
weight, and the responsibility for making a final
determination remains with the United States District Court.
See 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 Report and Recommendation to which
specific objection is made. The court may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation made ...