United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division
CAMERON MCGOWAN CURRIE Senior United States District Judge
matter is before the court on Plaintiff's complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violation of his
constitutional rights in the state court where his criminal
charges are being adjudicated. ECF No. 1. In accordance with
28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule 73.02 (B)(2)(d),
D.S.C., the matter was referred to United States Magistrate
Judge Paige J. Gossett for pre-trial proceedings. On April 5,
2018, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report recommending this
matter be summarily dismissed without prejudice, and without
issuance and service of process. ECF No. 7. The Magistrate
Judge advised Plaintiff of the procedures and requirements
for filing objections to the Report and the serious
consequences if he failed to do so. Plaintiff filed
objections on April 13, 2018. ECF No. 10.
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the
responsibility to make a final determination remains with the
court. See Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261 (1976).
The court is charged with making a de novo determination of
any portion of the Report of the Magistrate Judge to which a
specific objection is made. The court may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation made by the
Magistrate Judge or recommit the matter to the Magistrate
Judge with instructions. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b).
considering de novo the record, the applicable law,
the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, and
Plaintiff's objections, the court agrees with the
Report's recommendation that the Complaint be dismissed.
Complaint, Plaintiff alleges he was arrested in Richland
County on July 3, 2014, and charged with harassment and
threatening the use of a destructive device against the
Richland County Judicial Center. ECF No. 1 at
Plaintiff was released on bond on October 3, 2014 and
indicted on November 12, 2014. Id. Although trials
were set for December 7, 2015 and May 31, 2016, neither
occurred. Instead, the state requested a competency
examination and this was granted on July 21, 2016.
Id. Plaintiff's bond was revoked, and he
submitted to a competency examination on August 1, 2016.
After the examination, Plaintiff states the trial court
refused to release him on bond, and did not set a competency
hearing date. On May 22, 2017, Judge McMahon held a hearing
on Plaintiff's pro se motion, relieved his
defense counsel, and appointed new counsel. Id. at
12. On August 31, 2017, Judge Newman held a hearing on
Plaintiff's motion for reinstatement of bond, which was
denied. Id. A competency hearing was held
on February 2, 2018, and Plaintiff was found competent to
stand trial. Id. at 14. A trial date was set for the
week of June 11, 2018. Id.
filed a Petition for Original Jurisdiction and for
Declaratory Judgment and Motion to Relieve Counsel in the
South Carolina Supreme Court in January 2018. Id. at
13. The Supreme Court requested the State file a return,
which it did on February 22, 2018, and, according to
Plaintiff, the Petition was dismissed. Id. at 15.
lodges mostly factual objections to the Report, noting facts
he alleges were left out of the Report and therefore
“should be deemed admitted.” ECF No. 9. He argues
all judicial officers of the South Carolina Fifth Circuit
trial court should be disqualified from his state court
matter due to his alleged threat against the courthouse.
Id. at 3. He contends the state trial court is
violating his rights to Due Process and Equal Protection by
refusing to order his release on bond following completion of
his competency evaluation on August 1, 2016. Id. at
4-5. Regarding his claims, Plaintiff states he has alleged
numerous civil rights allegations and seeks to dismiss his
indictments, prevent his prosecution, and release from
“unlawful detention.” Id. He alleges he
has suffered irreparable injury and has no adequate remedy at
law in state court. He notes “[a]ll of the within
matters were raised to the South Carolina Supreme Court No.
2018-000025.” Id. Plaintiff contends the
judicial officers of the state trial court should be
disqualified, and thus are not protected by judicial
immunity. Id. at 8.
court finds Plaintiff's objections unavailing. The court
has reviewed the facts as submitted by Plaintiff, who has
alleged constitutional violations. However, relief for these
alleged violations is not available in this court for the
reasons stated by the Magistrate Judge. To the extent
Plaintiff seeks a writ of habeas corpus, he cannot obtain
dismissal of an indictment or prevention of prosecution
through these means. This court will not interfere with a
state criminal prosecution due to the prohibition in
Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971). Although
Plaintiff alleges he is unable to raise these issues in state
court because his appointed counsel refuses to do so, and he
cannot do so pro se due to the prohibition on hybrid
representation, Plaintiff has in fact raised these issues at
the state trial and appellate levels. To the extent Plaintiff
seeks damages against the Defendants that is precluded by
judicial and prosecutorial immunity.
the court adopts the Report by reference in this Order.
Plaintiff's claims for equitable and injunctive relief
are dismissed without prejudice. All claims for damages
against Defendants are dismissed with prejudice because they
are immune from suit.
IS SO ORDERED.
 The page No. cited correspond to the
ones assigned at filing in the ECF system.
 Plaintiff alleges he has been
improperly held without bond after his competency examination