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Harriot v. Waizenhofer

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

April 18, 2018

Michael Owen Harriot, #96039-071, Plaintiff,
v.
Robert Waizenhofer, FBI; Scarlet Wilson; Herbert Louthian, Esq.; and Nathaniel Roberson, Defendants.

          ORDER

          JOSEPH F. ANDERSON, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         The pro se[1] Plaintiff, Michael Harriot (“Plaintiff”), is an inmate incarcerated in the Federal Correctional Institution in Estill, South Carolina. On February 23, 2018, he filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of his constitutional rights by the above-captioned defendants. Plaintiff filed this action in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915.[2] In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(d), (D.S.C.), the case was referred to a Magistrate Judge for Review.

         The Magistrate Judge assigned to this action[3] prepared a thorough Report and Recommendation (“Report”) and opines that this action should be dismissed without prejudice and without issuance and service of process. (ECF No. 7 p. 2). The Report sets forth, in detail, the relevant facts and standards of law on this matter, and this Court incorporates those facts and standards without a recitation. Plaintiff filed objections to the Report on March 15, 2018. (ECF No. 10). Plaintiff subsequently filed a supplement to his Objections on April 13, 2018. (ECF No. 11). Therefore, this matter is ripe for review.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         A district court is only required to conduct a de novo review of the specific portions of the Magistrate Judge's Report to which an objection is made. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); Carniewski v. W. Virginia Bd. of Prob. & Parole, 974 F.2d 1330 (4th Cir. 1992). In the absence of specific objections to portions of the Magistrate's Report, this Court is not required to give an explanation for adopting the recommendation. See Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983). Thus, the Court must only review those portions of the Report to which Plaintiff has made a specific written objection. Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 316 (4th Cir. 2005).

         “An objection is specific if it ‘enables the district judge to focus attention on those issues-factual and legal-that are at the heart of the parties' dispute.'” Dunlap v. TM Trucking of the Carolinas, LLC, No. 0:15-cv-04009-JMC, 2017 WL 6345402, at *5 n.6 (D.S.C. Dec. 12, 2017) (citing One Parcel of Real Prop. Known as 2121 E. 30th St., 73 F.3d 1057, 1059 (10th Cir. 1996)). A specific objection to the Magistrate's Report thus requires more than a reassertion of arguments from the Complaint or a mere citation to legal authorities. See Workman v. Perry, No. 6:17-cv-00765-RBH, 2017 WL 4791150, at *1 (D.S.C. Oct. 23, 2017). A specific objection must “direct the court to a specific error in the magistrate's proposed findings and recommendations.” Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982).

         “Generally stated, nonspecific objections have the same effect as would a failure to object.” Staley v. Norton, No. 9:07-0288-PMD, 2007 WL 821181, at *1 (D.S.C. Mar. 2, 2007) (citing Howard v. Secretary of Health and Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991)). The Court reviews portions “not objected to-including those portions to which only ‘general and conclusory' objections have been made-for clear error.” Id. (citing Diamond, 416 F.3d at 315; Camby, 718 F.2d at 200; Orpiano, 687 F.2d at 47) (emphasis added).

         III. ANALYSIS

         In his objections, Plaintiff merely repeats arguments from his Complaint (ECF No. 1), which the Magistrate addressed fully in her Report (ECF No. 7). Moreover, Plaintiff cites to legal authorities without providing the Court with facts to connect the authorities to the present case. Repetitions of prior arguments the Magistrate has already addressed and citations to legal authority are not enough to constitute a specific objection. See Workman, 2017 WL 4791150, at *1; Orpiano, 687 F.2d at 47. In the absence of specific objections to portions of the Report, this Court is not required to give an explanation for adopting the Magistrate's recommendation. See Camby, 718 F.2d at 199. Nevertheless, because Plaintiff is pro se, this Court will address each of his arguments in turn.

         A. Objection 1

         In his first objection, Plaintiff objects to the Magistrate's finding that Plaintiff's claims against Wilson are barred by prosecutorial immunity. (ECF No. 7 p. 5). Specifically, Plaintiff states that Wilson “deliberately concealed Plaintiff's arrest without a warrant” and that he “submitted false statements of facts in a criminal complaint.” (ECF No. 10 p. 8). Plaintiff also argues that the arrest warrant was not supported by probable cause. Plaintiff made these same arguments in his Complaint. (ECF No. 1 p. 7-9). A specific objection to the Magistrate's Report requires more than a reassertion of arguments from the Complaint or mere citation to legal authorities. See Workman v. Perry, No. 6:17-cv-00765-RBH, 2017 WL 4791150, at *1 (D.S.C. Oct. 23, 2017). Plaintiff's first objection does not constitute a specific objection because he merely reasserts arguments from his Complaint. Therefore, Plaintiff's first objection is unfounded, and it requires no further explanation.

         B. Objection 2

         Plaintiff second objection is “that the Defendants' knowingly and willfully did combine, confederate and agree together, ‘conspire' as well as each defendants acted individually and in his/her officially capacity” and that “Louthian and Roberson conspire with Wilson and Waizenhofer who acted under color of federal law.” (ECF No. 10 p. 9). Plaintiff has provided no facts to support his assertion. He has merely made a conclusory allegation. A conclusory allegation does not ...


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