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Wilson v. National Bikers Roundup Inc.

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

April 27, 2018

JAMES A. WILSON, Plaintiff,
v.
NATIONAL BIKERS ROUNDUP INC.; COLUMBIA S.C. ROUNDUP COMMITTEE; ROZELL NUNN, d/b/a R&R Enterprise; ROZELL NUNN, individually; ALBERT BUTLER; and SHELDON MICKENS, Defendants.

          ORDER ADOPTING THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AS MODIFIED, AND GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT AND SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          MARY GEIGER LEWIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On December 8, 2015, Plaintiff James A. Wilson (Plaintiff) filed this copyright infringement action against Defendants National Bikers Roundup Inc. (NBR), Columbia S.C. Roundup Committee (CRC), Rozell Nunn, d/b/a R&R Enterprise (R&R), and Rozell Nunn, individually (Nunn). ECF No. 1. On February 10, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion to amend complaint seeking to add Albert Butler (Butler) and Sheldon Mickens (Mickens) as Defendants. ECF No. 48. The Court granted that motion, ECF No. 49, and Plaintiff filed his amended complaint, ECF No. 51.

         In an Order entered June 20, 2017, ECF No. 67, this Court adopted a Report and Recommendation filed May 12, 2017, ECF No. 57. That Order granted Plaintiff's motion for default judgment as to NBR and CRC, and granted Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment as to R&R and Nunn. ECF No. 67. The Court held NBR, CRC, R&R, and Nunn liable for willful violation of Plaintiff's copyright in the Wilson Design and awarded Plaintiff $150, 000 in statutory and enhanced damages, and $12, 500 in attorneys' fees against NBR, CRC, R&R, and Nunn; the total judgment of $162, 500 was made joint and several against those Defendants collectively. Id. Further, the Order granted Plaintiff's request for a permanent injunction; NBR, CRC, R&R, and Nunn were prohibited from “further copying, use, or distribution of the Wilson Design, and [were] required to destroy any shirt, souvenir, data file, or other materials containing the Wilson Design.” Id. at 4. The Order did not address Defendants Butler and Mickens.

         The matter is now before the Court for review of the second Report and Recommendation (Report) of the United States Magistrate Judge. Defendants Butler and Mickens are proceeding pro se. The Report suggests:

(1) Plaintiff's motion for default judgment against Butler be granted;
(2) Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment against Mickens be granted;
(3) summary judgment be entered against Defendants NBR, CRC, R&R, Nunn, Butler, and Mickens (collectively Defendants), and Defendants be found liable for willful violation of Plaintiff's copyright in the Wilson Design;
(4) Plaintiff be awarded $150, 000 in statutory and enhanced damages against Defendants, and judgment be made joint and several against Defendants collectively;
(5) Plaintiff's request for a permanent injunction be granted, and Butler and Mickens be permanently enjoined from further copying, use, or distribution of the Wilson Design, and be required to destroy any shirt, souvenir, data file, or other materials containing the Wilson Design; and
(6) Plaintiff be awarded $10, 000 in attorneys' fees against Butler and Mickens, jointly and severally.

         The Report was made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local Civil Rule 73.02 for the District of South Carolina.

         The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this 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 (1976). The Court is charged with making a de novo determination of those portions of the Report 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 with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

         The Court need not conduct a de novo review, however, “when a party makes general and conclusory objections that do not direct the [C]ourt to a specific error in the [Magistrate Judge's] proposed findings and recommendations.” Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b). Thus, the Court will address each specific objection to the Report in turn. As provided above, however, the Court need not-and will not-address any arguments that fail to point the Court to alleged specific errors the Magistrate Judge made in the Report.

         “A document filed pro se is ‘to be liberally construed.'” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)). Courts are not, however, required to “conjure up questions never squarely presented to them” or seek out ...


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