United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
Bryan Harwell United States District Judge
Keith Adger Smyth, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed
this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See
ECF No. 1. The matter is before the Court for consideration
of Plaintiff's objections to the Report and
Recommendation (“R & R”) of United States
Magistrate Judge Paige J. Gossett, who recommends summarily
dismissing Plaintiff's complaint without
prejudice. See ECF Nos. 9 & 11.
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to the Court.
The Magistrate Judge's recommendation has no presumptive
weight, and the responsibility to make a final determination
remains with the Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S.
261, 270-71 (1976). The Court must conduct a de novo review
of those portions of the R & R to which specific
objections are made, and it 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); Fed. R. Civ. 72(b).
Court must engage in a de novo review of every portion of the
Magistrate Judge's report to which objections have been
filed. Id. However, the Court need not conduct a de
novo review when a party makes only “general and
conclusory objections that do not direct the [C]ourt to a
specific error in the [M]agistrate [Judge]'s proposed
findings and recommendations.” Orpiano v.
Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982). In the absence
of specific objections to the R & R, the Court reviews
only for clear error, Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc.
Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005), and the
Court need not give any explanation for adopting the
Magistrate Judge's recommendation. Camby v.
Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199-200 (4th Cir. 1983).
complaint, Plaintiff sues SCDC Director Bryan Stirling (the sole
defendant) in his official capacity, generally alleging the
conditions of the prison worsen when there is a
“lockdown.” See ECF No. 1. The
Magistrate Judge recommends summarily dismissing
Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b) because it seeks monetary relief
against a defendant who is immune from such relief and
because it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted. See R & R at pp. 2-5. Plaintiff has
filed objections asserting “[t]his complaint is true .
. ., and I haven't fail[ed] to state a claim, ” and
asking the Court “not to dismiss my lawsuit.”
See ECF No. 11. He has also submitted several inmate
grievance forms with his objections. See ECF No.
the Court notes that Plaintiff does not object to the
Magistrate Judge's conclusion that Defendant Stirling is
immune from suit for damages under the Eleventh Amendment,
and that he does not specifically object to the
Magistrate Judge's conclusion that he fails to state an
Eighth Amendment claim. The Court reiterates that absent a
specific objection, it need only review the R & R for
clear error and need not explain its reason for adopting the
R & R. See Diamond, 416 F.3d at 315;
Camby, 718 F.2d at 199-200. Nevertheless, the Court
has conducted a de novo review of the R & R and agrees
with the Magistrate Judge's conclusions.
the Court notes that the Magistrate Judge identified
deficiencies that Plaintiff could potentially remedy by
filing an amended complaint, and that Plaintiff has provided
more particularized information with his objections (by way
of the inmate grievance forms, some of which are dated after
the date his complaint was signed). Accordingly, the Court
will provide Plaintiff an opportunity to amend his complaint
before dismissing this action. See generally Fed. R.
Civ. P. 15(a)(2) (“The court should freely give leave
[to amend] when justice so requires.”); see,
e.g., Breyan v. All Med. Staff, 691 Fed.Appx.
102 (4th Cir. 2017) (noting the pro se plaintiff failed to
name a proper defendant in his § 1983 complaint”
and “remand[ing] the case to the district court with
instructions to allow [the plaintiff] to amend his
complaint” (citing Goode v. Cent. Va. Legal Aid
Soc'y, Inc., 807 F.3d 619, 623-24 (4th Cir. 2015),
and Domino Sugar Corp. v. Sugar Workers Local Union
392, 10 F.3d 1064, 1066-67 (4th Cir. 1993))).
To comply with the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, any amended complaint must identify the legal
claims that Plaintiff asserts against any defendant and the
factual basis for holding any such defendant liable. Failure
to do so may result in the case being
the foregoing reasons, the Court DECLINES to
adopt the R & R [ECF No. 9] at this time and
GRANTS Plaintiff leave to file an amended
complaint. Plaintiff may file any amended
complaint within fifteen (15) days of the date of this
Order. The Court RECOMMITS
this matter to the Magistrate Judge for further pretrial
handling and screening of any amended complaint.
IS SO ORDERED.