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Bell v. SDH Education East LLC

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

July 30, 2018

Mary I. Bell, Plaintiff,
v.
SDH Education East LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. United States District Judge

         Mary I. Bell (Plaintiff) filed this civil action in state court, alleging job-related discrimination claims against SDH Education East, LLC a/k/a Sodexo (Defendant). (ECF No. 1-5). In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(g) (D.S.C.), the case was referred to a Magistrate Judge for review.

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed her amended Complaint in the Richland County Court of Common Pleas on August 29, 2017. Plaintiff served a copy of the summons and complaint on Defendant on September 7, 2017. Defendant subsequently removed the action to federal court on October 6, 2017. (ECF No. 1).[1] Defendant filed a motion to dismiss on December 13, 2017, arguing that Plaintiff claims are barred by res judicata, the applicable statute of limitations, Plaintiff's failure to exhaust her administrative remedies, and for Plaintiff's failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. (ECF No. 23).

         By order issued on December 14, 2017, pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), Plaintiff was advised of the dismissal procedures and of the possible consequences if she failed to adequately respond to the Motion. (ECF No. 24). The Magistrate Judge granted repeated requests by Plaintiff for additional time to respond to the Motion to Dismiss. (ECF Nos. 28, 32). On March 20, 2018, Plaintiff filed a response to the Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 41).

         On March 27, 2018, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation (Report), recommending Defendant's Motion be granted. (ECF No. 42). On April 11, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion with this Court asking for a stay of her case due to high levels of stress. (ECF No. 46). This Court denied the motion to stay, but granted Plaintiff sixty additional days to file her objections. (ECF No. 47). On June 13, 2018, Plaintiff filed another motion to stay for similar reasons. (ECF No. 50).

         This Court again denied the motion to stay, but granted Plaintiff an additional thirty days to file her objections. (ECF No. 51). Plaintiff filed a document titled Objections to the Report and Recommendation (First Objection) on June 18, 2018. (ECF No. 53). Defendant filed a response to Plaintiff's objections on July 2, 2018. (ECF No. 54). Plaintiff filed a second document titled Objection to the Report and Recommendation (Second Objection) on July 19, 2018. (ECF No. 55). Defendant filed a response to Plaintiff's Second Objection. (ECF No. 56). This matter is ripe for review.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         The Magistrate Judge assigned to this action[2] prepared a thorough Report and Recommendation and opines that Defendant Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 23) should be granted. (ECF No. 42). 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.

         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.Va. 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. Sec'y 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. (emphasis added) (citing Diamond, 416 F.3d at 315; Camby, 718 F.2d at 200; Orpiano, 687 F.2d at 47).

         III. ANALYSIS

         In Plaintiff's First Objection, Plaintiff made no specific objection to the Magistrate's Report. See (ECF No. 53). Plaintiff does not direct this court to any specific error by the Magistrate Judge. Id. To the contrary, Plaintiff appears to summarize the procedural history in this case and tell the Court that she cannot afford an attorney. Id. Plaintiff also attached ninety-eight pages of documents to her objection. ...


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