United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
OPINION AND ORDER
Margaret B. Seymour Senior United States District Court.
Anterrius Stinson (“Plaintiff”) is a pretrial
detainee at the Colleton County Detention Center in
Walterboro, South Carolina. On July 23, 2018, Plaintiff,
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, brought the
underlying action against Defendants Andy Strickland
(Colleton County Sheriff), Detective Philip Roberson,
Detective Varnedoe, Detective Long, Detective Motzerralla,
and Detective King in both their official and individual
capacities. Plaintiff brings this action under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging an illegal search of his home, a
seizure of cash, conversion/ unjust enrichment, false arrest,
violations of the Due Process Clause, and conspiracy. ECF No.
1 at 5. In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local
Rule 73.02, D.S.C., this matter was referred to United States
Magistrate Judge Mary Gordon Baker for pretrial handling.
RELEVANT FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
filed this action on July 23, 2018. ECF No. 1. In his
complaint, Plaintiff alleges that on or about June 2, 2017,
Defendants Roberson, King, Long, Motzerella, and Varnadoe
searched his home in connection with three arrest
warrants. Id. at 7. Plaintiff asserts that
they “tore all my walls out, destroyed all my
furniture.” Id. Plaintiff also alleges that
the damage to his home was “almost $10, 000” and
that Defendants “stole $15, 000 cash.”
Id. Plaintiff asserts that Defendants left a search
warrant, but that the warrant did not have “any facts
or name explaining how they obtained this warrant.”
Id. On July 25, 2018, the Magistrate Judge issued a
proper form order, giving Plaintiff until August 15, 2018 to
1) complete a summons form for each Defendant and 2) complete
a Form USM-285 for each Defendant. ECF No.7 at 2. Plaintiff
did not respond to the Magistrate Judge's order.
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Magistrate Judge filed a Report and Recommendation on August
29, 2018. ECF No. 14. The Magistrate Judge recommended that
Plaintiff's complaint be summarily dismissed without
prejudice and without issuance and service of process for
several reasons. First, the Magistrate Judge recommended that
Plaintiff's official capacity claims should be dismissed
on sovereign immunity grounds. Id. at 5-6.
Specifically, the Magistrate Judge found that because South
Carolina sheriffs and sheriff deputies are state employees,
suing them in their official capacities for money damages
would constitute a suit against the state of South Carolina.
Id. Such actions are barred by Eleventh Amendment.
Id. Second, the Magistrate Judge recommended that
the court dismiss Plaintiff's individual capacity claims,
as Plaintiff failed to state litigable claims. Id.
at 5. The Magistrate Judge found that Plaintiff will first
have the opportunity to challenge the legality of the search
detailed in the complaint in Plaintiff's state court
proceedings. Id. at 7. The Magistrate Judge noted
that filing a § 1983 lawsuit at this stage would imply
that Plaintiff's conviction and/or sentence is invalid,
which would run afoul of Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S.
477 (1994). The Magistrate Judge also found that abstention
pursuant to Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971) is
warranted, as there is a pending state court proceeding.
Id. at 8. Furthermore, the Magistrate Judge found
that Plaintiff failed to state a valid conspiracy claim, as
Plaintiff did not show there was any “agreement or
meeting of the minds.” Id. at 10.
Additionally, the Magistrate Judge found that Plaintiff
failed to allege a violation of the Due Process Clause, as
intentional deprivation of property does not violate the Due
Process Clause if there is a “meaningful
post-deprivation remedy” available. Id. at 11.
The Magistrate Judge found that South Carolina offers such a
remedy. Id. Finally, the Magistrate Judge found that
Plaintiff's false arrest claim was without merit, as
Plaintiff asserted on numerous occasions that he was arrested
pursuant to warrants. Id. at 12. Plaintiff does not
contest the validity of the arrest warrants in his case.
Id. Pursuant to Diamond v. Colonial Life &
Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310 (4th Cir. 2005), Plaintiff
was advised of his right to file objections to the Report and
Recommendation. Id. at 14.
filed an objection to the Report and Recommendation on
September 18, 2018.ECF No. 17. Plaintiff contends that he
“specifically objects to Defendants claiming they
conducted a legal search.” Id. at 1. Plaintiff
elaborates that Defendants did not serve a warrant “to
[his] father Roy Stinson or [his] girlfriend Kendra Lawyer
before entering [his] residence.” Id.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight and the
responsibility for making a final determination remains with
the court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270
(1976). The court reviews de novo only those portions of a
Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation to which
specific objections are filed and reviews those portions to
which there are no objections - including those portions to
which only “general and conclusory” objections
have been made - for clear error. Diamond, 416 F.3d
at 315; Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 200 (4th Cir.
1983); Opriano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 77 (4th Cir.
1982). 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. §
objections only concern the legality of the search in his
case. As the Magistrate Judge properly determined, Plaintiff
may raise this issue in state court.
September 18, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion to continue to
conduct discovery. ECF No. 16. Because this matter has been
summarily dismissed, the court denies this motion as moot.
court has thoroughly reviewed the record. The court concurs
with the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation and
incorporates it herein by reference. ECF No. 14. This matter
is hereby DISMISSED without prejudice and without issuance
and service of ...