United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Orangeburg Division
Bryan Harwell, United States District Judge
matter is before the Court for consideration of
Plaintiff's objections to the Report and Recommendation
(“R & R”) of United States Magistrate Judge
Thomas E. Rogers, III, who recommends summarily dismissing
this action with prejudice. See ECF No. 14.
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.P. 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).
a state prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging he filed an
application for DNA testing in state court, which apparently
has not yet ruled upon the application. See ECF
No. 9 (amended complaint). Plaintiff names three
defendants-the State of South Carolina, the Solicitor of the
First Judicial Circuit (David Pascoe), and the Orangeburg
County Clerk of Court (Winnifa Clark)-and requests that this
federal Court order the state court to timely adjudicate the
DNA matter. Id. at pp. 1-3, 8. The Magistrate Judge
recommends summarily dismissing Plaintiff's amended
complaint with prejudice because (1)
Younger abstention is appropriate, (2) this Court
cannot grant injunctions in state proceedings, (3) this Court
cannot issue a writ of mandamus against a state solicitor,
and (4) Defendants Pascoe and Clark are immune from suit. R
& R at pp. 3-5.
Plaintiff specifically objects to the Magistrate Judge's
recommendation regarding Defendants Pascoe and Clark's
immunity from suit, he does not specifically object to the
other grounds for dismissal summarized above. See
Diamond & Camby, supra (stating
that absent a specific objection, the Court need only review
the R & R for clear error and need not give reasons for
the Court has conducted a de novo review and agrees with the
Magistrate Judge's disposition. Most significantly, the
Court agrees Younger abstention is appropriate
because “(1) there is an ongoing state judicial
proceeding that began prior to substantial progress in the
federal proceeding, (2) that proceeding implicates important,
substantial, or vital state interests, and (3) there is an
adequate opportunity to raise constitutional challenges
within the framework of the state judicial process.”
Robinson v. Thomas, 855 F.3d 278, 285 (4th Cir.
2017) (summarizing the criteria for Younger
abstention). Plaintiff also has not made a showing of
“extraordinary circumstances” justifying federal
interference with the state proceedings. See Id. at
286 (“A federal court may disregard
Younger's mandate to abstain from interfering
with ongoing state proceedings only where
‘extraordinary circumstances' exist that present
the possibility of irreparable harm.”). Plaintiff's
pleadings as well as publicly available records show his
application for DNA testing remains pending in state court;
he may pursue his constitutional claims there.
foregoing reasons, the Court ADOPTS the R
& R [ECF No. 14] and DISMISSES this
action with prejudice and without issuance and
service of process.
IS SO ORDERED.