United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division
F. ANDERSON, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jordan (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se,
filed this civil action on October 29, 2018, requesting the
Court to order a “forensic accounting” to
determine whether District 5 Foundation for Educational
Excellence (“Defendant”) wrongly denied
Plaintiff's request for money to replace a heat pump coil
in her house. (ECF No. 1). Thereafter, Plaintiff filed an
Application to Proceed in District Court without Prepaying
Fees or Costs (Form AO-240) (“Application”). (ECF
No. 3). In her Application, Plaintiff states she is
unemployed. (ECF No. 3 at 1). She further indicates she has
$10.50 in a checking or savings account and that she owns a
home valued at $120, 000 and a vehicle valued at $1, 500.
(ECF No. 3 at 2). Finally, Plaintiff states she does not have
any debts or monthly expenses, and she lists one dependent.
(ECF No. 3 at 2).
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule
73.02(B)(2)(e) (D.S.C.), this case was referred to a
Magistrate Judge for Review. The Magistrate Judge assigned to
this actionprepared a thorough Report and
Recommendation (“Report”), opining that
Plaintiff's Application should be dismissed and that
Plaintiff should have fourteen (14) days from the date of an
order denying her Application to submit the $400 filing fee.
(ECF No. 8 at 6). 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. (ECF No. 8). The Magistrate Judge required
Plaintiff to file objections by November 15, 2018, (ECF No. 8
at 7), and Plaintiff timely filed her Objections, (ECF No.
11). Plaintiff also filed a Motion for Expedited Ruling as to
her Application. (ECF No. 13). Accordingly, the Application
is ripe for review.
district court is required to conduct a de novo
review only of the specific portions of the Magistrate
Judge's Report to which objections are made. See
28 U.S.C. § 636(b); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); see also
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 Judge's Report, this Court
is not required to give an explanation for adopting the
Report. 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 specific written
objections. Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins.
Co., 416 F.3d 310, 316 (4th Cir. 2005).
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 Judge'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).
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).
an objection is “nonspecific, unrelated to the
dispositive portions of the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation, or merely restate[s] . . . claims, ”
the Court need not conduct any further review of that
objection. Field v. McMaster, 663 F.Supp.2d 449, 452
(D.S.C. 2009); see also McNeil v. S.C. Dept. of
Corrections, No. 5:12-2880-MGL, 2013 WL 1102881, at *1
(D.S.C. Mar. 15, 2013) (finding petitioner's objections
to be without merit where the objections were
“non-specific, unrelated to the dispositive portions of
the Magistrate Judge's Report, and consist[ed] of a
reassertion of the arguments” made in the petition);
Arbogast v. Spartanburg Cty., No.
07:11-cv-00198-GRA, 2011 WL 5827635, at *2 (D.S.C. Nov. 17,
2011) (finding that plaintiff's objections were not
specific where the objections were “general and
conclusory in that they merely reassert[ed] that his
conviction was wrongful.”).
or denials of applications to proceed in forma
pauperis are left to the discretion of federal district
courts. See Dillard v. Liberty Loan Corp., 626 F.2d
363, 364 (4th Cir. 1980). A litigant is not required to show
she is completely destitute in order to qualify as an
indigent within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a).
Adkins v. E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co., 335
U.S. 331, 339-40 (1948). However, the “privilege to
proceed without posting security for costs and fees is
reserved to the many truly impoverished litigants who . . .
would remain without legal remedy if such privilege were not
afforded to them.” Brewster v. North Am. Van Lines,
Inc., 461 F.2d 649, 651 (7th Cir. 1972). In Carter
v. Telectron, Incorporated, the court enunciated three
legal tests used to determine whether a person should proceed
in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915:
(1) Is the litigant barred from the federal courts by the
reason of her “impecunity”?
(2) Is her access to the courts blocked by the imposition of
an undue hardship?
(3) Is the litigant forced to contribute her last dollar, or
render herself destitute, to prosecute her claim?
Carter v. Telectron, Inc., 452 F.Supp. 939, 943
(S.D. Tex. 1976); see also Murray v. Gossett, C/A
No. 3:13-2552-CMC-SVH, 2013 WL 5670907, at *2 (D.S.C. Oct.
17, 2013) (adopting and ...