United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
HONORABLE BRUCE H. HENDRICKS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon Plaintiff Cynthia Holmes
(“Holmes” or “Plaintiff”) pro se
complaint against Defendants James Y. Becker
(“Becker”); M.M. Caskey (“Caskey”);
Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A. (“HSB”); and Mikell
R. Scarborough (“Scarborough”). Plaintiff's
original complaint was only five pages, but her second
amended complaint consists of a 54-page complaint with 87
pages of attached exhibits, and Plaintiff alleges 12 causes
of action based on, inter alia, the Fair Debt
Collections Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et
seq., (“FDCPA”); the South Carolina Consumer
Protection Code, SC Code Ann. § 37-5-101, et
seq.; and the United States Constitution.
11, 2018, Defendants Becker, Caskey, and HSB filed a motion
to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. On August 14, 2018, Defendant Scarborough also
filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12. Plaintiff
filed responses in opposition to Defendants' motions, and
Defendants filed replies. In accordance with 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A) and (B) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)
(D.S.C.), the matter was referred to a United States
Magistrate Judge for preliminary review.
October 31, 2018, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and
Recommendation (“Report”) outlining the issues
and recommending that the Court grant Defendants'
motions. Plaintiff filed a motion for extension of time to
file objections along with a motion to stay pending the
resolution of a prior interlocutory appeal to the Fourth
Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court granted Plaintiffs'
motion for an extension of time, instructing her to file her
objections by December 13, 2018, but denied her motion to
stay on December 11, 2018. The Court also granted Plaintiff
additional time to file objections, instructing her to file
them on or before January 2, 2019.
December 27, 2018, Plaintiff filed a motion for
reconsideration with respect to the Court's order denying
her motion to stay, and on January 2, 2019, Plaintiff filed
objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report. Defendants
have filed responses to Plaintiff's motion to reconsider
and to Plaintiff's objections, and Plaintiff has filed a
reply and supplemental affidavit. For the reasons set forth
herein, the Court denies Plaintiff's motion to reconsider
and finds Plaintiff's objections wholly without merit.
Accordingly, the Court adopts the Magistrate Judge's
Report and grants Defendants' motions to dismiss as
The Magistrate Judge's Report
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to the Court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the
responsibility to make a final determination remains with the
Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261 (1976). The
Court is charged with making a de novo determination
only of those portions of the Report to which specific
objections are made, and the Court may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of the
Magistrate Judge, or recommit the matter to the Magistrate
Judge with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). In the
absence of specific objections, the Court reviews the matter
only for clear error. See Diamond v. Colonial Life &
Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005)
(stating that “in the absence of a timely filed
objection, a district court need not conduct a de
novo review, but instead must ‘only satisfy itself
that there is no clear error on the face of the record in
order to accept the recommendation.'”) (quoting
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory committee's note).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a pleading must
contain a “short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). As the Supreme Court held in Bell
Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, the pleading standard set forth
in Rule 8 “does not require ‘detailed factual
allegations,' but it demands more than an unadorned,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)). Thus, “[a]
pleading that offers ‘labels and conclusions' or
‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action will not do.'” Id. “Nor does
a complaint suffice if it tenders ‘naked
assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual
enhancement.” Id. (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 557).
motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6) examines the legal sufficiency of the facts alleged
on the face of a plaintiff's complaint. Edwards v.
City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243 (4th Cir. 1999). To
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, “[f]actual allegations
must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
The “complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.' ” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). A claim
is facially plausible when the factual content allows the
court to reasonably infer that the defendant is liable for
the misconduct alleged. Id. When considering a
motion to dismiss, the court must accept as true all of the
factual allegations contained in the complaint. Erickson
v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).
reviewing a Rule 12(b) motion, a court may consider, in
addition to the factual allegations of the complaint, any
document that is “integral to and explicitly relied on
in the complaint.” Phillips v. LCI International,
Inc., 190 F.3d 609, 618 (4th Cir. 1999); Olson v.
Midland Funding, LLC, 578 Fed.Appx. 248, 250 (4th Cir.
2014) (“In considering a Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) motion,
a court may consider the complaint itself and any documents
that are attached to it . . . .”) (internal citations