United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division
OPINION AND ORDER
Cameron McGowan Currie, Senior United States District Judge.
Robert Louis Garrett, Jr. (Garrett) brought this pro se
action alleging violations of his constitutional rights while
incarcerated in the South Carolina Department of Corrections.
This matter is before the court on Garrett's Motions for
Preliminary Injunction and Motion for Hearing. ECF Nos. 63,
73. Defendants filed a response in opposition. ECF No. 86.
Garrett filed a reply. ECF No. 93.
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule
73.02 (B)(2)(d), D.S.C., the matter was referred to United
States Magistrate Judge Paige J. Gossett for pre-trial
proceedings. On December 14, 2018, the Magistrate Judge
issued a Report and Recommendation (“Report”)
recommending Garrett's motion for preliminary injunction
be denied. ECF No. 98. The Magistrate Judge advised the
parties of the procedures and requirements for filing
objections to the Report and the serious consequences if they
failed to do so. After several extensions of time, Garrett
filed objections on March 18, 2019. ECF No. 128. Defendants
have not replied to Garrett's objections.
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this 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 of those
portions of the Report to which specific objection is 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. See 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The court reviews only for clear
error in the absence of an objection. 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).
Magistrate Judge found the relief Garrett seeks via
preliminary injunction is unavailable due to destruction of
Garrett's personal property “because it became wet
and mildewed after Garrett broke the sprinkler head in his
cell.” ECF No. 98 at 4. The Report also found Garrett
failed to show he will suffer irreparable harm in the absence
of injunctive relief. Id. The Report concludes
“the loss of Garrett's legal materials does not
appear to have affected Garrett's ability to research and
prosecute his cases.” Id. Therefore, the
Report recommends denial of the motion for preliminary
objects to the Report. ECF No. 128. He complains of a
“conspiracy of retaliation” against him, details
the August 22, 2018 incident when he was sprayed with
chemical munitions, and objects to the Report's failure
to “include all the facts.” Id. at 4, 5.
He argues he named specific Defendants - Lasley, Berry,
Monaco, Campbell, and Jenkins - who were involved in
“illegally refusing to return 90% of Plaintiff's
Legal Files, Property, etc.” Id. at 3. He
cites Exhibits 1A, 2A, and 3A to his November 29, 2018 Reply
as showing the named individuals above lied about having
anything to do with his property. Id. at 3, 4.
Finally, Garrett argues “not having all of his legal
files, etc. is severely hindering Plaintiff from fighting
these Actions as well as his criminal incarceration.”
Id. at 5. He admits many of his papers regarding his
criminal case “have all been thrown away and most
can't be replaced, ” but has “hope that the
other 90% of his files and property are sitting somewhere in
a closet.” Id. at 9. He requests a hearing on
have produced evidence showing at least some of Garrett's
legal papers were thrown away after they became wet and
mildewed at Allendale Correctional Institution. ECF No. 86-1.
Garrett argues a reference to “6 pages of STG
material” confiscated when he arrived at Perry
Correctional Institution shows Defendant Lasley
“probably threw away most of my property.” See
ECF No. 92-1 at 1 (“Ex. 1A”). However, there is
simply no evidence Garrett's legal papers were in
existence and transferred with him from Allendale to Perry.
Accordingly, the court agrees with the Magistrate Judge that
the relief Garrett seeks is not available.
considering the record, the applicable law, the Report and
Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, and Garrett's
objections, the court agrees with the Report's
recommendation to deny the motion for preliminary injunction.
The Report is therefore adopted and incorporated by
reference. The motions for preliminary injunction and hearing
(ECF Nos. 63, 73) are denied. This matter is referred back to
the Magistrate Judge for pretrial proceedings.