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Adams v. Hunt

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division

April 18, 2019

Terrance Adams, Plaintiff,
v.
Dale Hunt, Jr.; Warren Barney Giese; Richard Cathcart, Joanna McDuffie; Brian Stirling; Henry McMaster, and John P. Meadors, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. United States District Judge.

         The pro se Plaintiff, Terrance Adams, a state prison inmate, initiated this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that he was wrongfully convicted of first-degree burglary, [1] asserting that false evidence was used to obtain the arrest warrant and indictment.

         Plaintiff seeks damages in the amount of $150, 000.00 for each year he is incarcerated on the contested conviction. Plaintiff filed this action in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915.[2]

         After reviewing the pleadings, the Magistrate Judge assigned to this action[3] prepared a thorough Report and Recommendation (“Report”) and recommends summary dismissal of this case based on the United States Supreme Court's decision in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994). (ECF No. 26). 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.

         Plaintiff was advised of his right to object to the Report, which was entered on the docket on August 14, 2018. (ECF No. 26). Plaintiff filed objections to the Report on August 29, 2018. (ECF No. 30). Plaintiff then filed two more documents labeled objections on (1) August 31, 2018 (ECF No. 32); and (2) October 4, 2018 (ECF No. 35). Thereafter, Plaintiff filed an additional seven “supplemental objections” or “additional attachments” on the following dates: (1) November 5, 2018 (ECF No. 37); (2) November 7, 2018 (ECF No. 38); (3) November 26, 2018 (ECF No. 39); (4) November 30, 2018 (ECF No. 40); (5) December 21, 2018 (ECF No. 41); and (6) January 4, 2019 (ECF No. 42); (7) January 11, 2019 (ECF No. 44). In sum, Plaintiff has filed ten documents labeled either objections, supplements to objections, or additional attachments thereto. The Court will consider all ten filings. Thus, this matter is ripe for review.

         II. DISCUSSION

         The Magistrate Judge opines that under the United States Supreme Court's ruling in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), Plaintiff's Complaint, which seeks damages for an allegedly wrongful criminal conviction, is subject to summary dismissal.

         This Court has attempted to review all of Plaintiff's “objections” in his ten filings and the attachments thereto, and finds that Plaintiff has failed to make any specific objections to the Report. To the contrary, Plaintiff merely recites the circumstances that led him to bring this action, which is largely a reassertion of information he provided in his Complaint. He does not make any arguments regarding the Magistrate's Report.

         A district court is only required to conduct a de novo review of the specific portions of the Magistrate Judge's Report to which an objection is made. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); 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's Report, this Court is not required to give an explanation for adopting the recommendation. 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 a specific written objection. Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 316 (4th Cir. 2005).

         “An 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'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).

         “Generally 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).

         In ECF No. 30, Plaintiff complains that he was not granted access to the law library at Lieber Correctional Institution. In support, Plaintiff attaches an inmate staff request stamped August 17, 2018. (ECF No. 30-1 p. 12). From what this Court can decipher, Plaintiff claims that he was not able to research cases supporting his argument that “[t]he SCDC website reflects that Plaintiff is serving periods of incarceration for numerous convictions, which were process illegally through the court.” (ECF No. 30 p. 2).

         As an initial matter, to the extent this Court would view Plaintiff's “objection” as a motion for an extension of time, the request is now moot given that Plaintiff clearly was able to access the law library after August 17, 2018. Thereafter, Plaintiff was able to make nine more filings containing case citations constituting “objections” with this Court over a span of almost seven months.

         In ECF No. 30, Plaintiff references his PCR action filed in Richland County on May 31, 2016 and his 60(b) Motion to be Relieved from Judgment. However, Plaintiff merely makes arguments to this Court regarding that PCR application and motion in state court. Plaintiff states: “Judge Barber answer was he not able to ruled on the merits in Plaintiff case, cause he doesn't have his records before him, which clearly shows bias towards Plaintiff and favoritism for Defendants.” (ECF No. 30 p. 3). Plaintiff goes on in his “objections” to discuss how he tried to write the Supreme Court of South Carolina Office of Disciplinary Counsel; however, the ODC told Plaintiff it did not have authority to intervene in the matter that was presently pending ...


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