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 August 24, 2018 against Defendant
J.P. Morgan Chase Bank concerning the sale of 124 Bakersland
Road in Chapin, South Carolina. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff
proceeds with this action in forma pauperis under 28
U.S.C. § 1915. (ECF No. 8). In 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.
Magistrate Judge assigned to this action prepared a
thorough Report and Recommendation (“Report”) and
opines that this action should be dismissed. (ECF No. 9 at
5). 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. 9).
The Magistrate Judge required Plaintiff to file objections by
September 18, 2018 (ECF No. 9 at 6), and Plaintiff timely
filed her Objections (ECF No. 13). Plaintiff also filed a
Motion for Judgment by Default (ECF No. 14), Motion for
Issuance of Deed (ECF No. 16), Motion for Expedited Ruling as
to her Complaint (ECF No. 17), Motion to Amend Pleadings to
include a punitive damages award in the amount of the filing
fee (ECF No. 18), and Motion for Final Approval of Proposed
Order (ECF No. 19). Accordingly, the Complaint is ripe for
Review of the Report and Recommendation.
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.”).
Review of Plaintiff's Complaint.
filed this Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915, which
permits an indigent litigant to commence an action in federal
court without prepaying the administrative costs of
proceeding with the lawsuit. To protect against possible
abuses of this privilege, the statute allows a district court
to dismiss a case upon a finding that the action fails to
state a claim on which relief may be granted or is frivolous
or malicious. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i), (ii). A
finding of frivolity can be made where the complaint lacks an
arguable basis either in law or in fact. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992). A claim based on a
meritless legal theory may be dismissed sua sponte
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). See Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989); Allison v.
Kyle, 66 F.3d 71, 73 (5th Cir. 1995).
se complaints are held to a less stringent standard than
those drafted by attorneys. Gordon v. Leeke, 574
F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978). A federal district court is
charged with liberally construing a complaint filed by a
pro se litigant to allow the development of a
potentially meritorious case. Erickson v. Pardus,
551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007). In evaluating a pro se
complaint, the plaintiff's allegations are assumed to be
true. Merriweather v. Reynolds, 586 F.Supp.2d 548,
554 (D.S.C. 2008). The mandated liberal construction afforded
to pro se pleadings means that if the court can
reasonably read the pleadings to state a valid claim on which
the plaintiff could prevail, it should do so. Nevertheless,
the requirement of liberal construction does not mean that
the court can ignore a clear failure in the pleading to
allege facts that set forth a claim currently cognizable in a
federal district court. Weller v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs., 901 F.2d 387, 390-91 (4th Cir. 1990).