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 10, 2018 against Defendant
United States Department of Labor (“Defendant”)
“to prove Kimberly Szabo committed perjury” in
statements to law enforcement officials regarding whether Ms.
Szabo compensated Plaintiff for work Plaintiff performed for
Ms. Szabo's company. (ECF No. 1 at 1-2). Plaintiff filed
an Application to Proceed in District Court without Prepaying
Fees or Costs under 28 U.S.C. § 1915
(“Application”). (ECF No. 3). 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. (ECF No. 3). The Magistrate Judge assigned to this
action granted Plaintiff's Application. (ECF No. 8).
the Magistrate Judge prepared a thorough Report and
Recommendation (“Report”) and opines that this Court
should dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint without prejudice
and without issuance and service of process. (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
October 29, 2018 (ECF No. 9 at 6) and Plaintiff timely filed
her Objections (ECF No. 12). Plaintiff also filed a Motion
for Expedited Ruling as to her Complaint (ECF No. 14), Motion
for Default Judgment (ECF No. 17), and Motion for Leave to
Amend Pleadings to include a claim for punitive damages in
the amount of the filing fee. (ECF No. 18). Accordingly, this
matter 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 plaintiffs objections were not specific
where the objections were “general and conclusory in
that they merely reasserted] that his conviction was
filed her 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).
complaint 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). Although the court must
liberally construe a pro se complaint, the United
States Supreme Court has made it clear that a plaintiff must
do more than make conclusory statements to state a claim.
See Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677‒78
(2009); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007). Rather, the complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim
that is plausible on its face, and the reviewing court need
only accept as true the complaint's factual allegations,
not its legal conclusions. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
Report, the Magistrate Judge recommends dismissal of
Plaintiff s Complaint for failure to raise any factual
allegations in her complaint that state a plausible claim
against Defendant. (ECF No. 9 at 3). The Report identifies
several specific ways in which that procedural defect is
the Report posits that Plaintiff alleges no wrongdoing by
defendant, so her complaint is subject to summary dismissal.
(ECF No. 9 at 4) (citing Chong Su Yi v. Soc. Sec.
Admin., 554 Fed. App'x 247, 248 (4th Cir. 2014)
(affirming dismissal of factually and legally frivolous
claims); citing also Holloway v. Pagan River Dockside
Seafood, Inc., 669 F.3d 448, 452-53 (4th Cir. 2012)
(noting a federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction
over a complaint raising claims “‘so