Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Capps v. Oconee County Sheriff's Office

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Anderson/Greenwood Division

August 2, 2019

Michael G. Capps, Plaintiff,
v.
Oconee County Sheriff's Office, Mike Crenshaw, Kevin Davis, Jeff Underwood, Brian Long, Justin Pelfrey, Josh Labrecque, South Carolina Insurance Reserve Fund, Chris Lombard, Ann Macon Smith, Defendants.

          ORDER

          DONALD C. COGGINS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Complaint and Defendants Brian Long, Justin Pelfrey, and Josh Labrecque's (“the Moving Defendants”) motion for summary judgment. ECF Nos. 1, 39. In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2) (D.S.C.), this matter was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Kevin F. McDonald for pre-trial proceedings and a Report and Recommendation (“Report”). On June 22, 2018, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report recommending that Defendants Oconee County Sheriff's Office, Mike Crenshaw, Kevin Davis, Jeff Underwood, South Carolina Insurance Reserve Fund, Chris Lombard, and Ann Macon Smith be dismissed from this action without issuance of service of process. ECF No. 12. The Magistrate Judge further recommends that Plaintiff's claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1985(2) and 18 U.S.C. §§ 241 and 242 should be dismissed. Plaintiff filed objections to the Report. ECF No. 16.

         Thereafter, the Moving Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. ECF No. 39. Plaintiff filed a response in opposition. ECF Nos. 43, 44. The Moving Defendants filed a reply, and Plaintiff filed a sur-reply. ECF Nos. 46, 50. On February 12, 2019, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report recommending that the Moving Defendants' motion for summary judgment be granted. ECF No. 75. Plaintiff filed several objections.[1] ECF Nos. 77, 80, 86, 88, 92.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         The 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. See Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261 (1976). The Court is charged with making a de novo determination of any portion of the Report of the Magistrate Judge to which a specific objection is made. The Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation made by the Magistrate Judge or recommit the matter to the Magistrate Judge with instructions. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b). The Court will review the Report 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 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.” (citation omitted)).

         ANALYSIS

         The First Report

          Plaintiff appears to generally object to the dismissal of his claims made pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1985(2) and 18 U.S.C. §§ 241 and 242. He fails to address the substance of the Magistrate Judge's Report with respect to these claims; however, out of an abundance of caution for a pro se Plaintiff, the Court has conducted a de novo review of this portion of the Report, the record, and the applicable law. The Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge that these claims are subject to dismissal. With respect to Plaintiff's request that the Court pursue criminal charges against any of the Defendant, “[n]o citizen has an enforceable right to institute a criminal prosecution.” Lopez v. Robinson, 914 F.2d 486, 494 (4th Cir. 1990) (citation omitted). Regarding Plaintiff's allegation that Defendants violated 42 U.S.C. § 1985(2), the Magistrate Judge correctly points out that Plaintiff's allegations do not involve federal court proceedings. See Haddle v. Garrison, 525 U.S. 121, 125 (1988) (“The gist of the wrong at which § 1985(2) is directed is intimidation or retaliation against witnesses in federal court proceedings.”). Accordingly, Plaintiff's objections are overruled.

         Plaintiff concedes that it may be proper to dismiss the South Carolina Insurance Reserve Fund and the Oconee County Sheriff's Office but seems to state the 42 U.S.C. § 1983 should be read more broadly in this case to allow him to obtain relief. ECF No. 16. This argument is insufficient to extend the boundaries of § 1983 over non-persons. See McCall v. Strickland, C/A No. 4:11-1324-RMG-TER, 2012 WL 2428600 (D.S.C. June 1, 2012) (finding that the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Department should be dismissed as it was not a person amenable to suit under § 1983), adopted by 2012 WL 2427889 (D.S.C. June 27, 2012); McCall v. Williams, 52 F.Supp.2d 611, 623 (D.S.C. 1999) (“To the extent that Plaintiff alleged a separate cause of action against the Williamsburg County Sheriff's Department, this claim fails as a matter of law because the Sheriff's Department, like the sheriff, is an arm of the state and entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity.”). Accordingly, Plaintiff's objection is overruled.

         With respect to the Magistrate Judge's recommendation that the remaining Defendants should be dismissed in their official capacity pursuant to the Eleventh Amendment, Plaintiff contends that Eleventh Amendment immunity does not bar injunctive relief. Plaintiff has not requested injunctive relief. Accordingly, this objection is overruled.

         The Magistrate Judge recommends dismissal of Defendants Crenshaw, Davis, Underwood, Lombard, and Smith because Plaintiff failed to state a claim that any of these Defendants violated his constitutional rights. Plaintiff objected and argued that they violated his Fourteen Amendment right to equal protection under the law.[2] As stated in the Report, Plaintiff's allegations fail to rise to the level of a constitutional claim. He contends that Defendants Crenshaw, Davis, and Underwood learned of the actions of the Moving Defendants and failed take the plaintiff's complaints seriously or conduct a follow up investigation. However, the plaintiff does not have a constitutional right to satisfactory responses to his complaints, and “failure to follow procedures is not actionable in and of itself. In order for a failure to follow internal procedures to form the basis of a § 1983 civil rights claim, the action must have independently violated [a party's] constitutional rights.” Blackburn v. South Carolina, No. C.A. 0:06-2011-PMD-BM, 2009 WL 632542, at *16 (D.S.C. Mar. 10, 2009), aff'd, 404 Fed.Appx. 810 (4th Cir. 2010). Plaintiff has presented no allegations that these Defendants violated any constitutional protections; therefore, his objections are overruled.

         With respect to Defendants Lombard and Smith, Plaintiff alleges that they violated his constitutional rights by denying his claim with the South Carolina Insurance Reserve Fund. However, Plaintiff does not have a constitutional right to have his insurance claim considered, and Defendants Lombard's and Smith's alleged wrongdoing did not deprive him of the protections of the due process or equal protection clauses. Accordingly, his objections are overruled.[3]

         Finally, the Magistrate Judge recommends that this Court decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state law claims with respect to Defendants Oconee County Sheriff's Office, Davis, Underwood, South Carolina Insurance Reserve Fund, Lombard, and Smith. Because all federal causes of action are dismissed against these Defendants, the Court agrees and declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff's state law claims as to these Defendants. Accordingly, Defendants Oconee County Sheriff's Office, Davis, Underwood, South Carolina Insurance Reserve Fund, Lombard, and Smith are dismissed from this action.

         The Second Report

         The second Report concerns Plaintiff's Fourth Amendment claims against the Moving Defendants. The Magistrate Judge recommends that summary judgment be granted because the Moving Defendants conducted a valid Terry[4] stop. As previously stated, Plaintiff filed objections.

         The Court finds it necessary to discuss two phases of the purported Terry stop.[5]First, Plaintiff was stopped by Defendants Pelfrey and Labrecque after they had received complaints about his behavior. These Defendants asked him questions, which Plaintiff mostly declined to answer and called for Defendant Long when Plaintiff requested a supervisor. Second, approximately 40 minutes into this stop, after Defendant Long arrived, Plaintiff ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.