United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Anderson/Greenwood Division
Michael G. Capps, Plaintiff,
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.
C. COGGINS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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
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. ECF Nos. 77, 80, 86, 88, 92.
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)).
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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
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
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 stop. As previously stated, Plaintiff
Court finds it necessary to discuss two phases of the
purported Terry stop.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 ...