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Stroman v. York County Department of Social Services

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Rock Hill Division

September 5, 2019

Jeffrey S. Stroman, Plaintiff,
v.
York County Department of Social Services, Defendant.

          ORDER AND OPINION

         Plaintiff Jeffrey S. Stroman, proceeding pro se, filed an action alleging employment discrimination under 28 U.S.C. § 1915 (2010), the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1201 (2011), and the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"), 42 U.S.C. §2601 (2012). (ECF Nos. 1, 12.) The matter before the court is a review of the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation ("Report") filed on February 8, 2019. (ECF No. 61.)

         For the reasons below, the court ACCEPTS the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 61), DENIES Plaintiff Jeffrey S. Stroman's Third Motion to Amend the Amended Complaint (ECF No. 66), and GRANTS Defendant York County Department of Social Services' Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 21).

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         The Report sets forth the relevant facts and legal standards which the court incorporates herein without full recitation. (ECF No. 61 at 2.) On June 14, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Complaint (ECF No. 1) against the South Carolina Department of Social Services ("SCDSS") claiming employment discrimination and violations of the ADA and FMLA.

         On August 1, 2018, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint substituting SCDSS with the above-captioned Defendant. (ECF No. 12.)

         On August 31, 2018, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a claim and lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (ECF No. 21 (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), 12(b)(1).)

         On October 10, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Amend the Complaint, withdrawing the FMLA and ADA claims and substituting claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation under the South Carolina Torts Claims Act ("SCTCA"), SC Code Ann. § 15-78-10 (2019). (ECF No. 34 at 3.) Defendant did not oppose Plaintiff s voluntary withdrawal of the federal claims. (ECF No. 39.)

         On October 18, 2018, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report denying Plaintiffs Motion to Amend (ECF No. 34) as futile because Defendant is entitled to immunity in federal court for actions brought under the SCTCA and recommending that the court dismiss the entire case without prejudice. (ECF No. 40 at 2-4.)

         On November 11, 2018, the court rejected the Report (ECF No. 40) and recommitted the case to the Magistrate Judge to address the FMLA and ADA claims because Plaintiffs untimely objection (ECF No. 45) requested an extension to re-file his FMLA and ADA claims. (ECF No. 46 at 3.)

         On December 3, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Second Motion to Amend the Complaint (ECF No. 49) seeking to add claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (1996) for deprivation of rights and 29 U.S.C. § 701 ("The Rehabilitation Act of 1973"). On December 14, 2018, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Amend the Scheduling Order (ECF No. 50).[1]

         On February 8, 2019, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation denying Plaintiffs Second Motion to Amend the Complaint (ECF No. 49) and Motion to Amend the Scheduling Order (ECF No. 50) with leave to refile within two weeks, i.e., February 22, 2019. (ECF No. 61.) The Report notified Plaintiff that, if he chose to refile, there must be a show of good cause to modify the scheduling order and that he must only discuss Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. (ECF No. 61 at 7-8.) In addition, the Report recommends granting Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 21) pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P 12(b)(6) for Plaintiffs failure to state a claim as to his causes of action for employment discrimination under the FMLA and the ADA. (ECF No. 61 at 9.)

         On February 22, 2019, Plaintiff filed timely objections to the Report. (ECF No. 65.) In addition, and on the same day, Plaintiff filed a Third Motion to Amend the Complaint (ECF No. 66), to which Defendant responded (ECF No. 69.)

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         The Magistrate Judge's Report is made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Civil Rule 73.02 for the District of South Carolina. The Magistrate Judge only makes a recommendation to this court, and the recommendation has no presumptive weight. See Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). The responsibility to make a final determination remains with the court. Id. at 271. As such, the court is charged with making de novo determinations of those portions of the Report to which specific objections are made. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); See also Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3). In the absence of specific objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report, the court is not required to give any explanation for adopting the Report. See Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983). Rather, "in the absence of a 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." Diamond v. Colonial Life &Acc. Ins. Co.,416 ...


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