United States District Court, D. South Carolina
F. ANDERSON, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Owen Harriot, (“Plaintiff”), a prisoner
proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, brings this action
claiming a violation of his constitutional rights pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. (ECF No. 1). Plaintiff seeks monetary
damages and injunctive relief. (ECF No. 1). (ECF No. 1). In
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civil Rule
73.02(B)(2)(c) (D.S.C.), the case was referred to the
Magistrate Judge assigned to this action prepared a
thorough Report and Recommendation (“Report”) and
opines that Plaintiff's complaint should be dismissed
without issuance and service of process. (ECF No. 16). 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.
Court is charged with making a de novo determination
of those portions of the Report to which specific objections
are made, and the Court may accept, reject, or modify, in
whole or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge,
or recommit the matter to the Magistrate Judge with
instructions. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
However, a district court is only required to conduct a
de novo review of the specific portions of the
Magistrate Judge's Report to which an objection is made.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b);
Carniewski v. W. Virginia Bd. of Prob. & Parole,
974 F.2d 1330 (4th Cir. 1992). In the absence of specific
objections to portions of the Report of the Magistrate, this
Court is not required to give an explanation for adopting the
recommendation. See Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198,
199 (4th Cir. 1983).
Report recites the factual and procedural background giving
rise to this action in detail, which is incorporated by
reference. Briefly, Plaintiff alleges that under §1983,
he was illegally arrested without probable cause or a warrant
and was illegally questioned and detained. (ECF No. 1).
Further, the Court did not have jurisdiction over him because
he had not committed any federal offenses. (ECF No. 1).
Plaintiff seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief. (ECF
Plaintiff's Claims Related to his Conviction and
Magistrate Judge correctly opines that Plaintiff's claims
concerning his alleged false arrest and imprisonment are
barred by the holding in Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S.
477 (1994). In Heck, the Supreme Court held that
“in order to recover damages from allegedly
unconstitutional conviction or imprisonment, or for other
harm whose unlawfulness would render a conviction or sentence
invalid, …a § 1983 Plaintiff must prove that the
conviction or sentence has been reversed on direct appeal,
expunged by executive order, declared invalid by a state
tribunal authorized to make such a determination, or called
into question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of
habeas corpus, 28 U.S.C. § 2254.” The holding in
Heck also applies to declaratory and injunctive
relief if a judgment in the Plaintiff's favor would
necessarily imply the invalidity of the conviction. See
Edwards v. Balisok, 520 U.S. 641, 648 (1997)
(Heck bars declaratory judgment action challenging
validity of state criminal conviction).
District Court, we must “consider whether judgment in
favor of the Plaintiff would necessarily imply the invalidity
of his conviction or sentence; if it would, the complaint
must be dismissed unless the Plaintiff can demonstrate the
conviction or sentence has already been invalidated.”
Heck, 512 U.S. at 487. The Report submits that a
judgment in Plaintiff's favor on his false arrestment and
imprisonment claims would necessarily imply the invalidity of
his subsequent conviction. (ECF No. 16). However, in his
Objections to the Report, Plaintiff states that Heck
does not bar his claims because he was not “arrested
with a valid facially warrant.” (ECF No. 19).
Heck does not distinguish between cases in which
Plaintiffs were or were not arrested with a valid warrant.
Rather, Heck applies when a Plaintiff brings a
§ 1983 action alleging the unconstitutionality of his
conviction or imprisonment and seeks monetary damages or
injunctive relief. As Plaintiff has asserted claims for false
arrest and imprisonment under §1983 and seeks millions
of dollars in damages and injunctive relief, the Magistrate
Judge properly applied Heck to Plaintiff's
complaint. By applying Heck, Plaintiff's claims
are barred unless Plaintiff can demonstrate or allege that he
has successfully challenged his convictions. Although
Plaintiff filed objections to the Report, he was unable to
demonstrate that his conviction has been successfully
challenged. (ECF No. 19). Therefore, the Court accepts the
recommendation of the Magistrate Judge and dismisses these
Statute of Limitations
Magistrate Judge correctly opines that Plaintiff's civil
rights claims are barred by South Carolina's statute of
limitations. (ECF No. 16). Under South Carolina law, the
statute of limitations for a personal injury is three years.
See S.C. Code Ann. § 15-3-530(5). As the Report states,
Plaintiff's complaint concerns events that occurred in
July 1999 and as such, the limitations period for Plaintiff
to file suit against Defendants has expired. See Finch v.
McCormick Corr. Ins., C/A No. 4:11-858-JMC-TER, 2012 WL
2871665, at 3 (D.S.C. June 15, 2012).
Objections, Plaintiff submits that a cause of action under
§ 1983 accrues when “the Plaintiff possesses
sufficient facts about the harm done to him that reasonably
inquiry will reveal his cause of action. See United State v.
Kubrick, 444 U.S. 111, 122-24 (1979).” (ECF No. 19).
However, Plaintiff's reliance on case law is misplaced
because Kubrick refers to the statute of limitations
for claims arising under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
U.S. v. Kubrick, 444 U.S. 111, 100 S.Ct. 352, 353
(1979). Whereas, Plaintiff's cause of action arises under
§1983. The Supreme Court has made clear that
“federal law looks to the law of the state in which the
cause of action arose” to determine the applicable
statute of limitations. See Wallace v. Kato, 549
U.S. 384, 387 (2007).” Accordingly, ...