United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division
ORDER AND OPINION
Maceo Sandy Scott, Jr., proceeding pro se and in
forma pauperis, filed a Complaint, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1983 (1996), alleging that Defendants Richland County
Sheriffs' Department, George Poulin, Jr., and Gilbert
Gallegos, violated his constitutional rights. (ECF No. 1.)
The matter before the court is a review of the Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation (“Report”).
(ECF No. 8.) For the reasons below, the court
ACCEPTS the Magistrate Judge's Report
(ECF No. 8) and DISMISSES Plaintiff's
Complaint (ECF No. 1).
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Report sets forth the relevant facts and legal standards,
which this court incorporates herein without a full
recitation. (ECF No. 8 at 1-3.) On March 26, 2019, Plaintiff
filed a Complaint claiming false arrest and false
imprisonment by Defendants. (ECF No. 1 at 7.) Specifically,
Plaintiff asserts that there is no evidence to support the
charges of burglary, grand larceny, and throwing bodily
fluids. (Id. at 6.) Plaintiff seeks relief from
these pending charges because of the deleterious effect on
his employment opportunities. (Id. at 5-6.) On April
11, 2019, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report recommending
that the court dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint without
issuance and service of process and with prejudice to file
again during the pendency of his criminal charges. (ECF No.
8.) Plaintiff timely filed objections to the Report on April
29, 2019. (ECF No. 10.)
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 F.3d 310, 315
(4th Cir. 2005) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory
committee's note). Thus, the court may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the Magistrate Judge's
recommendation or recommit the matter with instructions.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
court is required to interpret pro se documents
liberally and will hold those documents to a less stringent
standard than those drafted by attorneys. See Gordon v.
Leeke, 574 F.2d 1147, 1151 (4th Cir. 1978); see also
Hardin v. United States, C/A No. 7:12-cv-0118-GRA, 2012
WL 3945314, at *1 (D.S.C. Sept. 10, 2012). Additionally,
pro se documents must be construed in a manner,
“no matter how inartfully pleaded, to see whether they
could provide a basis for relief.” Garrett v.
Elko, No. 95-7939, 1997 WL 457667, at *1 (4th Cir. Aug.
12, 1997). Although pro se documents are liberally
construed by federal courts, “[t]he ‘special
judicial solicitude' with which a district court should
view pro se complaints does not transform the court
into an advocate.” Weller v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs. for Balt., 901 F.2d 387, 391 (4th Cir. 1990).
objection broadly addresses the Magistrate Judge's Report
and requests that “[Plaintiff's] case be viewed by
the district court judge.” (ECF No. 10 at 1.) In the
absence of specific objections, the court must only review
the record to ensure that there is no clear error. See
Diamond, 416 F.3d at 315. The Magistrate Judge concluded
that Plaintiff's Complaint is subject to the
Younger abstention doctrine. (ECF No. 8 at 3 (citing
Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971)).)
“[T]he Supreme Court held a federal court should not
equitably interfere with state criminal proceedings except in
the most narrow and extraordinary circumstances.”
(Id.) Moreover, the Report provides: “From
Younger and its progeny, the Fourth Circuit has
culled the following test to determine when abstention is
appropriate: ‘(1) there are ongoing state judicial
proceedings; (2) the proceedings implicate important state
interests; and (3) there is an adequate opportunity to raise
federal claims in the state proceedings.'”
(Id. (citing Martin Marietta Corp. v. Maryland
Comm'n on Human Relations, 38 F.3d 1392, 1396 (4th
Cir. 1994)) (citations omitted).)
the Magistrate Judge determined that Plaintiff is involved in
an ongoing state criminal proceeding. (Id. at 4.) As
such, the Younger doctrine is applicable because the
State has an interest in administering the criminal justice
system “free from federal interference . . . [and] that
should influence a court considering equitable types of
relief.” Kelly v. Robinson, 479 U.S. 36, 49
(1986). Furthermore, “Plaintiff has the opportunity to
present his constitutional claims in state court during the
disposition of his criminal charges.” (ECF No. 8 at 4.)
Consequently, the court declines to exercise jurisdiction
over Plaintiff's Complaint because it is not the proper
thorough review of the Report and the record in this case,
the court ACCEPTS the Magistrate Judge's
Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 8) and
DISMISSES Plaintiffs Complaint (ECF No. 1)
without issuance and service of process and with prejudice to
file again during the pendency of his criminal charges.