United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
M. GROH CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
pending before the Court is a Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”) issued by United States Magistrate
Judge Robert W. Trumble. ECF No. 6. Pursuant to this
Court's Local Rules, this action was referred to
Magistrate Judge Trumble for submission of an R&R. On
February 28, 2019, Magistrate Judge Trumble issued his
R&R recommending that the Court dismiss the
Plaintiff's complaint without prejudice and deny as moot
his application to proceed in forma pauperis.
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C), this Court is required to
conduct a de novo review of those portions of the
magistrate judge's findings to which objection is made.
However, this Court is not required to review, under a de
novo or any other standard, the factual or legal
conclusions of the magistrate judge to which no objections
are made. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985).
Failure to file objections in a timely manner constitutes a
waiver of de novo review and a plaintiff's right
to appeal this Court's order. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(C); Snyder v. Ridenour, 889 F.2d 1363,
1366 (4th Cir. 1989); United States v. Schronce, 727
F.2d 91, 94 (4th Cir. 1984).
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C) and Rule 72(b) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, objections to Magistrate
Judge Trumble's R&R were due within fourteen days
after being served with a copy of the same. The R&R was
sent to the Plaintiff by certified mail, return receipt
requested, on February 28, 2019. ECF No. 6. The Plaintiff
accepted service on March 4, 2019. ECF No. 9. The Plaintiff
filed his objections on March 6, 2019. ECF No. 10.
Accordingly, the Court will review the portions of the
R&R to which the Plaintiff objects de novo.
Judge Trumble recommended that this action be dismissed
because the Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over the
claim. ECF No. 6 at 1. Prior to addressing subject-matter
jurisdiction, Magistrate Judge Trumble liberally construed
the Plaintiff's complaint to be related to the Social
Security Administration decision denying the Plaintiff
benefits. While the Plaintiff refers to Title VII and 42
U.S.C. §§ 2000 et seq. in his complaint, it is
apparent his claims must be evaluated pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g). Magistrate Judge Trumble found that there is
no indication the Plaintiff exhausted his administrative
remedies prior to filing his complaint. Therefore, this Court
lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over the Plaintiff's
to filing objections, the Plaintiff filed a Motion Filed for
Clarity in Answer to this Court Referring this Case to a
Magistrate 2/14/2019 Concerning the Above. In his motion, the
Plaintiff states that Title VII was inadvertently listed on
the complaint and this Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1331. Thereafter, Plaintiff filed his
objections. In his objections, the Plaintiff states that
“[t]he complaint avers and asserts a federal question
of discrimination under 28 U.S.C. 1331.” ECF No. 10 at
1. The Plaintiff argues that administrative remedies are not
adequate to address a discrimination claim. However, the
Plaintiffs argument is misguided. The Plaintiffs
discrimination claim is based on the denial of Social
Security benefits. While the Social Security Administration
has a process in place to address claims of discrimination,
the Plaintiff must follow the appeal process if he seeks a
different outcome regarding his disability determination. As
correctly identified by Magistrate Judge Trumble, the Court
cannot assume federal question jurisdiction over the
Plaintiffs claims until after the Plaintiff exhausts
his administrative remedies. See Evans v. Comm'r Soc.
Sec. Admin., 670 Fed.Appx. 156, 156 (4th Cir. 2016). The
Plaintiffs objections fail to address whether he exhausted
his administrative remedies.
upon careful review and finding no error of fact or law, the
Court ORDERS that Magistrate Judge
Trumble's Report and Recommendation [ECF No. 6] is
ADOPTED for the reasons more fully stated
therein. The Plaintiffs Complaint [ECF No. 1] is
DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE and the
Plaintiffs Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma
Pauperis [ECF No. 2] is DENIED AS MOOT.
Further, the Plaintiffs Motion for Clarity in Answer to this
Court Referring this Case to a Magistrate Dated 2/14/2019
Concerning the Above [ECF No. 7] is DENIED AS
Clerk is DIRECTED to strike this case from
the Court's active docket and transmit a copy of this
Order to the pro se Plaintiff ...