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Christian v. Hale

United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Huntington Division

August 13, 2019

GARY LYNN CHRISTIAN, Plaintiff,
v.
ADRIA DARLENE HALE; RICHARD HALE; and LAKKEN HILL, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ROBERT C. CHAMBERS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's Objection to the Proposed Findings and Recommendation (“PF&R”). ECF No. 28. For the following reasons, the Court ADOPTS AND INCORPORATES HEREIN the Magistrate Judge's PF&R (ECF No. 27), GRANTS the Motion to Dismiss of Defendants Adria Hale and Richard Hale (ECF No. 17), DENIES Plaintiff's Motion to Appoint Counsel (ECF No. 21), DISMISSES Plaintiff's Complaint against Defendant Hill, and REMOVES this case from the Court's docket.

         I.

         PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On October 22, 2018, Plaintiff Gary Christian filed a pro se Complaint, alleging that he was discriminated against based on his sexual orientation when he was fired from his inmate employment assignment at the Western Regional Jail and Correctional Facility. ECF No. 2, at 4. On November 7, 2018, the Honorable Cheryl A. Eifert, Magistrate Judge, issued an Order advising Plaintiff that his Complaint failed to state a cognizable claim. ECF No. 4. Plaintiff was instructed to amend his Complaint to cure the identified deficiencies, and Plaintiff did so on November 28, 2018. ECF No. 5. Defendants Adria and Richard Hale were then served by the United States Marshals Service, but Defendant Lakken Hill was not located or served. ECF Nos. 11, 12, 26.

         On January 29, 2019, Defendants Adria and Richard Hale filed a Motion to Dismiss, and on February 19, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Appoint Counsel. ECF Nos. 17, 21. After consideration of the motions, the Magistrate Judge filed the present PF&R on June 27, 2019, in which she recommends that Plaintiff's motion be denied, the motion of Defendants Adria and Richard Hale be granted, Plaintiff's Complaint against Defendant Hill be dismissed, and the case be removed from the docket. ECF No. 27. Plaintiff filed a timely objection to the PF&R on July 15, 2019. ECF No. 28

         II.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         In reviewing the PF&R, this Court must “make a de novo determination of those portions of . . . [the Magistrate Judge's] proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). In doing so, “the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” Id. The Court, however, is not required to review the factual or legal conclusions of the Magistrate Judge to which no objection is made. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985). Courts will uphold those portions of a recommendation to which no objection has been made unless they are “clearly erroneous.” See Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005).

         When a party acts pro se, the Court must liberally construe his pleadings and objections. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). However, failure to raise specific errors waives the right to de novo review because “general or conclusory” objections do not warrant such review. McPherson v. Astrue, 605 F.Supp.2d 744, 749 (S.D. W.Va. 2009) (citing Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982) (other citation omitted)). “[V]ague objections to the magistrate judge's findings prevents the district court from focusing on disputed issues and thus renders the initial referral to the magistrate judge useless.” Id. (citation omitted).

         III.

         DISCUSSION

         Magistrate Judge Eifert recommends that Defendants Adria and Richard Hale's Motion to Dismiss be granted, Plaintiff's Motion to Appoint Counsel be denied, and Plaintiff's Complaint against Defendant Hill be dismissed. Plaintiff's “Objection” in response state as follows:

Plaintiff has stated a claim for which relief can be granted against the Defendants under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983[.] Plaintiff was denied my civil rights protected under the Constitution and law[s] of the United States and was caused by agents or employees acting with authority of the state under color of state law. The Defendants were man[a]ging and directing the only food operation at the Western Regional Jail . . . so the Court is dismissing my case against the Defendants [or] am I reading it wrong[?] I am not sure could ...

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