Civil Action No. 3:16-9282.


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

Editors Note
Applicable Law: 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Cause: 42 U.S.C. § 1983 Civil Rights Act
Nature of Suit: 440 Civil Rights: Other
Source: PACER

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

William Jarrett, Plaintiff, Pro Se.


ROBERT C. CHAMBERS, Chief District Judge.

Pending before the Court are Plaintiffs Application to Proceed Without Prepayment of Fees and Costs (ECF No. 1) and the initial screening of Plaintiff's amended complaint (ECF No. 7).1 By Standing Order, this case was assigned to Magistrate Judge Cheryl A. Eifert for proposed findings of fact and recommendations for disposition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). The Magistrate Judge issued the Proposed Findings and Recommendations (PF&R) on May 25, 2017, concluding that Plaintiffs Application should be denied and Plaintiffs Amended Complaint should be dismissed. See PF&R, ECF No. 13, at 2. Plaintiff subsequently filed an Objection to the PF&R that is now ripe for review. See Obj., ECF No. 17. For the following reasons, the Court OVERRULES Plaintiffs objection, ACCEPTS and INCORPORATES herein the Magistrate Judge's findings and recommendations, DENIES Plaintiffs Application (ECF No. 1), and DISMISSES Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (ECF No. 7).

The Court conducts a de novo review of those portions of the Magistrate Judge's report to which a party objects. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C) ("A judge of the court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendation to which objection is made. A judge of the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate."). In conducting this review, however, the Court does not hold a hearing. Instead, the Court reads and considers the documents in the record, including the Amended Complaint, the PF&R, and any filed objections. The Court, however, is not required to review, under a de novo or other standard, the factual or legal conclusions of the Magistrate Judge as to those portions of the findings or recommendations to which no objection is made. See Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985).

Plaintiffs Objections fail to object to a specific portion of the PF&R. Instead, Plaintiff again asserts that Plaintiff was not notified of a court hearing (presumably referring to John Benson's parole hearing described in the Amended Complaint); that Plaintiff finds the court's findings to be without merit; and that no one can provide Plaintiff with the sentimental letter that was allegedly sent by him. See Obj., ECF No. 17, at 1-2. None of these complaints object to the Magistrate Judge's finding that Plaintiff cannot maintain a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against Defendant because Defendant is an arm of the State of West Virginia. See PF&R, ECF No. 13, at 5-7; Parkulo v. W. Virginia Bd. of Prob. & Parole, 483 S.E.2d 507, 513-14 n.2 (1996). Congress did not intend for § 1983 to apply against the state or the state's "political entities and political subdivisions", so Plaintiff must assert the claim against a "person" to have a plausible cause of action that survives an initial screening. Maryland Stadium Auth. v. Ellerbe Becket Inc., 407 F.3d 255, 260 (4th Cir. 2005); see also Will v. Michigan Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58, 60 (1989). The Magistrate Judge explained to Plaintiff that the named defendant could not satisfy the "person" standard under § 1983, but Plaintiff failed to alter his pleading to reflect the legal requirement. See PF&R, ECF No. 13, at 2. The Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge's legal analysis that Plaintiffs Amended Complaint does not state a claim for which relief can be granted. Id. at 4. Plaintiffs objections do not rectify the Amended Complaint's deficiencies and do not object to any specific portion of the Magistrate Judge's PF&R.

Accordingly, the Court OVERRULES Plaintiff's objection, ACCEPTS and INCORPORATES herein the Magistrate Judge's findings and recommendations, DENIES Plaintiff's Application (ECF No. 1), and DISMISSES Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (ECF No. 7).

The Court DIRECTS the Clerk to send a copy of this Order to counsel of record and any unrepresented parties.


1. Plaintiff is acting pro se, so the Court holds the filed documents to a less stringent standard than if they had been prepared by a lawyer. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972).


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