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Skelton v. Roe, No. 3:11-91-MBS - 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56667 (D.S.C. May 25, 2011)

Rule:

The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this court. The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The responsibility for making a final determination remains with this court. The court is charged with making a de novo determination of any portions of the Report and Recommendation to which a specific objection is made. The court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation made by the Magistrate Judge or may recommit the matter to the Magistrate Judge with instructions. 

Facts:

Plaintiff James B. Skelton, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, filed a complaint on January 12, 2011, seeking to have Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 93 S. Ct. 705, 35 L. Ed. 2d 147 (1973), overturned. According to Plaintiff, the Supreme Court, in deciding Roe v. Wade, "violated the separation of powers by creating a law that legalizes murder." The United States Magistrate Judge, tasked to review Plaintiff’s complaint, noted that Plaintiff has raised claims regarding Roe v. Wade in two previous actions, both of which were summarily dismissed. In addition, the Magistrate Judge noted that Plaintiff lacks standing to assert his claim. Accordingly, the Magistrate Judge recommended that Plaintiff's complaint be summarily dismissed. Plaintiff filed objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation. According to Plaintiff’s objection, he was the parent of a special needs child, and that laws protecting disabled children should be extended to unborn children.

Issue:

Should Plaintiff’s complaint be summarily dismissed?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

The Court noted that the Magistrate Judge’s task was to make a recommendation to the court. The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The responsibility for making a final determination remains with the court. The court is charged with making a de novo determination of any portions of the Report and Recommendation to which a specific objection is made. The court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation made by the Magistrate Judge or may recommit the matter to the Magistrate Judge with instructions. The court held that based on Plaintiff’s objection, the district court need not conduct a de novo review when a party made only general and conclusory objections that did not direct the court to a specific error in the Magistrate Judge's proposed findings and recommendations. As such, the court found it proper to adopt the Magistrate Judge’s Report of and Recommendation, and summarily dismissed Plaintiff’s complaint.

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