Cason v. S.C. State Ports Auth.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
PartiesToby Cason, Jr. and Robert L. Stewart, Plaintiffs, v. South Carolina State Ports Authority, James I. Newsome, II, Stephen E. Connor, Lorinda Rinaldi, and James Young, all in their official and individual capacities, Defendants.
Docket NumberCivil Action No. 2:11-2241-RMG
Decision Date09 October 2012

Toby Cason, Jr. and Robert L. Stewart, Plaintiffs,
South Carolina State Ports Authority, James I. Newsome, II, Stephen E. Connor, Lorinda Rinaldi,
and James Young, all in their official and individual capacities, Defendants.

Civil Action No. 2:11-2241-RMG


Dated: October 9, 2012


In this action, Plaintiffs, both former employees of the Defendant South Carolina State Ports Authority (SPA), assert four causes of action under Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (See Dkt. No. 41). On March 22, 2012, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). The motion seeks to dismiss two of Plaintiffs' causes of action: 1) Title VII gender discrimination and 2) §1983 violation of due process. (Dkt. No. 42). Plaintiffs filed a response in opposition to the motion (Dkt. No. 49) and Defendants filed a reply (Dkt. No. 50). Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant then filed a Report and Recommendation recommending the Court grant Defendants' motion to dismiss. (Dkt. No. 58). Plaintiffs then filed objections to the Magistrate's Report. (Dkt. No. 59). After carefully considering the record, the relevant law, and Report and Recommendation, the Court adopts in full the Magistrate Judge's Recommendation.

I. Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge

The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court. The recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the responsibility for making a final determination remains with this Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). This Court is charged with making

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a de novo determination of those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which specific objection is made. Additionally, the Court may "accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). This Court may also "receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions." Id. In the absence of specific objections to the Report and Recommendation, this Court is not required to give any explanation for adopting the recommendation. Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 200 (4th Cir. 1983).

II. Legal Standard

Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) permits the dismissal of an action if the complaint fails "to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Such a motion tests the legal sufficiency of the complaint and "does not resolve contests surrounding the facts, the merits of the claim, or the applicability of defenses. . . . Our inquiry then is limited to whether the allegations constitute 'a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.'" Republican Party of N.C. v. Martin, 980 F.2d 943, 952 (4th Cir. 1992) (quotation marks and citation omitted). In a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court is obligated to "assume the truth of all facts alleged in the complaint and the existence of any fact that can proved, consistent with the complaint's allegations." E. Shore Mkts., Inc. v. J.D. Assocs. Ltd. P'ship, 213 F.3d 175, 180 (4th Cir. 1980). However, while the Court must accept the facts in a light most favorable to the non-moving party, it "need not accept as true unwarranted inferences, unreasonable conclusions, or arguments." Id.

To survive a motion to dismiss, the complaint must state "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Although the requirement of plausibility does not impose a probability requirement at this stage,

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the complaint must show more than a "sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). A complaint has "facial plausibility" where the pleading "allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id.

III. Analysis/Discussion

A. § 1983 Violation of Due Process1

Plaintiffs' assert a claim against the named natural Defendants for alleged due process violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Section 1983 allows "a party who has been deprived of a federal right under the color of state law to seek relief." City of...

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