UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
November 10, 1992
JOHN A. CAMARDO, SR., Plaintiff,
GENERAL MOTORS HOURLY-RATE EMPLOYEES PENSION PLAN, Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHARD J. ARCARA
This matter was referred to Magistrate Judge Carol E. Heckman pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), for report and recommendation on defendant's summary judgment and dismissal motions.
Magistrate Judge Heckman filed a Report and Recommendation on June 22, 1992 denying defendant's motions for dismissal and summary judgment. Instead, she recommended awarding plaintiff summary judgment. Defendant objects to the Report and Recommendation. For the reasons stated herein, the Court adopts the findings of the Magistrate Judge, denies defendant's summary judgment and dismissal motions, and further awards summary judgment to plaintiff.
Failure to Follow the Local Rules
Objections to a Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation are governed by Rule 30(a)(3) of the Local Rules for the United States District Court for the Western District of New York ("Local Rules"). Specifically, Local Rule 30(a)(3) provides that the "written objections shall specifically identify the portions of the proposed findings and recommendations to which objection is made and the basis for such objection and shall be supported by legal authority."
It is clear from the plain meaning of the rule that objections to a Report and Recommendation are to be specific and are to address only those portions of the proposed findings to which the party objects. It is improper for an objecting party to attempt to relitigate the entire content of the hearing before the Magistrate Judge by submitting papers to a district court which are nothing more than a rehashing of the same arguments and positions taken in the original papers submitted to the Magistrate Judge. Clearly, parties are not to be afforded a "second bite at the apple" when they file objections to a Report and Recommendation, as the "goal of the federal statute providing for the assignment of cases to magistrates is to 'increase the overall efficiency of the federal judiciary.'" McCarthy v. Manson, 554 F. Supp. 1275, 1286 (D.Conn. 1982), aff'd, 714 F.2d 234 (2d Cir. 1983) (quoting Nettles v. Wainwright, 677 F.2d 404, 410 (Former 5th Cir. 1982) (en banc)) (footnote omitted). "The purpose of the Federal Magistrates Act is to relieve courts of unnecessary work." Park Motor Mart, Inc. v. Ford Motor Co., 616 F.2d 603, 605 (1st Cir. 1980). There is no increase in efficiency, and much extra work, when a party attempts to relitigate every argument which it presented to the Magistrate Judge.
Defendant in the instant action attempted to take a "second bite" when it filed objections to the Report and Recommendation. Instead of citing objections to specific portions of the proposed findings and recommendations, defendant merely submitted a revised version of the same arguments it presented to the Magistrate Judge. Entire portions of the brief were transposed into the objections.
The Fifth Circuit said:
it is reasonable to place upon the parties the duty to pinpoint those portions of the magistrates report that the district court must specifically consider. This rule facilitates the opportunity for district judges to spend more time on matters actually contested and produces a result compatible with the purposes of the Magistrates Act.
Nettles, 677 F.2d at 410. In the accompanying footnote, the court said "parties filing objections must specifically identify those findings objected to. Frivolous, conclusive or general objections need not be considered by the district court." Id. at 410 n.8. Defendant clearly did not "pinpoint" specific portions of the report and recommendation to which it objected, but instead, attempted to rehash its entire argument and have this Court conduct a duplicative review where nearly every issue presented to the Magistrate Judge was raised for a second time on objection.
Failure to abide by the Local Rules constitutes reason enough to dismiss defendant's objections as courts have broad discretion in interpreting and applying their Local Rules. Green v. Dorrell, 969 F.2d 915 (10th Cir. 1992); Smith v. Oelenschlager, 845 F.2d 1182 (3d Cir. 1988); Miranda v. Southern Pac. Transp. Co., 710 F.2d 516, 521 (9th Cir. 1983). Accordingly, the Court dismisses defendant's objections for failure to comply with Local Rule 30(a)(3).
De Novo Review
The above notwithstanding, the Court has, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), made a de novo determination of the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation. The Court has also reviewed the submissions of the parties and has heard argument from counsel. Upon de novo review, the Court adopts the proposed findings for the reasons stated in Magistrate Judge Heckman's Report and Recommendation.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the objections are dismissed due to defendant's failure to comply with the Local Rules; and
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge is adopted in its entirety on the merits.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
HONORABLE RICHARD J. ARCARA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: November 10, 1992