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KLAPPER v. VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS

United States District Court, S.D. New York


August 11, 2004.

JOEL KLAPPER a/k/a JOEL NORTH, Plaintiff,
v.
VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS, INC. and AT&T CORP., Defendants.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: DENISE COTE, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION and ORDER

On April 29, 2002, pro se plaintiff Joel Klapper ("Klapper") brought this action to vacate judgments and orders issued in numerous actions previously brought by him against Verizon Communications, Inc. ("Verizon") and AT&T Corp. ("AT&T") (collectively, "Defendants"). The Honorable Whitman Knapp entered a July 23, 2002 Order ("Order") dismissing the action in its entirety and awarding Defendants their attorneys' fees as a sanction for Klapper's filing of vexatious litigation and his repeated violation of an injunction precluding him from bringing further actions premised on the facts at issue.*fn1 Klapper v. Verizon Communications, Inc., No. 02 Civ. 3262 (WK), 2002 WL 1580019, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. July 16, 2002).

Before the Court decided the amount of attorneys' fees to be awarded Defendants, Klapper appealed the Order to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. In a Summary Order issued July 24, 2003, the Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the action, but dismissed Klapper's appeal of the sanction for want of jurisdiction because there was no final determination of the amount of attorneys' fees awarded. Klapper v. Verizon Communications, Inc., 70 Fed. Appx. 44, 45, 2003 WL 21728980, at *1 (2d Cir. July 24, 2003). The case was subsequently assigned to this Court.

  On April 15, 2004, the calculation of attorneys' fees was referred to Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz for the preparation of a Report and Recommendation ("Report") pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b). Judge Katz issued his Report on July 19, 2004, recommending that AT&T be awarded attorneys' fees in the amount of $8,568.*fn2 As indicated by Judge Katz in his Report and pursuant to Rule 72, Fed.R. Civ. P., the Plaintiff and Defendants had ten days in which to file objections to the July 19 Report.

  On July 29, this Court received a one-page letter (the "Letter") from Klapper in response to the Report. The Letter does not object to any specific portion of the Report or to any of the facts or legal standards upon which Judge Katz relied to establish the award of attorneys' fees. The Letter claims that Judge Katz is "morally unfit to judge this case," that this Court and the Court of Appeals have violated Klapper's civil rights by failing to respond to telegrams and phone calls,*fn3 and that AT&T has unfairly refused to settle Klapper's lawsuit.

  Discussion

  In reviewing the Report, 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)(C). The court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report to which objection is made. United States v. Male Juvenile, 121 F.3d 34, 38 (2d Cir. 1997). If no objection is made, "a district court need only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record." Urena v. People of the State of New York, 160 F. Supp.2d 606, 609-10 (S.D.N.Y. 2001) (citing Nelson v. Smith, 618 F. Supp. 1186, 1189 (S.D.N.Y. 1985)). See also Pizarro v. Bartlett, 776 F. Supp. 815, 817 (S.D.N.Y. 1991) (court may accept report if it is "not facially erroneous").

  Klapper has not made any specific objections to the Report requiring de novo review. Having reviewed the Report, I find no facial errors in it. Judge Katz carefully analyzed AT&T's submissions and appropriately reduced the award from the amount claimed. I, therefore, accept and adopt the Report. The Clerk of Court shall enter judgment for AT&T in the amount of $8,568 and shall close this case.

  SO ORDERED.


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