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Cesar Garcia v. M. Duvall

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


January 9, 2012

CESAR GARCIA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
M. DUVALL, CORR. OFFICER, CAPE VINCENT C.F.; BACKUS, CORR. OFFICER, CAPE VINCENT CF.; STACEY, CORR. OFFICER, CAPE VINCENT C.F.; LAWTON, CORR. OFFICER, CAPE VINCENT C.F.; R. GRAVES, CORR. SERGEANT, CAPE VINCENT C.F.; AND MEANEY, CORR. SERGEANT, CAPE VINCENT C.F., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby, United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM-DECISION and ORDER

Currently before the Court, in this pro se prisoner civil rights action filed by Cesar Garcia ("Plaintiff") against the six above-named New York State correctional employees ("Defendants"), are (1) Defendants' motion for summary judgment, and (2) United States Magistrate Judge Randolph F. Treece's Report-Recommendation recommending that Defendants' motion be granted and that Plaintiff's Complaint be dismissed. (Dkt. Nos. 48, 50.) For the reasons set forth below, Magistrate Judge Treece's Report-Recommendation is accepted and adopted in its entirety; Defendants' motion is granted; and Plaintiff's complaint is dismissed.

I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND

Construed with the utmost of liberality, Plaintiff's Complaint alleges that, while he was incarcerated at Cape Vincent Correctional Facility ("Cape Vincent C.F.") in Cape Vincent, New York, on November 14, 2007, Defendants violated his rights under the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution by using excessive force against him. (See generally Dkt. No. 1.) Familiarity with the factual allegations supporting this claim is assumed in this Decision and Order, which is intended primarily for review by the parties. (Id. at 5.)

On April 5, 2011, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal of this action based on Plaintiff's failure to exhaust his available administrative remedies before he filed this action on August 4, 2009. (Dkt. No. 48, Attach. 9.) Despite the fact that the Court sua sponte extended the deadline for Plaintiff's response to Defendants' motion (out of an extension of special solicitude to him as a pro se civil rights litigant), Plaintiff did not submit a response to Defendants' motion. (Dkt. No. 49.) On August 12, 2011, Magistrate Judge Treece issued a Report-Recommendation recommending that Defendants' motion be granted. (Dkt. No. 50.) Familiarity with the grounds of Magistrate Judge Treece's Report-Recommendation is assumed in this Decision and Order, which is intended primarily for the review of the parties. (Id.) Plaintiff has not filed an Objection to Magistrate Judge Treece's Report-Recommendation, and the deadline by which to do so has expired. (See generally Docket Sheet.)

II. APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Standard of Review

When a specific objection is made to a portion of a magistrate judge's report-recommendation, the Court subjects that portion of the report-recommendation to a de novo review. Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(2); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). To be "specific," the objection must, with particularity, "identify [1] the portions of the proposed findings, recommendations, or report to which it has an objection and [2] the basis for the objection." N.D.N.Y. L.R. 72.1(c).*fn1 When performing such a de novo review, "[t]he judge may . . . receive further evidence. . . ." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). However, a district court will ordinarily refuse to consider evidentiary material that could have been, but was not, presented to the magistrate judge in the first instance.*fn2

When only a general objection is made to a portion of a magistrate judge's report-recommendation, the Court subjects that portion of the report-recommendation to only a clear error review. Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(2),(3); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b), Advisory Committee Notes: 1983 Addition.*fn3 Similarly, when an objection merely reiterates the same arguments made by the objecting party in its original papers submitted to the magistrate judge, the Court subjects that portion of the report-recommendation challenged by those arguments to only a clear error review.*fn4 Finally, when no objection is made to a portion of a report-recommendation, the Court subjects that portion of the report-recommendation to only a clear error review. Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b), Advisory Committee Notes: 1983 Addition. When performing such a "clear error" review, "the court need only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation." Id.*fn5

After conducting the appropriate review, 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).

B. Legal Standard Governing Unopposed Motions for Summary Judgment

Magistrate Judge Treece correctly recited the legal standard governing unopposed motions for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 50, at 2-4.) As a result, that standard is incorporated by reference in this Decision and Order.

III. ANALYSIS

Because Plaintiff has not filed an Objection to Magistrate Judge Treece's Report-Recommendation and the time in which to do so has expired, the Court need review the Report-

Recommendation for only clear error, pursuant to the standard of review recited above in Part

II.A of this Decision and Order.

After doing so, the court concludes that Magistrate Judge Treece's thorough Report-Recommendation is not clearly erroneous.(Dkt. No. 50 [Report-Recommendation].) Magistrate Judge Treece employed the proper standards, accurately recited the facts, and reasonably applied the law to those facts. (Id.) As a result, the Court adopts the Report-Recommendation in its entirety for the reasons stated therein. The Court would add only that Magistrate Judge Treece's Report-Recommendation would survive even a de novo review.

ACCORDINGLY, it is

ORDERED that Magistrate Judge Treece's Report-Recommendation (Dkt. No. 50) is ACCEPTED and ADOPTED in its entirety; and it is further

ORDERED that Defendants' motion for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 48) is GRANTED, and that Plaintiff's Complaint (Dkt. No. 1) is DISMISSED. The clerk is directed to enter judgment and close this case.


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