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John Jay Humphrey v. Court Clerk For the U.S. Supreme Court

January 30, 2012

JOHN JAY HUMPHREY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COURT CLERK FOR THE U.S. SUPREME COURT, DEFENDANT.



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

DECISION and ORDER

Currently before the Court, in this pro se civil rights action filed by John Jay Humphrey ("Plaintiff") against the Clerk of the United States Supreme Court ("Defendant"), is United States Magistrate Judge Andrew T. Baxter's Order and Report-Recommendation recommending that Plaintiff's Complaint be sua sponte dismissed in its entirety with prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii). (Dkt. No. 4.) For the reasons set forth below, the Report-Recommendation is accepted and adopted in its entirety; Plaintiff's Complaint is sua sponte dismissed in its entirety with prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii); and Plaintiff is directed to show cause, within thirty (30) days of this Decision and Order, why this Court should not issue an Order barring him from filing any future pro se actions in this Court without first obtaining leave of the Court.

I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND

A. Plaintiff's Complaint

On August 9, 2011, Plaintiff filed his Complaint in this action. (Dkt. No. 1.) Generally, construed with the utmost of liberality, Plaintiff's Complaint claims that Defendant violated his right to access the courts and/or due process of law under the First and/or Fourteenth Amendments when, acting outside of his official capacity on or about May 18, 2011, he usurped the Supreme Court Justices' exclusive authority by impermissibly denying Plaintiff's motion "to have the court accept [Plaintiff's] writ [of appeal from the Second Circuit's dismissal of his appeal] the way it was," and returning the motion and writ to Plaintiff. (Id. at ¶ 7, 8.) For a more detailed recitation of Plaintiff's claims and supporting factual allegations, the Court refers the reader to the Complaint in its entirety and to Magistrate Judge Baxter's Report-Recommendation. (Dkt. Nos. 1, 4.)

B. Magistrate Judge Baxter's Report-Recommendation

On August 12, 2011, Magistrate Judge Baxter issued an Order and Report-Recommendation granting Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis and recommending that Plaintiff's Complaint be sua sponte dismissedin its entirety with prejudice, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)-(iii), for the following three reasons: (1) frivolousness or maliciousness, (2) failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted; and (3) seeking monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. (Dkt. No. 4.) More specifically, Magistrate Judge Baxter found that, according to Plaintiff's own factual allegations, Defendant is entitled to absolute immunity as a matter of law. (Id.)

C. Plaintiff's Failure to File an Objection

The last two pages of Magistrate Judge Baxter's Report-Recommendation specifically advised Plaintiff of the deadline for filing written objections to the Report-Recommendation, and the consequences of failing to do so. (Dkt. No. 4.) Moreover, by the time the Report-Recommendation was issued (on August 11, 2011), Plaintiff had been sent copies of, inter alia, Local Rule of Practice 72.1(c) (which sets forth the procedure and deadline for filing Objections, and the consequences of failing to do so), and page 31 of the District's Pro Se Handbook (which contains similar information). (Dkt. No. 3, at 2.) In addition, at that time, Plaintiff had acquired considerable litigation experience objecting to report-recommendations in pro se civil rights action in federal courts. See, infra, Part III.B. of this Decision and Order.

Nonetheless, Plaintiff elected not to file an Objection to the Report-Recommendation. Instead, on September 2, 2011, Plaintiff filed a documented addressed to the Second Circuit and entitled "Notice of Appeal." (Dkt. No. 5.) Rather than describing the flaws that Plaintiff perceives in the Report-Recommendation, the document merely attaches a copy of the Report-Recommendation. (Dkt. No. 5, Attach. 2.) Because the document contains no specific criticism of Magistrate Judge Baxter's Report-Recommendation, the Court cannot, and does not, even liberally construe it as effectively constituting an Objection to that Report-Recommendation.

The Court notes that Plaintiff's appeal does not deprive the Court of jurisdiction, under the circumstances, given that it is untimely and manifestly defective appeal from a non-appealable order. Nat'l Council of La Raza v. Dep't of Justice, 345 F. Supp.2d 412, 413 (S.D.N.Y.2004), aff'd, 411 F.3d 350 (2d Cir. 2005); cf. Doggett v. Douglas, 95-CV-0013, 1997 WL 642431, at *5 (N.D.N.Y. Oct. 14, 1997) (Pooler, J.) ("The plaintiff improperly attempted to appeal the Order and Report-Recommendation to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. . . . The appeal was dismissed . . . because there was no final order from which to appeal. ").

II. APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Standard of Review Governing a Report-Recommendation

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. ยง 636(b)(1). However, a district ...


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