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Raheem Thompson v. Baldwin

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


March 27, 2012

RAHEEM THOMPSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BALDWIN, OFFICER, FCI RAY BROOK AND HENRY J. SADOWSKI, REGIONAL COUNSEL, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Scullin, Senior Judge

ORDER

Currently before the Court are Magistrate Judge Peebles' August 16, 2011 Report and Recommendation, see Dkt. No. 54, and Plaintiff's objections thereto, see Dkt. No. 56.

Plaintiff Raheem Thompson commenced this civil rights action pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), and the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA"), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b), 2671 et seq. In his amended complaint, Plaintiff alleged that, while he was incarcerated at the Ray Brook Federal Correctional Institute ("FCI Ray Brook"), fellow inmates stole items of his personal property; Defendant Baldwin observed the theft but did nothing to stop or correct it; and Defendant Sadowski violated his Fifth Amendment due process rights by refusing to offer him a settlement in response to his administrative tort claim filed pursuant to the FTCA concerning his property loss, thereby effectively denying him an adequate post-deprivation remedy. See generally Dkt. Nos. 1, 23.*fn1

On November 1, 2010, Defendants filed a pre-answer motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment, in which they sought dismissal of Plaintiff's complaint in its entirety on the grounds that Plaintiff had failed to exhaust his available administrative remedies and that his complaint failed to state a plausible due process cause of action. See Dkt. No. 39. Prior to opposing that motion, Plaintiff moved this Court to stay the case to permit him to exhaust his administrative remedies. See Dkt. No. 44. Plaintiff subsequently submitted papers in opposition to Defendants' motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. See Dkt. No. 49.

In a Report and Recommendation dated August 16, 2011, Magistrate Judge Peebles recommended that this Court treat Defendants' motion as a motion for summary judgment, rather than a motion to dismiss, and grant Defendants' motion in its entirety because Plaintiff's only claim of substance - his due process claim - failed as a matter of law. See generally Dkt. No. 54. Magistrate Judge Peebles further recommended that this Court deny Plaintiff's motion to stay as futile in light of Magistrate Judge Peebles' determination that no genuine issue of material fact existed as to the merits of Plaintiff's due process claim. See id. Plaintiff objected to Magistrate Judge Peebles' recommendation. See Dkt. No. 56.

Where a party makes specific objections to the magistrate judge's report and recommendation, the Court conducts a de novo review. See Trombley v. Oneill, No. 8:11-CV-0569, 2011 WL 5881781, *2 (N.D.N.Y. Nov. 23, 2011) (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(2); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C)). Where a party makes no objection or makes only conclusory or general objections, however, the Court reviews the report and recommendation for "clear error" only. See Salmini v. Astrue, No. 3:06-CV-458, 2009 WL 1794741, *1 (N.D.N.Y. June 23, 2009) (quotation omitted). After conducting the appropriate review, a district court may decide to accept, reject, or modify those recommendations. See Linares v. Mahunik, No. 9:05-CV-625, 2009 WL 3165660, *10 (N.D.N.Y. Sept. 29, 2009) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C)).

The Court has conducted a de novo review of Magistrate Judge Peebles' Report and Recommendation in light of Plaintiff's specific objections. Having completed its review, the Court hereby

ORDERS that Magistrate Judge Peebles' August 16, 2011 Report and Recommendation is ACCEPTED in its entirety for the reasons stated therein; and the Court further

ORDERS that Defendants' motion for summary judgment is GRANTED in its entirety; and the Court further

ORDERS that Plaintiff's motion to stay this action is DENIED as futile and moot; and the Court further

ORDERS that the Clerk of the Court shall enter judgment in favor of Defendants and close this case; and the Court further

ORDERS that the Clerk of the Court shall serve a copy of this Order on the parties in accordance with the Local Rules.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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