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Delville v. Brian Fischer

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


March 27, 2012

DELVILLE BENNETT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BRIAN FISCHER, COMMISSIONER OF NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES, IN HIS INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITY; DALE ARTUS, SUPERINTENDENT OF CLINTON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, IN HIS INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITY; AND H. MARTIN, CORRECTION OFFICER, IN HIS INDIVIDUAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITY, DEFENDANTS.

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

ORDER

Currently before the Court are Magistrate Judge Peebles' January 9, 2012 Report and Recommendation, see Dkt. No. 46, and Plaintiff's objections thereto, see Dkt. No. 48.

Plaintiff Delville Bennett, a New York State prison inmate, commenced this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants. In his original complaint, Plaintiff alleged that, while he was incarcerated at the Clinton Correctional Facility, Defendants violated his constitutional rights under the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. See generally Dkt. No. 1. As a result of subsequent motion practice and this Court's Order dated January 4, 2011, see Dkt. No. 35, Plaintiff's only remaining cause of action is a Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process claim. This claim arose from an incident in which Plaintiff attended a religious service at the Clinton Correctional Facility and served as a member of the choir and participated in dancing and singing associated with the event. As he was exiting the chapel area, Defendant Correctional Officer H. Martin confronted him and asked him to produce his identification card, which Defendant Martin then confiscated. Plaintiff was later issued a misbehavior report accusing him of creating a disturbance, participating in an unauthorized demonstration, and refusing to obey a direct order. Following a disciplinary hearing to address those charges against him, Plaintiff was found guilty of creating a disturbance and refusing to obey a direct order but was acquitted of the unauthorized demonstration charge.

On June 24, 2011, Defendants filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, see Dkt. No. 41, and Plaintiff opposed that motion, see Dkt. No. 45. In a Report and Recommendation dated January 9, 2012, Magistrate Judge Peebles recommended that this Court grant Defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings without leave to replead because Plaintiff failed to plausibly demonstrate both (1) the deprivation of a liberty interest sufficient to trigger the protections of the Fourteenth Amendment and (2) the denial of any procedural safeguards to which he was entitled in connection with that alleged deprivation.*fn1 See Dkt. No. 46 at 12-14. Plaintiff objected to Magistrate Judge Peebles' recommendation. See Dkt. No. 48.

Where a party makes specific objections to portions of a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, the court conducts a de novo review of those recommendations. 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' January 9, 2012 Report and Recommendation is ACCEPTED in its entirety for the reasons stated therein; and the Court further

ORDERS that Defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings is GRANTED in its entirety; 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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