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Peterson v. Todd

United States District Court, Second Circuit

June 7, 2013

CARLOS PETERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
JUDGE DONALD E. TODD, and D.A. WILLIAM FITZPATRICK, Defendants.

Carlos Peterson, 08-B-3052, Clinton Correctional Facility, Dannemora, New York, Plaintiff pro se.

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

MAE A. D'AGOSTINO, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff has brought a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants Todd and Fitzpatrick, the judge and district attorney, respectively, who presided and prosecuted over his criminal proceedings. Having reviewed the parties submissions, the Court finds that Plaintiff's case must be dismissed with prejudice because his conviction has not been independently vacated, or, alternatively, because both Defendants are entitled to absolute immunity.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Plaintiff's Complaint

In a civil rights complaint dated September 7, 2012, Plaintiff pro se alleges that Defendants committed malicious prosecution and fraud. See Dkt. No. 1 at ¶ 7. Plaintiff does so while he remains confined in the Clinton Correction Facility, located in Dannemora, New York. See Dkt. No. 1 at ¶ 2. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants did the following: (1) permitted the introduction of false testimony in order to deny motions to vacate his conviction;

(2) made material, discriminatory misstatements of the law; and (3) failed to disclose potential exculpatory evidence. See id. at 4. Plaintiff requests actual and punitive damages in the sum of $15, 000, 000.

In a Report, Recommendation and Order dated February 7, 2013, Magistrate Judge Peebles recommended that the Court dismiss with prejudice Plaintiff's claims against both Defendant Fitzpatrick and Defendant Todd pursuant to Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), or, alternatively, on the basis of prosecutorial and judicial immunity, respectively. See Dkt No. 7 at 9-15.

B. Plaintiff's Objection to Magistrate Judge Peebles' Report, Recommendation and Order

Plaintiff objects to Magistrate Judge Peebles' Order and Report-Recommendation. Firstly, Plaintiff claims that his original complaint against Defendant Todd had nothing to do with his criminal trial, which he says was presided over by Judge William D. Walsh, not Defendant Todd. See Dkt. No. 8 at 1. The fraud claims against Defendant Todd are apparently derived from Plaintiff's "at least 7 or 8 440.10 motions in the hands of [J]udge Donald E. Todd and the D.A. office." See id. at 2. Plaintiff, therefore, objects to Magistrate Judge Peebles' reliance on Heck in his Report, Recommendation and Order.

Secondly, Plaintiff objects to Magistrate Judge Peebles' reliance on absolute immunity in his Order and Report-Recommendation. According to Plaintiff's objection, "[t]he [i]mmunity type of shield doesn't [i]mmune corrupt." See id.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

When a party files specific objections to a magistrate judge's report-recommendation, the district court makes a " de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). However, when a party files "[g]eneral or conclusory objections or objections which merely recite the same arguments [that he presented] to the magistrate judge, " the court reviews those recommendations for clear error. O'Diah v. Mawhir, No. 9:08-CV-322, 2011 WL 933846, *1 (N.D.N.Y. Mar. 16, 2011) (citations and footnote omitted). After the ...


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