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Rahman v. Fischer

United States District Court, N.D. New York

February 20, 2014

SHA-HEED RAHMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
BRIAN FISCHER, et al., Defendants.

DECISION and ORDER

LAWRENCE E. KAHN, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter comes before the Court following a Report-Recommendation filed on November 4, 2013, by the Honorable Therèse Wiley Dancks, U.S. Magistrate Judge, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rule 72.3. Dkt. No. 68 ("Report-Recommendation"). Judge Dancks reviewed Plaintiff Sha-Heed Rahman's ("Plaintiff") Amended Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1915(e) and recommended that the Court dismiss Plaintiff's claims, excepting the claim that Defendants Connell and Joslyn prevented Plaintiff from accessing water to make ablution in contravention of Plaintiff's First Amendment free exercise rights. See Dkt. Nos. 56 ("Amended Complaint"); Report-Rec. Plaintiff has filed Objections to the Report-Recommendation. Dkt. Nos. 70, 72 (collectively, "Objections"). For the following reasons, the Court accepts and adopts the Report-Recommendation.

II. BACKGROUND

The Court presumes the parties' familiarity with the facts of this case. For a complete statement of facts, reference is made to the Complaint, the Report-Recommendation, and the Court's September 2013 Order granting Defendants' Motion to dismiss. Dkt. No. 50 ("September Order").

Plaintiff filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that corrections officers at Mid-State and Oneida Correctional Facilities violated his constitutional rights. See Dkt. No. 1 ("Complaint"). Defendants moved to dismiss; the Court granted the Motion, but allowed Plaintiff leave to amend the Complaint. See Dkt. Nos. 27; Sept. Order. Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. The Report-Recommendation recommended that the Court dismiss all but one of Plaintiff's claims-that corrections officers at Oneida Correctional Facility prevented Plaintiff from accessing water to make ablution in the mornings, thereby abridging his right to free exercise of religion under the First Amendment-without leave to amend. See Report-Rec. at 31.

Plaintiff objects to the Report-Recommendation on the following grounds: (1) Defendants violated the terms of a settlement agreement from Rahman v. Goord, No. 04-CV-6368, 2007 WL 1299408 (W.D.N.Y. May 3, 2007); and (2) Defendants' searches of Plaintiff's cell violated state law. See Objs. Although both of Plaintiff's arguments are restatements of previous arguments in his Response to Defendants' Motion to dismiss and his Amended Complaint, and thus do not require the Court to review sections of the Report-Recommendation de novo, in light of Plaintiff's pro se status the Court will construe them as a motion to reconsider the Court's September Order and review them accordingly. See Dkt. Nos. 30, 56.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

A. Review of Report-Recommendation

A district court must review de novo any objected-to portions of a magistrate judge's report-recommendation or specific proposed findings or recommendations therein and "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); accord FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b); see also Morris v. Local 804, Int'l Bhd. of Teamsters , 167 F.Appx. 230, 232 (2d Cir. 2006); Barnes v. Prack, No. 11-CV-0857 , 2013 WL 1121353, at *1 (N.D.N.Y. Mar. 18, 2013). If no objections are made, or if an objection is general, conclusory, perfunctory, or a mere reiteration of an argument made to the magistrate judge, a district court need review that aspect of a report-recommendation only for clear error. Chylinski v. Bank of Am., N.A. , 434 F.Appx. 47, 48 (2d Cir. 2011); Barnes , 2013 WL 1121353, at *1; Farid v. Bouey , 554 F.Supp.2d 301, 306-07 & n.2 (N.D.N.Y. 2008); see also Machicote v. Ercole, No. 06 Civ. 13320 , 2011 WL 3809920, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 25, 2011) ("[E]ven a pro se party's objections to a Report and Recommendation must be specific and clearly aimed at particular findings in the magistrate's proposal, such that no party be allowed a second bite at the apple by simply relitigating a prior argument.").

B. Motion for Reconsideration

The standard for granting a motion for reconsideration is strict. Shrader v. CSX Transp., Inc. , 70 F.3d 255, 257 (2d Cir. 1995). A motion for reconsideration "should not be granted where the moving party seeks solely to relitigate an issue already decided." Id . Furthermore, a motion for reconsideration is not to be used for "presenting the case under new theories, securing a rehearing on the merits, or otherwise taking a second bite at the apple.'" Sequa Corp. v. GBJ Corp. , 156 F.3d 136, 144 (2d Cir. 1998). "Generally, the prevailing rule in the Northern District recognizes only three possible grounds upon which motions for reconsideration may be granted; they are (1) an intervening change in controlling law, (2) the availability of new evidence not previously available, or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice.'" Sumner v. McCall , 103 F.Supp.2d 555, 558 (N.D.N.Y. 2000) (Kahn, J.) (quoting In re C-TC 9th Ave. P'ship , 182 B.R. 1, 3 (N.D.N.Y. 1995)).

IV. ...


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