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Preacely v. AAA Typing & Resume, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

March 18, 2015

WOODROW WILSON PREACELY, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
AAA TYPING & RESUME, INC. AND MS. DENISE HIDALGO, Defendants.

ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

ANALISA TORRES, District Judge.

In this action, Plaintiff pro se, Woodrow Wilson Preacely, Jr., alleges that Defendants pro se, AAA Typing & Resume, Inc. and Denise Hidalgo, violated the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq., and the New York Labor Law. Plaintiff moves and Defendant Hildago cross-moves for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Before the Court is the Report and Recommendation (the "R & R") of Magistrate Judge Ronald L. Ellis, which proposes that: (1) Plaintiff's motion be denied; (2) Hidalgo's motion be granted; and (3) the case be dismissed with prejudice. Plaintiff filed timely objections to the R & R. For the reasons stated below, the Court ADOPTS the R & R in its entirety.

DISCUSSION[1]

I. Standard of Review

A district court "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)(1)(C). When a party makes specific objections, the court reviews de novo those portions of the R & R to which objection is made. Id.; Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). However, "when a party makes only conclusory or general objections, or simply reiterates his original arguments, " the court reviews the R & R strictly for clear error. Easterly v. Tri-Star Transport Corp., 11 Civ. 6365, 2015 WL 337565, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 23, 2015); see also Olorode v. Streamingedge, Inc., 11 Civ. 6934, 2014 WL 3974581, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 13, 2014) ("[O]bjections that are not clearly aimed at particular findings in the [R & R] do not trigger de novo review."). "[N]ew arguments and factual assertions cannot properly be raised for the first time in objections to the [R & R], and indeed may not be deemed objections at all." Razzoli v. Fed. Bureau of Prisons, 12 Civ. 3774, 2014 WL 2440771, at *5 (S.D.N.Y. May 30, 2014). The court may adopt those portions of the R & R to which no objection is made "as long as no clear error is apparent from the face of the record." Guan Ming Lin v. Benihana New York Corp., 10 Civ. 1335, 2013 WL 829098, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 27, 2013) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

" Pro se parties are generally accorded leniency when making objections." Pinkney v. Progressive Home Health Servs., 06 Civ. 5023, 2008 WL 2811816, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. July 21, 2008). "Nonetheless, even a pro se party's objections to a[n] [R & R] 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." Id. (citation omitted).

II. Plaintiff's Objections

A. Prompt Adjudication

First, Plaintiff takes issue with the fact that nearly a year elapsed between the completion of briefing on the motions for summary judgment and the issuance of the R & R. Pl. Objs. 2, ECF No. 32. Specifically, Plaintiff argues that Judge Ellis failed to "promptly adjudicate" the matter in violation of Rule 72 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Id. ; see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(1) ("A magistrate judge must promptly conduct the required proceedings when assigned... to hear a pretrial matter dispositive of a claim or defense...."). This objection is not "aimed at particular findings in the [R & R], " and, therefore, "do[es] not trigger de novo review." Olorode, 2014 WL 3974581, at *1. In any event, the Court rejects Plaintiff's contention that Judge Ellis acted in contravention of Rule 72.

B. Electronic Docketing

Second, Plaintiff claims that "Judge Ellis[] was a compromised jurist [based on the] fact that none of the parties' motion papers were ever scanned into the court's PACER system." Pl. Objs. 3. This objection likewise "do[es] not trigger de novo review, " as it is not "aimed at particular findings in the [R & R]." Olorode, 2014 WL 3974581, at *1. Moreover, because the parties' motion papers have since been filed on the public docket, the objection is moot.

C. Rooker-Feldman, Collateral Estoppel, and Res Judicata

Third, Plaintiff asserts that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, collateral estoppel, and res judicata bar the Court from making its own determination as to whether Plaintiff was Defendants' employee. Pl. Objs. 4-6. With respect to the Rooker-Feldman doctrine and collateral estoppel, Plaintiff does nothing more than rehash the arguments he presented to Judge Ellis. These "objections" do not give rise to de novo review, as they "simply reiterate[] [Plaintiff's] original arguments." Easterly, 2015 WL 337565, at *1. To find otherwise "would reduce the magistrate's work to something akin to a meaningless dress rehearsal." Vega v. Artuz, 97 Civ. 3775, 2002 WL 31174466, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2002) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Therefore, the Court reviews this portion of the R & R strictly for clear error, Easterly, 2015 WL 337565, at *1, and finds none. With respect to res judicata, Plaintiff did not raise this argument in his submissions to Judge Ellis. The Court ...


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