United States District Court, N.D. New York
JOSHUA G. STEGEMANN, Plaintiff,
RENSSELAER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, et al.,
DECISION & ORDER
J. McAVOY, Senior United States District Judge
pro se action was referred to the Hon. Christian F.
Hummel, United States Magistrate Judge, for a Report and
Recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local
Rule 72.3(c) .
October 3, 2016 Report-Recommendation and Order, Dkt. No. 19,
Magistrate Judge Hummel recommends that Stegemann's
complaint be dismissed as barred by Heck v.
Humphrey, 513 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994), and that
plaintiff's letter motion requesting appointment of
counsel and service of summonses, Dkt. No. 12, be denied as
moot. Plaintiff filed objections to the recommendations. Dkt.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
objections to a magistrate judge's report and
recommendation are lodged, 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.” See 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1); see also United States v. Male
Juvenile, 121 F.3d 34, 38 (2d Cir. 1997) (The Court must
make a de novo determination to the extent that a
party makes specific objections to a magistrate's
findings.). After reviewing the report and recommendation,
the Court may “accept, reject, or modify, in whole or
in part, the findings or recommendations made by the
magistrate judge. The judge may also receive further evidence
or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with
instructions.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b).
January 8, 2015, Stegemann, acting pro se, filed
this civil rights action seeking money damages pursuant to
(1) 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (“§ 1983”) and
Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of
Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971) for violations of his
rights under the Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments as a
result of the unlawful search and seizure of his person and
property, and interception of his electronic communications,
(2) 18 U.S.C. § 2520 and 18 U.S.C. § 2701 for
intercepting and accessing his electronic communications, (3)
§ 1983 for violation of his rights under the Fourth,
Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments for the arbitrary
destruction of his property, and (4) various New York and
Massachusetts constitutional and statutory provisions for the
unlawful search and seizure of his person and property, and
for the interception of his electronic communications.
Stegemann initiated this action while his underlying criminal
case was ongoing.
February 3, 2015, Magistrate Judge Hummel recommended (1)
dismissal without prejudice of Stegemann's
Bivens and § 1983 claims under Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477 (1994), (2) dismissal of
Stegemann's Fourteenth Amendment destruction of property
claims under Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517 (1984),
and (3) dismissal of Stegemann's state law claims for
lack of diversity jurisdiction. On February 19, 2015, the
Court accepted Magistrate Judge Hummel's recommendations
and dismissed the action, erroneously stating that all claims
were dismissed with prejudice. Stegemann appealed to the
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Second Circuit found that the Court improperly dismissed
Stegemann's Bivens and § 1983 claims under
Heck because in February 2015, Stegemann's
criminal trial was still ongoing. See May 3, 2016
Mandate, Dkt. No. 13, p. 5 (“Heck bars a
§ 1983 claim based on an extant conviction, but it has
no application to an anticipated future conviction.”).
The Second Circuit further found that although Stegemann had
been found guilty of all counts of the indictment in the
underlying criminal case at the time it considered the
appeal,  a judgment of conviction had not yet been
entered thereby preventing the application of Heck
at that time. Id. p. 8 (“Until sentencing
occurs and a final judgment of conviction is entered, it
remains possible that the verdict will not ripen into a
judgment of conviction.”). Thus, the Second Circuit
vacated the judgment and remanded the matter to determine the
application of Heck.
Second Circuit also addressed Stegemann's destruction of
property claims, finding that the Court “properly
dismissed Stegemann's Fourteenth Amendment destruction of
property claims under Hudson, 468 U.S. 517, ”
but “failed to consider Stegemann's destruction of
property claims made under the Fourth and Fifth
Amendments.” May 3, 2016 Mandate, p. 9. The Second
Circuit held that the Court “should have considered and
explained whether Stegemann's complaint states a claim
under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, rather than simply
dismissing all of his destruction of property claims for
jurisdictional reasons under Hudson, which applies
only in the Fourteenth Amendment context.” Id.
p. 10. Thus, the Second Circuit remanded
“Stegemann's destruction of property claims for
consideration of whether he has stated a claim under the
Fourth and Fifth Amendments.” Id.
Second Circuit also instructed that, on remand, “the
District Court should consider whether it has supplemental
jurisdiction over Stegemann's state law claims under 28
U.S.C. §1367.” Id.
remand, the matter was again referred to Magistrate Judge
Hummel for a report and recommendation and, as indicated
above, Magistrate Judge Hummel recommended that the complaint
be dismissed as barred by Heck v. Humphrey, 513 U.S.
477, 486-87 (1994), and that plaintiff's letter motion
requesting appointment of counsel and service of summonses,
Dkt. No. 12, be denied as moot. Dkt. No. 19.
objections, Plaintiff argues that his claims seeking monetary
damages for the “excessively forceful execution”
of the search warrant, the indiscriminate destruction of his
property, and the improper interception and access to ...