United States District Court, N.D. New York
DECISION AND ORDER
Lawrence E. Kahn, U.S. District Judge.
civil rights action comes before the Court following a
report-recommendation filed on August 7, 2017, by the
Honorable David E. Peebles, U.S. Magistrate Judge, pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rule 72.3. Dkt. No. 107
(“Report-Recommendation”). Pro se plaintiff Keith
Waters timely filed objections. Dkt. No. 110
fourteen days after a party has been served with a copy of a
magistrate judge's report-recommendation, the party
“may serve and file specific, written objections to the
proposed findings and recommendations.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b); L.R. 72.1(c). 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. Barnes v.
Prack, No. 11-CV-857, 2013 WL 1121353, at *1 (N.D.N.Y.
Mar. 18, 2013); Farid v. Bouey, 554 F.Supp.2d 301,
306 n.2 (N.D.N.Y. 2008), abrogated on other grounds by
Widomski v. State Univ. of N.Y. at Orange, 748 F.3d
471 (2d Cir. 2014); see also Machicote v. Ercole,
No. 06-CV-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.”).
“A [district] judge . . . may accept, reject, or
modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations
made by the magistrate judge.” § 636(b).
Otherwise, a court “shall make a de novo determination
of those portions of the report or specified proposed
findings or recommendations to which objection is
is an inmate currently in the custody of the New York State
Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
(“DOCCS”). Docket. Plaintiff commenced this
action on July 1, 2015. Dkt. No. 1. An Amended Complaint,
dated August 13, 2015, was subsequently filed on October 15,
2015, and is currently the operative pleading. Dkt. No. 14
(“Amended Complaint”). For a detailed account of
the Amended Complaint, reference is made to the
Report-Recommendation. Rep.-Rec. at 3-10.
the completion of discovery, Plaintiff moved for summary
judgment on December 27, 2016. Dkt. Nos. 80
(“Motion”); 80-2 (“Plaintiff's
Statement of Material Facts”). Defendants filed
opposition papers and cross-moved for summary judgment on
February 18, 2017. Dkt. Nos. 86 (“Cross-Motion”);
86-2 (“Defendants' Statement of Material
Facts”). Plaintiff filed a reply, Dkt. No. 96, as did
Defendants, Dkt. No. 103. Pursuant to § 636(b) and Local
Rule 72.3, these motions were referred to Judge Peebles. He
issued the Report-Recommendation on August 7, 2017. Rep.-Rec.
first challenges Judge Peebles's recommendation to
dismiss his equal protection claim. Objs. 1-5. Plaintiff
specifically objects to Judge Peebles's reliance on
defendant Thomas LeClair's explanation for his actions
and on Defendants' claim that monitoring prisoners'
movements is central to DOCCS's mission. Id. at
3. Plaintiff claims that a reasonable factfinder could
conclude that LeClair intentionally discriminated against him
and that the other defendants, due to their
“commonality of race, ” supported LeClair's
intentional discrimination. Id. at 4.
Plaintiff reiterates his challenge to DOCCS Inmate Rule
109.10, which is codified at 7 N.Y.C.R.R. §
270.2(B)(10)(i). Id. at 5. Plaintiff objects that
Judge Peebles failed to address this claim explicitly, and
argues that this Court must do so. Id.
Court has considered the Objections and has undertaken a de
novo review of the record and has determined that the
Report-Recommendation should be approved and adopted in part.
The Court fully approves Judge Peebles's dismissal of
Plaintiff's procedural due process claims. Rep.-Rec. at
13-16. The Court also agrees with Judge Peebles's
dismissal of Plaintiff's equal protection claim,
Rep.-Rec. at 17-22, but does so for different reasons.
Finally, the Court will explicitly address Plaintiff's
vagueness challenge. See Sharabi v. Recktenwald, No.
15-CV-2466, 2017 WL 1957040, at *1 n.1 (S.D.N.Y. May 10,
2017) (“Because Magistrate Judge Pitman did not address
an insufficiency-of-the-evidence claim in the
[Report-Recommendation], this Court reviews that claim de
novo.” (citing Charles v. County of
Nassau, 116 F.Supp.3d 107, 121 (E.D.N.Y. 2015))).
contends that DOCCS Inmate Rule 109.10 is unconstitutionally
vague and seeks a declaratory judgment. Am. Compl. at 14, 16,
19. The Court will not address this claim on the merits,