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United States v. Robinson

United States District Court, E.D. New York

February 17, 2018



          United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York By: Allen Lee Bode, Assistant United States Attorney

          Law Office of Kevin J. Keating Attorney for the Defendant By: Kevin James Keating, Esq., of Counsel


          ARTHUR D. SPATT United States District Judge

         On November 1, 2017, this Court granted the portion of the Defendant Tyrone Robinson's (the “Defendant”) omnibus motion requesting a suppression hearing regarding the seizure of the Defendant's cell phone during the execution of a parole arrest warrant on June 10, 2016. The Court referred the suppression hearing to Magistrate Judge Anne Y. Shields.

         On January 8, 2018, Judge Shields held a suppression hearing, and issued a report and recommendation (the “R&R”) on January 16, 2018 recommending that the Defendant's motion to suppress the cell phone be denied.

         Presently before the Court are the Defendant's objections to the R&R. For the following reasons, the R&R is adopted in its entirety.

         I. DISCUSSION

         For the purposes of the instant decision, the parties familiarity with the facts, procedural history, and the record are presumed. Citations to the suppression hearing transcript are denoted as “Tr.”

         A. The Standard of Review

         A district court reviewing a magistrate judge's report and recommendation “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). Parties may raise objections to the magistrate judge's report and recommendation, but they must be “specific, ” “written, ” and submitted “[w]ithin 14 days after being served with a copy of the recommended disposition.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2); accord 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). A district court must conduct a de novo review of those portions of the R&R or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which timely and proper objections are made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3) (“The district judge may accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or return the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.”). The district court may adopt those portions of a report and recommendation to which no timely objections have been made, provided no clear error is apparent from the face of the record. Lewis v. Zon, 573 F.Supp.2d 804, 811 (S.D.N.Y. 2008); Nelson v. Smith, 618 F.Supp. 1186, 1189 (S.D.N.Y. 1985).

         In addition, “[t]o the extent . . . that the party makes only conclusory or general arguments, or simply reiterates the original arguments, the Court will review the [R&R] strictly for clear error.” IndyMac Bank, F.S.B. v. Nat'l Settlement Agency, Inc., No. 07-CV-6865, 2008 WL 4810043, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 31, 2008) (emphasis added); see also Toth v. N.Y. City Dep't of Educ., No. 14CV3776SLTJO, 2017 WL 78483, at *7 (E.D.N.Y. Jan. 9, 2017) (“Reviewing courts should review a report and recommendation for clear error where objections are merely perfunctory responses, argued in an attempt to engage the district court in a rehashing of the same arguments set forth in the original petition.” (quoting Ortiz v. Barkley, 558 F.Supp.2d 444, 451 (S.D.N.Y. 2008))). “The goal of the federal statute providing for the assignment of cases to magistrates is to increase the overall efficiency of the federal judiciary.” McCarthy v. Manson, 554 F.Supp. 1275, 1286 (D. Conn. 1982), aff'd, 714 F.2d 234 (2d Cir. 1983) (quoting Nettles v. Wainwright, 677 F.2d 404, 410 (Former 5th Cir. 1982) (en banc)) (footnote omitted). “There is no increase in efficiency, and much extra work, when a party attempts to relitigate every argument which it presented to the Magistrate Judge.” Toth, 2017 WL 78483, at *7 (quoting Camardo v. Gen. Motors Hourly-Rate Employees Pension Plan, 806 F.Supp. 380, 382 (W.D.N.Y. 1992)).

         B. Application to the Defendant's Objections

         The Defendant addressed his objections in a letter to Judge Shields. Nevertheless, the Court construes the Defendant's letter as objections addressed to this Court. The Defendant argues that suppression should be granted because the phone was not seized from the Defendant's person by the parole officers; the Defendant's residence was secure before and after parole entered the location, so there was not need to keep the cell phone for safekeeping; the parole officers could not articulate how keeping a cell phone would help the Defendant contact parole; and most ...

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