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United States v. Rutherford

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee, Greeneville

September 7, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
TIMOTHY LYNN RUTHERFORD

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Leon Jordan, United States District Judge.

         The defendant is charged with enticement of a minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b), and commission of a crime of violence during interstate travel by an unregistered sex offender, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2250(a) and (d). He has filed a motion to suppress all evidence that was seized from his motel room residence on February 5 and 6, 2016. [Doc. 18]. The United States has responded in opposition to the motion. [Doc. 28].

         The defendant has also moved for severance of the two charges against him. [Doc. 26]. The United States has again responded in opposition. [Doc. 29].

         United States Magistrate Judge Clifton Corker conducted an evidentiary hearing and heard arguments on July 20 and 27, 2017. Now before the court is the magistrate judge's August 18, 2017 report and recommendation (“R&R”), recommending that the defendant's suppression motion be denied. [Doc. 37]. Also before the court is the magistrate judge's order denying severance. [Doc. 38].

         The defendant has filed objections to the R&R and has appealed the severance ruling. [Docs. 39, 40]. The United States has again responded in opposition. [Docs. 41, 42]. The court has thoroughly reviewed the R&R, the defendant's motions, the parties' briefing, the transcript of the evidentiary hearings, and the various exhibits. For the reasons that follow, the defendant's R&R objections will be overruled and the severance ruling will be affirmed.

         I.

         Motion to Suppress

         A. Background

         The R&R sufficiently sets forth the pertinent facts. Those facts need not be repeated herein.

         B. Standard of Review

         The defendant's objections, covering slightly more than two pages, seek de novo review of the entire suppression motion. [Doc. 40, p.3]. In so doing, the defendant misapprehends the applicable standard of review.

         It is true that a district court is both statutorily and constitutionally required to conduct a de novo review of a magistrate judge's report and recommendation. See United States v. Shami, 754 F.2d 670, 672 (6th Cir. 1985). However, it is necessary only to review “those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” See id.; 28 U.S.C. § 636(b). A district court need not provide de novo review where objections to a report and recommendation are frivolous, conclusive, or general. See Mira v. Marshall, 806 F.2d 636, 637 (6th Cir. 1986).

         C. Analysis

         The defendant's R&R objections pertain to three cellphones seized by law enforcement officers on February 6, 2016, the day after the defendant was taken into custody. In the R&R, the magistrate judge found that the defendant's wife, Tiffany Pendarvis, “called the local sheriff's office and invited them back to her motel room to search it after she discovered a Wal-Mart receipt and prepaid phone card. The officers returned and searched her room and found three ...


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