United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
S. NORRIS, UNITED STATE DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation, filed April 24, 2019. (ECF No. 80.) The
report recommends that Assistant District Attorney Paul
Hagerman, Assistant District Attorney Austin Scofield, and
Assistant District Attorney Chris Scruggs' (collectively,
the “ADA Defendants”) Motion to Dismiss, (ECF No.
77), be granted. (ECF No. 80 at Page ID 311-12.) Plaintiffs
filed “Plaintiffs' Appeal from Magistrate
Judge's Order Dismissing Complaint Against All Assistant
District Attorneys” on May 6, 2019. (ECF No. 78.)
Although not labeled as an objection to the Magistrate
Judge's report and recommendation, the Court will treat
it as such and refer to the response as an objection.
following reasons, Plaintiffs' objection is
OVERRULED. The report is
ADOPTED. Plaintiffs' claims in this
matter against the ADA Defendants are DISMISSED WITH
enacted 28 U.S.C. § 636 to relieve the burden on the
federal judiciary by permitting the assignment of district
court duties to magistrate judges. See United States v.
Curtis, 237 F.3d 598, 602 (6th Cir. 2001) (citing
Gomez v. United States, 490 U.S. 858, 869-70
(1989)); see also Baker v. Peterson, 67 Fed.Appx.
308, 310 (6th Cir. 2003). For dispositive matters,
“[t]he district judge must determine de novo any part
of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been
properly objected to.” See Fed. R. Civ. P.
72(b)(3); 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1). After reviewing the
evidence, the court is free to accept, reject, or modify the
magistrate judge's proposed findings or recommendations.
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The district court is not
required to review-under a de novo or any other
standard-those aspects of the report and recommendation to
which no objection is made. See Thomas v. Arn, 474
U.S. 140, 150 (1985). The district court should adopt the
magistrate judge's findings and rulings to which no
specific objection is filed. See Id. at 151.
Objections to any part of a magistrate judge's
disposition “must be clear enough to enable the
district court to discern those issues that are dispositive
and contentious.” Miller v. Currie, 50 F.3d
373, 380 (6th Cir. 1995); see also Arn, 474 U.S. at
147 (stating that the purpose of the rule is to “focus
attention on those issues . . . that are at the heart of the
parties' dispute.”). Each objection to the
Magistrate Judge's recommendation should include how the
analysis is wrong, why it was wrong and how de novo review
will obtain a different result on that particular issue.
Howard v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs.,
932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991).
general objection, or one that merely restates the arguments
previously presented and addressed by the magistrate judge,
does not sufficiently identify alleged errors in the report
and recommendation. Id. When an objection reiterates
the arguments presented to the magistrate judge, the report
and recommendation should be reviewed for clear error.
Verdone v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., No. 16-CV-14178,
2018 WL 1516918, at *2 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 28, 2018) (citing
Ramirez v. United States, 898 F.Supp.2d 659, 663
(S.D.N.Y. 2012)); accord Equal Employment Opportunity
Comm'n v. Dolgencorp, LLC, 277 F.Supp.3d 932, 965
(E.D. Tenn. 2017).
Plaintiffs' objection to the Magistrate Judge's
report does not explain how the report's analysis is
wrong, why it was wrong, or how de novo review would result
in a different conclusion. Plaintiffs merely reiterate the
points already made in their Complaint and response to the
ADA Defendants' motion to dismiss. See Howard,
932 F.2d at 509.
Magistrate Judge found that Plaintiffs waived the claims
against the ADA Defendants in this matter because they filed
this lawsuit in March 2018, prior to filing claims with the
Tennessee Claims Commission in August 2018. (See ECF
No. 80 at PageID 316-18.) Plaintiffs acknowledged in their
response to the ADA Defendants' motion that they
“filed a complaint with the Tennessee Claims Commission
in August 2018.” (ECF No. 78 at PageID 296). In their
objection to the Magistrate Judge's report, Plaintiffs
reiterate that they “filed their lawsuit in March 2018,
prior to filing anything with the Claims Commission.”
(ECF No. 82 at PageID 329.) The Court, therefore,
ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge's
recommendation that the ADA Defendants' motion to dismiss
be granted on this basis.
Magistrate Judge also recommends that the ADA Defendants be
dismissed because, in addition to the waiver discussed above,
they are immune from suit. (See ECF No. 80 at PageID
319-26.) The report found that the ADA Defendants were immune
from suit for any claims against them in their official
capacities due to sovereign immunity. (Id. at PageID
320-22.) The report also found that, although Plaintiffs do
not state whether they are suing the ADA Defendants in their
official or individual capacities, the ADA Defendants are
entitled to absolute prosecutorial immunity to the extent
that Plaintiffs assert any claims against them in their
individual capacities. (Id. at PageID 322-26.)
Plaintiffs fail to address sovereign immunity and
prosecutorial immunity in their objection to the Magistrate
Judge's report. (See ECF No. 81 PageID 330.)
They instead say, “ADA Defendants are not immune from
liability when they violate a person's due process
rights, ” while citing to Eighth Circuit cases, but do
not explain how that applies to their case or how the
Magistrate Judge was wrong in the report. (Id.) As
such, the Court ADOPTS the Magistrate
Judge's recommendation that the Plaintiffs' claims
against the ADA Defendants should likewise be dismissed
because the ADA Defendants are immune from suit.
Plaintiffs' objection reiterates the claims presented to
the Magistrate Judge and fails to sufficiently identify
errors in the report, the Court may review the report for
clear error. See Verdone, 2018 WL 1516918, at *2.
The Court has reviewed the report for clear error and finds
none. Accordingly, Plaintiffs' objection is
filed a motion to amend complaint on March 1, 2019, that is
still pending before this Court. (ECF No. 74.) That motion
only requests amendment to add “facts, previously
unknown, which would clarify the City of Memphis's
conduct for the 1983, Tennessee Government Tort Liability Act
and negligence causes of action.” (Id. at
PageID 253.) Rule 15(a) declares that leave to amend
“shall be freely given when justice so requires.”
The Supreme Court has held that leave to amend should
normally be granted unless there is some “apparent or
declared reason” not to allow the amendment. Foman
v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). One reason for not
allowing an amendment is that the amendment would be futile.
Id. “A proposed amendment is futile if the
amendment could not withstand a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss.” Rose v. Hartford Underwriters Ins.
Co., 203 F.3d 417, 420 (6th Cir. 2000) (citing
Thiokol Corp. v. Dep't of Treasury, State of
Michigan, Revenue Div., 987 F.2d 376, 382-83 (6th Cir.
Court finds that Plaintiffs' amendment would be futile as
to the ADA Defendants. Plaintiffs' amendment would not
address the claims against the ADA Defendants, but would
address the claims against Defendant City of Memphis.
Accordingly, Plaintiffs' proposed amendment is futile
because after amendment, the claims against the ADA
Defendants could not withstand a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss, and therefore, any request for leave to amend as to
the claims against the ADA Defendants is
March 23, 2018, the Plaintiffs each filed a motion for leave
to proceed in forma pauperis. (ECF Nos. 2, 3.) Title
28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) provides that an appeal may not
be taken in forma pauperis if the trial court
certifies in writing that an appeal would not be taken in
good faith. The good faith standard is an objective one.
Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 445 (1962).
An appeal is not taken in good faith if the issues presented
are frivolous. Id. The same considerations that led
this Court to dismiss Plaintiffs' ...