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Herron v. Brennan

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

October 23, 2019

ROBERT HERRON, Plaintiff,
v.
MEGAN BRENNAN, Postmaster General, Defendants.

          ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TO DENY DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND DENYING DEFENDANT'S OBJECTION TO THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JOHN T. FOWLKES, JR. United States District Judge.

         Before the Court is Defendant Postmaster General of the United States Postal Service, Megan Brennan's Motion to Dismiss, which was filed on May 1, 2019. (ECF No. 11.) Pursuant to Administrative Order 2013-05, this case, including Defendant's Motion, was referred to the Magistrate Judge for management of all pretrial matters. Plaintiff Robert Herron filed a response to Defendant's Motion on May 30, 2019. (ECF No. 16.) The Magistrate Judge entered a Report and Recommendation on September 12, 2019, suggesting that this Court deny Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. (ECF No. 17.) Defendant filed an objection to the Report and Recommendation on September 27, 2019. (ECF No. 18.) Plaintiff did not file any objections or a response to Defendant's objection.

         For the following reasons, the Court finds that the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation should be ADOPTED and Defendant's Motion to Dismiss DENIED.

         FINDINGS OF FACT

         In her Report and Recommendation, the Magistrate Judge provides, and this Court adopts and incorporates, proposed findings of fact in this case. (ECF No. 17, 1-2.)

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Congress passed 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) “to relieve some of the burden on the federal courts by permitting the assignment of certain district court duties to magistrates.” United States v. Curtis, 237 F.3d 598, 602 (6th Cir. 2001). Pursuant to the provision, magistrate judges may hear and determine any pretrial matter pending before the Court, except various dispositive motions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). Regarding those excepted dispositive motions, magistrate judges may still hear and submit to the district court proposed findings of fact and recommendations for disposition. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). Upon hearing a pending matter, “the magistrate judge must enter a recommended disposition, including, if appropriate, proposed findings of fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(1); see also Baker v. Peterson, 67 Fed.Appx. 308, 310 (6th Cir. 2003). Any party who disagrees with a magistrate's proposed findings and recommendation may file written objections to the report and recommendation. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2).

         The standard of review that is applied by the district court depends on the nature of the matter considered by the magistrate judge. See Baker, 67 Fed.Appx. at 310 (citations omitted) (“A district court normally applies a ‘clearly erroneous or contrary to law' standard of review for nondispositive preliminary measures. A district court must review dispositive motions under the de novo standard.”). Upon review of the evidence, the district court may accept, reject, or modify the proposed findings or recommendations of the magistrate judge. Brown v. Bd. of Educ., 47 F.Supp.3d 665, 674 (W.D. Tenn. 2014); see also 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The court “may also receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the [m]agistrate [j]udge with instructions.” Moses v. Gardner, No. 2:14-cv-2706-SHL-dkv, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29701, at *3 (W.D. Tenn. Mar. 11, 2015). A district court is not required to review any aspect of a magistrate judge's report and recommendation that is not objected to by either party, Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150, 106 S.Ct. 466, 472, 88 L.Ed. 435 (1985), and a district judge should adopt the findings and rulings of a magistrate judge to which no specific objection is filed. Brown, 47 F.Supp.3d at 674.

         ANALYSIS

         Plaintiff alleges that while employed at the Ida B. Wells United States Post Office in Holly Springs, Mississippi, he was subject to unequal terms and conditions of employment on the basis of color (Black), race (African American), and gender (Male), and that he was subject to unlawful retaliation, all in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. (“Title VII”). (ECF No. 1.) Specifically, Plaintiff claims that Defendant gave another employee the opportunity to obtain additional work hours but did not give Plaintiff those same opportunities because of his race, color, and gender. (Id.) Plaintiff also alleges that he suffered relation because of his involvement in a prior union grievance. (Id.)

         A. Jurisdiction & Venue

         As an initial matter, Defendant did not object to the Magistrate Judge's recommendations regarding jurisdiction or venue. Thus, it is unnecessary to review those portions of the report. Arn, 474 U.S. at 150. However, the Court observes that, in her Motion, Defendant offers two reasons why this case should be dismissed. First, Defendant argues that none of the conduct or acts alleged by Plaintiff took place in Tennessee. (ECF No. 11-1, 2.) Defendant then asserts that it is “unreasonable” for the Court to exercise jurisdiction over this case when the alleged conduct arose in the Northern District of Mississippi. (Id. at 1, 3.) Defendant's second argument is similar to her first: since no alleged acts or conduct arose in Tennessee, the case should be dismissed for improper venue. (Id. at 3.)

         Here, the Magistrate Judge concluded that this Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendants because USPS maintains postal service operations throughout the state of Tennessee. Thus, because USPS has continuous and systematic contact with the State of Tennessee, general jurisdiction is established. (ECF No. 17, 3-4) (citing Intera Corp. v. Henderson, 428 F.3d 605, 615 (6th Cir. 2005) (holding that “[g]eneral jurisdiction exists when a defendant's contacts with the forum state are of such a continuous and systematic nature that the state may exercise personal jurisdiction over the defendant even if the action is unrelated to the defendant's contacts with the state”) (internal quotations and citation omitted)). Additionally, the Magistrate Judge concluded that the Western District of Tennessee is a proper venue for this case because the Plaintiff resides here. (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1391(e)(1)(C)).

         For these reasons, the Court agrees with and adopts the Magistrate Judge's conclusion that this Court has jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claim and is a proper venue for its adjudication. As a result, ...


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