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United States v. Ickes

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division

March 15, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PLAINTIFF
v.
CHARLES HENRY ICKES DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Greg N. Stivers, Judge.

         This matter comes before the Court on Objection of Defendant Charles Henry Ickes (“Ickes”) (DN 270) to the Magistrate Judge's Finding of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Recommendation (DN 269). For the following reasons, Magistrate Judge Report and Recommendation is ADOPTED and Defendant's Objection is OVERRULED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) sets forth in detail the relevant facts of this matter, which the Court incorporates herein without a recitation. (R. & R. 2-3, DN 269).

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         In United States v. Curtis, 237 F.3d 598 (6th Cir. 2001), the Sixth Circuit articulated the proper standard of review for objections to a ruling or recommendation by a Magistrate Judge, stating:

[Section] 636(b) creates two different standards of review for district courts when a magistrate court's finding is challenged in district court. A district court shall apply a “clearly erroneous or contrary to law” standard of review for the “nondispositive” preliminary measures of § 636(b)(1)(A). Conversely, “dispositive motions” excepted from § 636(b)(1)(A), such as motions for summary judgment or for the suppression of evidence, are governed by the de novo standard.

Id. at 603 (emphasis added) (internal citation omitted) (citation omitted).

         III. DISCUSSION

         The Magistrate Judge recommended denial of Ickes' Motion to Suppress (DN 261). (R. & R. 7). Ickes objects to the Magistrate Judge's R&R and suggests that the Magistrate Judge ignored his argument that the exception to the warrant requirement for probationers did not apply to him because he was already in custody during the time of the search. (Def.'s Obj. to R. & R. 3, DN 270 [hereinafter Def.'s Obj.]).

         Ickes' Objection to the R&R is presented to the Court by way of a literal “copy and paste” of the argument section from the Motion to Suppress. (Def.'s Obj. 3-5; Def.'s Mot. Suppress 4-5, DN 261). An objection that merely incorporates portions of a defendant's prior motion is insufficient to meet the “specific written objection[s] to the proposed findings and recommendations” as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2). Edwards v. Niagara Credit Sols., Inc., 586 F.Supp.2d 1346, 1348 (N.D.Ga. 2008), aff'd on other grounds, 584 F.3d 1350 (11th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2)). See also Manigaulte v. C.W. Post of Long Island Univ., 659 F.Supp.2d 367, 372 (E.D.N.Y. 2009) (“[W]hen a party makes only conclusory or general objections, or simply reiterates his original arguments, the Court reviews the Report and Recommendation only for clear error.” (internal quotation marks omitted) (citation omitted)). Moreover, a reexamination of the exact same argument that was presented to the magistrate judge without specific objections “wastes judicial resources rather than saving them, and runs contrary to the purpose of the Magistrates Act.” Howard v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991). Considering that Ickes' argument was already raised to the Magistrate Judge, the Court should review his Objection only for clear error.

         Nonetheless, even if the Court was to conduct a de novo review, Ickes' Objection does not change the outcome. Ickes is a probationer in the state of California and his conditions of probation includes the following provision:

Defendant shall submit to search and seizure of his/her person, place of residence or area under his/her control, or vehicle, by any probation officer or peace officer, during the day or night, with or without her/her consent, with or without a search warrant, and without regard to probable cause.

(Pl.'s Resp. Def.'s Mot. Suppress Ex. A, at 5, DN 263-1). The Magistrate Judge correctly explained, and Ickes concedes, that a search warrant is not necessary “[w]hen an officer has reasonable suspicion that a probationer subject to a search condition is engaged in criminal activity . . . .” United States v. Knights, 534 U.S. 112, 121 (2001). Yet, Ickes attempts to distinguish his case by reiterating his same arguments set forth in the Motion to Suppress. Ickes argues that the fact that he was in custody during the search militates against the government's right to conduct a probation search of his property. (Def.'s Obj. 3-5). Specifically, Ickes argues that “two of the primary goals of probation “recognized in Knights . . . ...


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