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Covington v. Lord Corp.

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

May 26, 2017

ANNISA F. COVINGTON PLAINTIFF
v.
LORD CORPORATION DEFENDANT

          Annisa F. Covington, pro se

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Greg N. Stivers Judge

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Objections (DN 35) to the Magistrate Judge's Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Recommendation (“R&R”) (DN 30). For the reasons stated below, Defendant's Objections are OVERRULED, and the Court ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge's Recommendation.

         I. STATEMENT OF FACTS

         Plaintiff Annisa F. Covington (“Covington”) is a former employee of Defendant LORD Corporation (“LORD”). (Notice Removal Ex. 1, at 3, DN 1-1). The Complaint states that it is a “[c]omplaint for discrimination, under the laws of the EEOC.” (Notice Removal Ex. 1, at 2). Coupled with her Amended Complaint (DN 7), it appears at a minimum that Covington has asserted allegations of racial discrimination.

         After Covington filed this action pro se in Warren Circuit Court, LORD removed the matter to this Court. (Notice Removal, DN 1). During the course of litigation, the Magistrate Judge conducted a settlement conference between the parties on December 7, 2016. (R. & R. 2, DN 30). The parties left the settlement conference with an offer under consideration by Covington. (R. & R. 2). After Covington accepted the proposal, LORD sent her a release, to which Covington expressed some concerns about its terms. (R. & R. 2). On December 22, 2016, the Magistrate Judge conducted a telephonic conference to discuss the status of the settlement, and LORD offered to modify the terms of the settlement for tax purposes. (R. & R. 2). After the case continued to remain on the active docket, the Magistrate Judge conducted a supplemental settlement conference during which Covington indicated that she had decided to pursue her claims in litigation and was rejecting the settlement proposal. (R. & R. 2).

         LORD then moved to enforce the settlement between the parties. (Def.'s Mot. Enforce Settlement, DN 22). After the Court referred the motion to the Magistrate Judge, the Magistrate Judge recommended that the motion be denied. (R. & R. 5). LORD has objected to the R&R. (Def.'s Objs., DN 35).

         II. JURISDICTION

         This Court has subject-matter jurisdiction of this matter based upon federal question jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         This matter was referred to the Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636, which was enacted by Congress to relieve the burden of Article III courts by permitting assignment of certain duties to magistrate judges. See Gomez v. United States, 490 U.S. 858, 869-70 (1989). Section 636(b) identifies the powers that may be assigned to magistrates by the district court. Section 636(b) also establishes the applicable standard of review for objections to the ruling of a Magistrate Judge on such assigned matters. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b). The Sixth Circuit has explained:

[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 accepted from § 636(b)(1)(A), such as motions for summary judgment or for the suppression of evidence, are governed by the de novo standard.

United States v. Curtis, 237 F.3d 598, 603 (6th Cir. 2001) (internal quotation marks omitted) (internal citations omitted) (citation omitted).

         IV. ...


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