United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Covington
KING S. TAYLOR, PLAINTIFF
MICHAEL LUSARDI, DEFENDANT
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. Bunning, United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on Defendant Michael Lusardi's
Motion for Sanctions. (Doc. # 54). Consistent with local
practice, this matter was referred to United States
Magistrate Judge Candace J. Smith for the purpose of
reviewing the Motion, holding any necessary hearings, and
preparing a Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”). During the pendency of the Motion
for Sanctions, Plaintiff King Taylor filed a Motion to Extend
Discovery Request and or Interrogatories Production (Doc. #
59), which Judge Smith also addressed in her R&R. On July
8, 2019, Judge Smith issued her R&R wherein she
recommends that Lusardi's Motion for Sanctions be granted
in part and denied in part, Taylor's Motion to Extend
Discovery Request and or Interrogatories Production be
denied, and the case be finally dismissed and stricken from
the Court's active docket. (Doc. # 62). Taylor initially
appealed the R&R. (Doc. # 63). The appeal was dismissed,
however, because the R&R was not an appealable order.
(Doc. # 65). Taylor then filed Objections to the R&R,
(Doc. # 67), and Defendant Lusardi filed a Response to
Plaintiff's Objections, (Doc. # 68). The matter is now
ripe for the Court's review. For the reasons set forth
herein, Plaintiff's Objections to the R&R (Doc. # 67)
are overruled, the R&R (Doc. # 62) is adopted as the
findings of fact and conclusion of law of the Court, and this
matter is dismissed.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
fourteen days of the filing of a magistrate judge's
R&R, any party may file written objections to it; the
district judge must then review de novo the objected-to
portions of the R&R. 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). “A
judge of the court may [then] accept, reject, or modify, in
whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the
magistrate judge.” Id.
to a magistrate judge's R&R must be “specific,
” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(1), as the purpose of the
objections is to “enable the district judge to focus
attention on those issues-factual and legal-that are at the
heart of the parties' dispute.” Thomas v.
Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 147 (1985). Therefore, vague,
general, or conclusory objections are improper, will not be
considered by the reviewing court, and are “tantamount
to a complete failure to object.” Cole v.
Yukins, 7 Fed.Appx. 354, 356 (6th Cir. 2001); see
also Miller v. Currie, 50 F.3d 373, 380 (6th Cir. 1995)
(“[A] general objection to a magistrate's report,
which fails to specify the issue of contention, does not
satisfy the requirements that an objection be filed. The
objections must be clear enough to enable the district court
to discern those issues that are dispositive and
contentious.”). Objections that merely disagree with
the magistrate judge's conclusion or repeat arguments
considered by the magistrate judge are similarly improper.
United States v. Bowers, No. 0:06-cv-7-DLB-REW, 2017
WL 6606860, at *1 (E.D. Ky. Dec. 26, 2017); United States
v. Vanover, No. 2:10-cr-14, 2017 WL 1356328, at *1 (E.D.
Ky. Apr. 11, 2017). Finally, when objections are so unclear
that “even the most perspicacious judge [would have] to
guess at its meaning . . . the district court judge should
not be forced to waste time interpreting such
requests.” Howard v. Sec. of Health & Human
Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991).
“[t]hese rules are tempered by the principle that
pro se pleadings are to be liberally construed . . .
a pro se litigant must still comply with the
procedural rules of the court.” Ashenhust v.
Ameriquest Mortg. Co., No. 07-13352, 2007 WL 2901416, at
*1 (E.D. Mich. Oct. 3, 2007) (citing McNeill v. United
States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993)).
cryptic and difficult to follow, Plaintiff seems to raise two
objections to the R&R, both of which are improper and
must be overruled.
Plaintiff appears to object to Judge Smith's finding that
his noncompliance with the discovery requests was willful.
(Doc. # 67) (“Mr. King S. Taylor would like to object
[sic] Mr. Taylor not attempting to comply with
Interrogatories Production in timely order.”). He
points to two issues in apparent support of this objection.
First, he references the “malicious prosecution”
stemming from his arrest by Covington Police on October 5,
2018 which caused “major delays” in his ability
to respond to the discovery requests. Id.
Taylor's request is vague and fails to specify why an
incident on October 5, 2018 prevented him from ever
responding to the discovery requests, even after the Court
offered accommodations to help him respond to the requests
while under home incarceration. (Doc. # 62 at 3) (noting that
Defendant was given the opportunity to have the Clerk's
Office make necessary copies for him when he could not go to
the library because of home confinement stemming from the
October 2018 arrest).
he seems to suggest that his noncompliance was not willful
due to a problem with a “signature block.” (Doc.
# 67). His assertion, however, lacks specificity and
substance; in effect, the argument is incomprehensible. It is
unclear from Taylor's filing what the problem with the
“signature block” was and how this alleged issue
prevented him from responding to months-old discovery
requests, despite Orders from the Court to do so.
See (Doc. # 62 at 2-4) (laying out the procedural
background of the discovery requests at issue). Perhaps
Taylor is referring to the fact that Defendant's
discovery requests were initially sent to the wrong address.
Id. at 2. This issue appears to have been quickly
resolved, however, id., yet Taylor fails to explain
why he was unable to respond to the requests once they were
sent to the proper address. (Doc. # 67). As Taylor's
first objection is vague, and at times incomprehensible, it
must be overruled as improper. Cole v.
Yukins, 7 Fed.Appx. 354, 356; Howard, 932 F.2d
the objection was proper, the Court finds that it must be
overruled. As explained by Judge Smith, Taylor has failed to
“specify how any of the of [unfortunate] circumstances
[he cites] prevented him from complying with the Court's
deadlines.” (Doc. # 62 at 6). The multiple efforts to
avoid complying with the Court's Orders, despite the fact
that Taylor appears to be in possession of some of the
relevant documents, see id., indicates to the Court
that Taylor's noncompliance is willful and that dismissal
of this action is appropriate as explained by Judge Smith.
Id. at 5-7. Thus, Taylor's first objection is
overruled on the merits as well.
also objects to “civil sanctions of Attorneys Fees
reimbursement and or contempt of court on behalf of the
defendant.” (Doc. # 67). However, Judge Smith did not
recommend such sanctions in the R&R. (Doc. # 62 at 7).
Thus, Taylor's objection is not specific to Judge