Gaddis v. Ledbetter et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge R David Proctor on 10/21/2016. (AVC)
2016 Oct-21 AM 08:47
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
STEPHEN LEDBETTER, et al.,
Case No.: 1:16-cv-00348-RDP-JEO
On September 21, 2016, the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation (Doc. # 30)
was entered and the parties were allowed fourteen (14) days in which to file objections to the
recommendations made by the Magistrate Judge.
On September 27, 2016, Plaintiff filed
objections to the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation. (Doc. # 31).
As an initial matter, Plaintiff has failed to raise any specific objections to the Magistrate
Judge’s legal recommendations. Plaintiff’s objections merely restate the factual allegations in
the Amended Complaint (Doc. # 13) and reassert Plaintiff’s allegations that Defendants violated
his constitutional rights. (See Doc. # 30 at 4-5 (summarizing the allegations in the Amended
Complaint); Doc. # 31). Notably, Plaintiff does not identify a single legal error in the Report and
Recommendation, nor does he contest the Magistrate Judge’s conclusion that his claim for
injunctive relief is subject to Younger1 abstention. (See generally Doc. # 31). Therefore, the
Report and Recommendation is due to be adopted because Plaintiff has not raised an appropriate
objection to the Magistrate Judge’s Recommendation that this action is subject to Younger
Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971).
abstention. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3) (“The district judge must determine de novo any part of
the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to.”).
Furthermore, even if the court were to find that Plaintiff has raised a proper objection to
Younger abstention (and, to be clear, the court does not), the Magistrate Judge correctly
concluded that Plaintiff’s injunctive claim is subject to Younger abstention. This is so because
(1) Plaintiff’s proposed injunction would interfere with an ongoing Alabama state-court criminal
proceeding, (2) Plaintiff had an adequate opportunity to raise his challenge to the state court’s
probable cause determination by requesting a preliminary hearing in state court, and (3) Plaintiff
presents no extraordinary circumstances that require the court to forego Younger abstention. See
31 Foster Children v. Bush, 329 F.3d 1255, 1278 (11th Cir. 2003) (holding that the proposed
equitable relief in that litigation would interfere with state proceedings “by placing decisions that
are now in the hands of the state courts under the direction of the federal district court”); Pompey
v. Broward Cnty., 95 F.3d 1543, 1550-51 (11th Cir. 1996) (distinguishing the Pompey litigation
from a U.S. Supreme Court case where plaintiffs were permitted to challenge the lack of statecourt judicial probable cause determinations in federal court because state remedies were
available to the plaintiffs ); see also Ala. R. Crim. P. 5.1; (Doc. # 30 at 8-10). Moreover,
Plaintiff does not seek monetary damages in this action. (See Doc. # 13 at 4). Therefore, the
court affirms the Magistrate Judge’s conclusion that this action is subject to Younger abstention.
After a careful de novo review of the record in this case, the Magistrate Judge’s Report
and Recommendation, and Plaintiff’s objections thereto, the court hereby ADOPTS the Report
of the Magistrate Judge and ACCEPTS the Magistrate Judge’s Recommendation. Accordingly,
Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint is due to be dismissed without prejudice pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(b)(1) for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. A Final Judgment
will be entered.
DONE and ORDERED this October 21, 2016.
R. DAVID PROCTOR
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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