Ogles v. Buckner et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala on 7/22/2015. (KEK)
2015 Jul-22 AM 09:01
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
GREGORY LYNN OGLES,
NANCY BUCKNER, et al.,
Case No.: 2:14-cv-00641-MHH
On May 8, 2015, Chief Magistrate Judge John Ott entered a report and
recommendation concerning the defendants’ converted motion for summary
judgment.1 (Doc. 20). In his report, Judge Ott recommended that the Court grant
the defendants’ motion for summary judgment on Mr. Ogles’s federal claims and
decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3). Judge Ott explained to the parties that they
had fourteen days in which to file objections to the recommendation. (Doc. 20, p.
29). No party has filed objections.
Because the defendants submitted two affidavits in support of their motion to dismiss, Judge
Ott advised the parties that the Court would treat the motion as one for summary judgment
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 to the extent that the Court considered the
affidavits in ruling on the motion. (See Doc. 14). Judge Ott gave the parties an opportunity to
submit additional material, and, at Mr. Ogles’s request, Judge Ott heard oral argument on the
motion. (See Docs. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19).
A district court “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or part, the findings
or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).
When a party makes timely objections to a report and recommendation, the district
court “make[s] a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified
proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” Id.
When no party objects, the district court does not have to conduct a de novo
review. Garvey v. Vaughn, 993 F.2d 776, 779 n.9 (11th Cir. 1993); see also
United States v. Slay, 714 F.2d 1093, 1095 (11th Cir. 1983) (per curiam), cert.
denied, 464 U.S. 1050 (1984) (“The failure to object to the magistrate’s findings of
fact prohibits an attack on appeal of the factual findings adopted by the district
court except on grounds of plain error or manifest injustice.”) (internal citation
omitted). In Macort v. Prem, Inc., 208 Fed. Appx. 781, 784 (11th Cir. 2006), the
Eleventh Circuit stated:
Most circuits agree that “[i]n the absence of a timely filed objection, a
district court need not conduct a de novo review, but instead must
only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record
in order to accept the recommendation.” Diamond v. Colonial Life &
Accident Ins., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005) (quotations omitted);
accord Johnson v. Zema Sys. Corp., 170 F.3d 734, 739 (7th Cir.1999)
(“If no objection or only partial objection is made [to the magistrate
judge’s report], the district court judge reviews those unobjected
portions for clear error.”); United States v. Wilson, 864 F.2d 1219,
1221 (5th Cir. 1989) (noting that the “clearly erroneous” standard is
appropriate where there has been no objection to the magistrate
judge’s ruling); Drywall Tapers & Pointers v. Local 530, 889 F.2d
389, 395 (2d Cir. 1989) (“Where a magistrate [judge] has been
appointed to conduct an evidentiary hearing, the district court reviews
the Report and Recommendation under the same clearly erroneous
standard.”) (citing Wooldridge v. Marlene Indus. Corp., 875 F.2d 540,
544 (6th Cir. 1989)).
The Eleventh Circuit does not appear to have expressly held that a district
court should review a report and recommendation for plain error in the absence of
objections; however, other courts in this Circuit have adopted such a position.
Tauber v. Barnhart, 438 F. Supp. 2d 1366, 1373 (N.D. Ga. 2006) (“[I]ssues upon
which no specific objections are raised do not so require de novo review; the
district court may therefore accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the
findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge, applying a clearly
erroneous standard.”) (internal citations and quotations omitted); Am. Charities for
Reasonable Fundraising Regulation, Inc. v. Pinellas County, 278 F. Supp. 2d
1301, 1307 (M.D. Fla. 2003) (“[W]hen no timely and specific objections are filed,
case law indicates that the court should review the findings using a clearly
erroneous standard.”); Shuler v. Infinity Property & Gas, 2013 WL 1346615, at *1
(N.D. Ala. Mar. 29, 2013) (portions of a report and recommendation “to which no
objection is filed are reviewed only for clear error”).
Based on the Court’s review of the record, the Court does not find that Chief
Magistrate Judge Ott clearly erred in his May 8, 2015 report and recommendation.
Therefore, the Court ADOPTS the May 8, 2015 report and ACCEPTS Judge Ott’s
recommendation that the Court grant the defendants’ motion for summary
judgment on Mr, Ogles’s federal claims.2
The Court declines to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over Mr. Ogles’s state law claims.
28 U.S.C. §
1367(c)(3); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1367(d) (supplemental jurisdiction tolling
provision). The Court will enter a separate order consistent with this memorandum
The Court DIRECTS the Clerk to please mail a copy of this memorandum
opinion to Mr. Ogles.
DONE and ORDERED this July 22, 2015.
MADELINE HUGHES HAIKALA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
The Court notes that the defendants contend that the Court lacks jurisdiction over some of Mr.
Ogles’s claims because, the defendants argue, Mr. Ogles lacks standing to pursue those claims.
(Doc. 6, pp. 41-44; Doc. 11, p. 3). The defendants observe correctly that lack of standing
implicates federal subject matter jurisdiction. See Bochese v. Town of Ponce Inlet, 405 F.3d 964,
974 (11th Cir. 2005). Ordinarily, the Court must resolve challenges to subject matter jurisdiction
because in the absence of jurisdiction, the Court is powerless to act. See Nalls v. Countrywide
Home Services, LLC, 279 Fed. Appx. 824, 825 (11th Cir. 2008) (“The district court ‘should
inquire into whether it has subject matter jurisdiction at the earliest possible stage in the
proceedings’ and is obligated to do so ‘sua sponte whenever [subject matter jurisdiction] may be
lacking.’ If a district court determines that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction, it ‘is powerless to
continue’ and must dismiss the complaint.”) (quoting Univ. of S. Ala. v. Am. Tobacco Co., 168
F.3d 405, 410 (11th Cir. 1999)); Bochese, 405 F.3d at 974 (“‘[S]tanding is a threshold
jurisdictional question which must be addressed prior to and independent of the merits of a
party’s claims’ . . . and, as with any jurisdictional requisite, we are powerless to hear a case when
[standing] is lacking.”) (quoting Dillard v. Baldwin County Comm’rs, 225 F.3d 1271, 1275 (11th
Cir. 2000)). Although the defendants’ briefs are not entirely clear, it appears that the defendants’
standing argument pertains only to some of Mr. Ogles’s claims against some of the defendants so
that the argument, if persuasive, would not deprive the Court entirely of subject matter
jurisdiction over this action. Therefore, the Court adopts the summary judgment analysis in the
Report and Recommendation.
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