United Methodist Union of Greater Detroit et al v. Highland Park, City of et al
ORDER (1) Overruling Defendant Jerry Massey's 22 Objection to 21 Report and Recommendation and (2) Granting Defendants' 11 , 12 and 18 Motions to Dismiss. Signed by District Judge Matthew F. Leitman. (HMon)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
UNITED METHODIST UNION
OF GREATER DETROIT et al.,
Case No. 16-cv-10336
Hon. Matthew F. Leitman
CITY OF HIGHLAND PARK et al.,
ORDER (1) OVERRULING DEFENDANT JERRY MASSEY’S
OBJECTION TO REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION (ECF #22) AND (2)
GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTIONS TO DISMISS (ECF ## 11, 12, 18)
In this action, Plaintiffs United Methodist Union of Greater Detroit, Jerry
Massey (“Massey”), Kennon Harrington, Power House Temple, and Roderick
Edwards (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) appear to allege that Defendants violated state
and federal law with respect to the assessment of property taxes and the subsequent
foreclosure of Plaintiffs’ property. (See Compl., ECF #1.) The Defendants each
moved to dismiss the Complaint (the “Motions to Dismiss”). (See ECF ## 11, 12,
and 18.) Plaintiffs never responded to any of the Motions to Dismiss. (See Dkt.)
On December 2, 2016, the assigned Magistrate Judge issued a Report and
Recommendation in which she recommended that the Court grant the Motions to
Dismiss (the “R&R”). (See ECF #21.) Among other things, the Magistrate Judge
concluded that Massey was the only proper Plaintiff in this action, that he lacked
standing, and that his claims were barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine and res
judicata. (See id. at 5-12, Pg. ID 170-77.) At the conclusion of the R&R, the
Magistrate Judge informed the Plaintiffs that if they wanted to seek review of her
recommendation, they needed to file specific objections with the Court within
fourteen days. (See id. at 15-16, Pg. ID 180-81.)
On December 21, 2016, Defendant Massey filed objections to the R&R (the
“Objections”). (See ECF #22.) The Objections are untimely. But even if the
Objections were timely filed, the Court would still overrule them. The Objections
do not reference any specific portion of the R&R to which Massey objects.
Instead, the Objections list the following conclusory objections:
(1.) Fed R. Civ. P. 56(c) provides that judgment is to be
granted when there is ‘genuine issue as to any material
fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.[’] The Defendant has no genuine issues to
the material facts which occurred to the Plaintiff by
Defendant Wayne County Treasurers’s [sic] nondisclosures and acts of omission regarding their
requirement to enforce proper notification. Plaintiff
contend[s] that Church property is exempt from tax
foreclosure in light of the public good the Church brings
to the community.
(2) Further Discovery shall uncover factual support for
the Plaintiff’s claims against all Defendants.
(3) Amended pleadings can overcome defect of failure to
state a claim.
(4) Discovery is not complete on the specific issues for
which Summary Disposition is sought.
(5) Discovery is likely to reveal additional factual
support for the Plaintiff’s claim.
(6) Motion for Summary Disposition is not justified.
(7) The Plaintiff’s claims alleged are grounded in the
(8) The claims alleged are clearly enforceable as a matter
of law, and that factual development can possibly justify
(9) That irreparable harm will occur to the Plaintiff is the
Summary Judgment is not denied.
(Objection at 2, Pg. ID 183.)
The filing of such “vague, general, [and] conclsuory objections does not
meet the requirement of specific objections and is tantamount to a complete failure
to object.” Zimmerman v. Cason, 354 Fed. App'x 228, 230 (6th Cir. 2009). Indeed,
“[a] general objection to the entirety of the magistrate’s report has the same effects
as would failure to object. The district court's attention is not focused on any
specific issues for review, thereby making the initial reference to the magistrate
useless ... The duplication of time and effort wastes judicial resources rather than
saving them, and runs contrary to the purposes of the Magistrates Act.” Id.
(quoting Howard v. Sec’y of Health and Human Serv., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir.
Simply put, Massey has not offered the Court any reasoning or authority to
support his list of conclusory objections to the entirety of the R&R. For instance,
while he claims that “[c]hurch property is exempt from tax foreclosure in light of
the public good the Church brings to the community,” he has not provided the
Court any support for that proposition, or explained how that fact, even if true,
relates in any way to the to the Magistrate Judge’s reasoning in the R&R. Nor has
he addressed the Magistrate Judge’s conclusions that he lacked standing to bring
the claims in his Complaint, that the Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over
his claims under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, or that his claims are barred by res
judicata. (See R&R at 8-12, Pg. ID 173-77.) The Court therefore overrules the
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Objections (ECF #22)
are OVERRULED and Magistrate Judge’s recommended disposition is
Massey also delivered a letter to the Court dated December 15, 2016, that was not
submitted to the Clerk’s office for filing. The Court has since had this letter posted
to the public docket as ECF #23. The letter does not purport to be an objection to
the R&R, nor does it address the R&R in any way. Instead, the letter provides
historical context with respect to Massey’s relationship with the City of Highland
Park. While the Court appreciates the additional information the letter provided,
the letter does not provide any basis to disturb the Magistrate Judge’s
recommended disposition of this action.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Motions to Dismiss (ECF ## 11, 12,
and 18) are GRANTED.
s/Matthew F. Leitman
MATTHEW F. LEITMAN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: January 3, 2017
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was served upon the
parties and/or counsel of record on January 3, 2017, by electronic means and/or
s/Holly A. Monda
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