Randall v. Mnuchin
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION: OVERRULING in full Plaintiff's Objection to the R & R 38 ; ADOPTING IN FULL the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation 33 ; and DISMISSING Plaintiff's Complaint 1 (Written Opinion). Signed by Chief Judge John R. Tunheim on 11/21/2017. (JMK)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
Civil No. 17-2115 (JRT/DTS)
AND ORDER ADOPTING REPORT
STEVEN TERNER MNUCHIN,
Charles Randall, 7423 Frontier Trail, Chanhassen, MN
55317, pro se
Steven Terner Mnuchin, defendant.
Charles Randall brought this action against Steven Mnuchin seeking garnishment
of Mnuchin’s salary in the amount of $24,051.00 to compensate Randall for tax
withholdings. (Compl. at 4, June 19, 2017, Docket No. 1.) When Mnuchin did not enter
an appearance within 90 days of Randall’s filing, the Magistrate Judge directed Randall
to do one of the following: (1) notify defense counsel immediately that he/she is required
to make an appearance or move for an extension of time to do so; (2) file an application
for entry of default unless the required pleading was filed within 10 days; or (3) advise
the Court in writing of any good cause to the contrary. (Magistrate Judge Order, Sept.
20, 2017, Docket No. 25.)
When Randall did not take any of those actions, the
Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) recommending that the
Court dismiss the case without prejudice. (R&R, Sept. 29, 2017, Docket No. 33.)
Now before the Court is the R&R, as well as numerous filings by Randall alleging
“refusal for cause.” (See Docket Nos. 34, 36, 38, 39, 40, 44, 45, 47, 51, 53.) The Court
has reviewed these filings and finds that only one of them relates to the R&R. In that
filing, Randall submitted a copy of the R&R with the words “Refusal For Cause” written
across it and alleged that he has “not consented to any Magistrate dispositions of this
case.” (Refusal for Cause at 1 & Ex. 1, Oct. 4, 2017, Docket. No. 38.) None of the
filings indicate that Randall has complied with the Magistrate Judge’s order, and Randall
has not formally filed any objections to the R&R. Because the Court will find that the
Magistrate Judge’s recommendation is appropriate, it will adopt the R&R in full.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Under the Federal Magistrate Judges Act, a magistrate judge may “hear and
determine any pretrial matter pending before the court,” with a few exceptions that are
not relevant here. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A); accord D. Minn. LR 72.1(a)(2). While a
magistrate judge does not have the authority to decide dispositive issues, except where
the parties consent, he or she does have the authority to propose findings and
recommendations in the form of an R&R on dispositive issues.
See 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(B)-(C); accord D. Minn. LR 72.2(b). The R&R must then be reviewed by
the district judge, who may accept, reject, or modify the recommendation. 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(C); accord D. Minn. LR. 72.2(b).
A party may file “specific written objections” to the R&R.
Fed. R. Civ. P.
72(b)(2); accord D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(1). A party’s objections “should specify the
portions of the magistrate judge’s [R&R] to which objections are made and provide a
basis for those objections.” Mayer v. Walvatne, No. 07-1958 (JRT/RLE), 2008 WL
4527774, at *2 (D. Minn. Sept. 28, 2008). For dispositive issues, the Court reviews de
novo a “properly objected to” portion of an R&R. Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3); accord D.
Minn. LR 72.2(b)(3). “Objections which are not specific but merely repeat arguments
presented to and considered by a magistrate judge are not entitled to de novo review, but
rather are reviewed for clear error.” Montgomery v. Compass Airlines, LLC, 98 F. Supp.
3d 1012, 1017 (D. Minn. 2015).
RANDALL’S OBJECTION TO THE R&R
Randall did not formally object to the R&R; however, Docket No. 38 alleges that
he has not consented to disposition of the case by the Magistrate Judge, thus the Court
will construe this document as an objection. Although Randall’s objection was not
properly filed, it specifically objects to the Magistrate Judge’s authority, is not an
argument that the Magistrate Judge specifically considered in issuing the R&R. Thus the
Court will review the R&R de novo.
When the Magistrate Judge issued the initial order directing Randall to prosecute
the case, he was exercising his authority under federal law to determine pretrial matters.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). Randall need not consent to the Magistrate Judge’s
authority, because such authority is prescribed by federal law. Furthermore, the order
was not a disposition. Thus Randall’s objection fails as to the underlying order.
Randall’s objection to “dispositions” by the Magistrate Judge does not apply to the
R&R, because the R&R is not a disposition. The Court now has the authority to accept,
reject, or modify the R&R. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). The Court, not the Magistrate
Judge, will issue the disposition. As such, Randall’s objection fails as to the R&R.
In his order, the Magistrate Judge correctly noted that the Court has the power to
dismiss a case for lack of prosecution. See Link v. Wabash R.R. Co., 370 U.S. 626, 630
(1962). Because Randall did not respond to the Magistrate Judge’s order, thus further
failing to prosecute his case, the Court finds that the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation
to dismiss the case without prejudice for failure to prosecute is appropriate.
Based on the foregoing, and all the files, records, and proceedings herein,
Plaintiff’s Objection to the R&R [Docket No. 38] is OVERRULED in full and the
Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation [Docket No. 33] is ADOPTED in full.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Complaint [Docket No.
1] is summarily DISMISSED without prejudice for failure to prosecute.
LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.
DATED: November 21, 2017
at Minneapolis, Minnesota.
_________s/John R. Tunheim______
JOHN R. TUNHEIM
United States District Court
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