Spaulding v. New York City Department of Education
ORDER: For the reasons set forth in the attached order, the Court hereby adopts Magistrate Judge Scanlon's December 28, 2016 Report and Recommendation 77 in its entirety as the opinion of this Court. Plaintiff's motion to vacate the sett lement agreement 66 is hereby denied in its entirety. The Clerk of Court is directed to enter judgment and close this case accordingly. The Clerk of Court is further directed to mail a copy of this order to the pro se plaintiff. Ordered by Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall on 3/31/2017. (Valentin, Winnethka)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
12-CV-3041 (LDH) (VMS)
-againstNEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF
LASHANN DEARCY HALL, United States District Judge:
On December 28, 2016, United States Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon issued a report
and recommendation (the “Report and Recommendation”), which recommended that this Court
deny Plaintiff Yvonne Spaulding’s motion to vacate the settlement agreement, entered into
between Plaintiff and Defendant New York City Department of Education. (See Pl.’s Mot. to
Vacate, ECF No. 66; Stipulation of Dismissal, ECF Nos. 63, 65.) Any written objections to the
Report and Recommendation had to be filed with the Clerk of Court within fourteen (14) days of
the date of service of the report; responses to any objections were due fourteen (14) days thereafter.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(2).
Plaintiff has filed a letter, with exhibits, which was received by this Court on January 10,
2017. (Pl.’s Jan. 10, 2017 Letter, ECF No. 78.) Although not identified as an objection, because
Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court, as it must, construes her letter as an objection to the Report
and Recommendation, and interprets it to raise the strongest arguments that it suggests. See Burgos
v. Hopkins, 14 F.3d 787, 790 (2d Cir. 1994) (citing Mikinberg v. Baltic S.S. Co., 988 F.2d 327,
330 (2d Cir.1993)). The Court reviews the portions of the Report and Recommendation to which
Plaintiff objects under a de novo standard of review. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(1),(3); 28 U.S.C. §
Even under the more liberal standard afforded to pro se litigants, however, Plaintiff has
failed to raise any specific objections to the findings of fact and conclusions of law that are set
forth in the Report and Recommendation. Rather, Plaintiff has merely repeated arguments that
were raised in her original motion to vacate the settlement agreement and subsequent
correspondence to the Court. (See Pl.’s Mot. to Vacate; Pl.’s May 2, 2016 Letter, ECF No. 68;
Pl.’s July 27, 2016 Letter, ECF No. 73.) Similarly, Plaintiff’s “objection” seeks virtually the same
relief that she sought in her motion to vacate, as well as throughout the course of this litigation.
(See Pl.’s Mot. to Vacate; R. & R., at 5, 8-11, ECF No. 77 (explaining relief sought during
litigation).) The Court finds Plaintiff’s “objection” to be inadequate under the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(2) (requiring “specific written objections to the
proposed findings and recommendations”); see also Mario v. P & C Food Mkts., Inc., 313 F.3d
758, 766 (2d Cir. 2002) (“Merely referring the court to previously filed papers or arguments does
not constitute an adequate objection under either Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b) or Local Civil Rule
72.3(a)(3)”); Rothenberger v. N.Y.C. Police Dep’t, No. 06-cv-868, 2008 WL 2435563, at *1
(E.D.N.Y. June 16, 2008) (rejecting pro se plaintiff’s basis for objection, in part, because it was
“little more than a list of documents and facts that he believe[d] the court should have considered
in arriving at its findings”).
Finally, the Court agrees with the findings of the Report and Recommendation that Plaintiff
has failed to satisfy the standard for a motion pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60,
which permits a court to relieve a party from a judgment where there is evidence of “fraud . . .
misrepresentation, or misconduct by an opposing party.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(3). The Court finds
there is no evidence that Plaintiff was induced into entering the settlement agreement by fraud,
misrepresentation, or any other misconduct by Defendant.
No other objections have been filed to the Report and Recommendation. As to the
remaining portions of the Report and Recommendation, “the district court need only satisfy itself
that there is no clear error on the face of the record.” Estate of Ellington ex rel. Ellington v.
Harbrew Imports Ltd., 812 F. Supp. 2d 186, 189 (E.D.N.Y. 2011) (quoting Urena v. New York,
160 F. Supp. 2d 606, 609-10 (S.D.N.Y. 2001)) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
The Court has reviewed the Report and Recommendation, as well as the entire record, and
determined there was no such error.
Accordingly, having reviewed the record and the remaining portions of the Report and
Recommendation for clear error and, finding none, the Court hereby adopts Magistrate Judge
Scanlon’s Report and Recommendation in its entirety as the opinion of this Court. Plaintiff’s
motion to vacate the settlement agreement is hereby denied in its entirety. The Clerk of Court is
directed to enter judgment and close this case accordingly.
Dated: March 31, 2017
Brooklyn, New York
LASHANN DEARCY HALL
United States District Judge
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