Ryan v. Hartunian et al
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER adopting 4 Report and Recommendations and dismissing the complaint without leave to amend. Signed by Chief Judge Gary L. Sharpe on 5/22/14. [Served by certified mail.] (sfp, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
MATTHEW J. RYAN,
RICHARD S. HARTUNIAN et al.,
FOR THE PLAINTIFF:
Matthew J. Ryan
Otisville Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 1000
Otisville, NY 10963
Gary L. Sharpe
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
Plaintiff pro se Matthew J. Ryan commenced this action against
defendants Richard S. Hartunian, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eric Holder,
Jr., the U.S. Department of Justice, Andrew M. Cuomo, Eric T.
Schneiderman, Elliot Spitzer, David Soares, Spitzer Enterprises, and the
New York State Committee on Professional Standards, alleging that their
failure to criminally prosecute Spitzer, the former Governor of the State of
New York, for money laundering violated Ryan’s rights under the Equal
Protection Clause. (Compl., Dkt. No. 1 at 1-5.) In an Order and ReportRecommendation (R&R) issued November 25, 2013, Magistrate Judge
Thérèse Wiley Dancks recommended that Ryan’s complaint be dismissed
without leave to amend. (Dkt. No. 4 at 4.) For the reasons that follow, the
R&R is adopted in its entirety.
Ryan is currently serving a federal prison sentence after being
convicted of securities fraud. (Dkt. No. 4 at 1-2 (citing United States v.
Ryan, No. 1:10-CR-0319 (N.D.N.Y.)).) Ryan’s complaint alleges that
defendants failed to prosecute Spitzer by way of conspiracy and failed to
bring in an independent investigator who had no political party affiliation
with Spitzer. (Compl. at 2-5.) Ryan claims that defendants’ failure to
prosecute Spitzer violated Ryan’s rights under the Equal Protection Clause.
(Id. at 4.) Upon initial review of Ryan’s complaint pursuant 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e), Judge Dancks recommended that the complaint be dismissed
without leave to amend. (Dkt. No. 4 at 4.)
III. Standard of Review
Before entering final judgment, this court routinely reviews all report
and recommendation orders in cases it has referred to a magistrate judge.
If a party has objected to specific elements of the magistrate judge’s
findings and recommendations, this court reviews those findings and
recommendations de novo. See Almonte v. N.Y. State Div. of Parole, No.
Civ. 904CV484GLS, 2006 WL 149049, at *3,*5 (N.D.N.Y. Jan. 18, 2006).
In those cases where no party has filed an objection, only vague or general
objections have been filed, or a party resubmits the same papers and
arguments already considered by the magistrate judge, this court reviews
the findings and recommendations of the magistrate judge for clear error. 1
See id. at *4-5.
Ryan objects to the R&R with both general and specific objections.
(Dkt. No. 5.) Ryan specifically objects to the portion of the R&R in which
Judge Dancks characterizes Ryan as a private citizen. (Dkt. No. 5 at 3.)
Ryan’s objection states, “I am not considered a private citizen, the cases
“[A] report is clearly erroneous if the court determines that there is
a mistake of fact or law which is obvious and affects substantial rights.”
Almonte, 2006 WL 149049, at *6.
and references provided for the denial of this legal action filed with this
court does not pertain to my current standing and does not make the case
invalid.” (Id.) The court has reviewed this objection de novo and finds that
Ryan’s argument is without merit. As Judge Dancks correctly stated, Ryan
lacks standing because “a private citizen lacks a judicially cognizable
interest in the prosecution or nonprosecution of another.” (Dkt. No. 4 at 4
(quoting Linda R.S. v. Richard D., 410 U.S. 614, 619 (1973)).) Thus, Ryan
has not articulated a judicially cognizable right of which he has been
Ryan also makes general objections to the R&R, which take issue
with no particular aspect of Judge Dancks’ recommendation. (Dkt. No. 5.)
For example, Ryan claims that Spitzer was not properly prosecuted and
that these proceedings have been “tainted . . . with political cronyism.”
(Dkt. No. 5 at 3.) These “objections,” however, simply restate a portion of
Ryan’s complaint and re-hash arguments already submitted to the court,
which Judge Dancks properly considered, (compare Dkt. No. 1, with Dkt.
No. 5), and are irrelevant to the recommendation. See Davis v. Campbell,
No. 3:13-CV-0693, 2014 WL 234722, at *2 (N.D.N.Y. Jan. 22, 2014).
Because Ryan’s objections do not point out specific shortcomings in the
R&R, and, instead, merely raise immaterial contentions or reiterate earlierraised arguments, review for clear error is warranted. See Almonte, 2006
WL 149049, at *4, *6. Having thoroughly reviewed the R&R, the court finds
no clear error in Judge Dancks’ recommendations, and adopts it in its
WHEREFORE, for the foregoing reasons, it is hereby
ORDERED that Magistrate Judge Thérèse Wiley Dancks’ Order and
Report-Recommendation (Dkt. No. 4) is ADOPTED in its entirety; and it is
ORDERED that the complaint (Dkt. No. 1) is dismissed without leave
to amend; and it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk close this case; and it is further
ORDERED that the Clerk provide a copy of this MemorandumDecision and Order to the parties.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
May 22, 2014
Albany, New York
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