Stokes v. Kreidler
DECISION AND ORDER adopting 4 Report and Recommendations. Pltf's 5 objections to the R&R are overruled. The complaint is dismissed with prejudice as to any claims brought against Deft in her official capacity. The remaining claims in the complaint are dismissed without prejudice subject to the lifting of the Heck bar. Signed by Senior Judge Thomas J. McAvoy on 3/8/18. (Copy served via regular and certified mail)(sfp, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
SHANE T. STOKES SR.,
DENISE M. KREIDLER, Individually and in
Her Official Capacity,
Thomas J. McAvoy,
United States District Judge
DECISION & ORDER
This action, brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleges that Defendant, an
official court reporter, violated Plaintiff’s due process rights by altering trial transcripts.
The Court referred the case to the Hon. Andrew T. Baxter, United States Magistrate
Judge, for a Report-Recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rule
Magistrate Judge Baxter’s Report-Recommendation, dated January 30, 2018, gave
Plaintiff’s Complaint the official review required of actions brought in forma pauperis.
Magistreate Judge Baxter concluded that Plaintiff’s Complaint violated the rule stated in
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486-87 (1994). If Plaintiff were to prevail on his claims
in this matter he would necessarily call into question his prosecution in the underlying
criminal matter. Magistrate Judge Baxter therefore recommended that Plaintiff’s claims be
dismissed without prejudice to refiling should the Heck bar be lifted. Judge Baxter also
recommended that all claims brought against Defendant in her official capacity be
dismissed with prejudice.
Plaintiff filed timely objections to the Report-Recommendation. Plaintiff agreed that
his claim was not cognizable due to Heck and suggested that voluntary dismissal was
appropriate. When objections to a magistrate judge’s Report-Recommendation are
lodged, the Court makes a “de novo determination of those portions of the report or
specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” See 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). After such a review, the Court may “accept, reject, or modify, in whole
or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge. The judge may
also receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with
Having reviewed the record de novo and having considered the issues raised in the
Plaintiffs’ objections, this Court has determined to accept and adopt the recommendation
of Magistrate Judge Baxter for the reasons stated in the Report-Recommendation. The
Court acknowledges that Plaintiff has agreed to “voluntarily dismiss” or discontinue the
Complaint. The Court finds, however, that accepting the Report-Recommendation would
be the most efficient means of recognizing that the Complaint fails to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted while achieving the Plaintiff’s aim of discontinuing the case
until such time as the Heck bar is no longer in place.
It is therefore ORDERED that Plaintiff’s objections to the Report-Recommendation
of Magistrate Judge Baxter, dkt. # 5, are hereby OVERRULED. The ReportRecommendation, dkt. # 4, is hereby ACCEPTED, and:
The Complaint is hereby DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as to any claims
brought against Defendant in her official capacity; and
The remaining claims in the Complaint are DISMISSED WITHOUT
PREJUDICE subject to the lifting of the Heck bar.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated:March 8, 2018
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