Reeder v. Uhler et al
ORDER denying 52 Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Prosecution; adopting Report and Recommendations re 70 Report and Recommendations. Signed by U.S. District Judge Mae A. D'Agostino on 9/27/2017. (Copy served via regular mail)(ban)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
DSS BELL; CAPT. BISHOP; SGT. SMITH;
OFFICER REIF; OFFICER RAMSDELL;
LIEUTENANT QUINN; and
Upstate Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 2001
Malone, New York 12953
Plaintiff, pro se
NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY
GENERAL - ALBANY
Albany, New York 12224
Attorneys for Defendants
RICHARD LOMBARDO, AAG
Mae A. D'Agostino, U.S. District Judge:
Plaintiff Raszell Reeder commenced this action pro se on September 3, 2015, alleging
various constitutional violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Dkt. No. 1. On October 13, 2016,
Defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to comply with discovery and for failure to
prosecute pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 37(b) and 41(b). See Dkt. No. 52.
Plaintiff filed a response to Defendants' motion. See Dkt. No. 55. On August 11, 2017,
Magistrate Judge Dancks issued a Report-Recommendation and Order, recommending that
Defendants' motion to dismiss be denied. See Dkt. No. 70. Defendants did not file objections to
the Report-Recommendation and Order.
"[I]n a pro se case, the court must view the submissions by a more lenient standard than
that accorded to 'formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'" Govan v. Campbell, 289 F. Supp. 2d 289,
295 (N.D.N.Y. 2003) (quoting Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972)) (other citations
omitted). The Second Circuit has opined that the court is obligated to "make reasonable
allowances to protect pro se litigants" from inadvertently forfeiting legal rights merely because
they lack a legal education. Id. (quoting Traguth v. Zuck, 710 F.2d 90, 95 (2d Cir. 1983)).
However, "[t]he right of self-representation does not exempt a party from compliance with the
relevant rules of procedural and substantive law." Massie v. Ikon Office Solutions, Inc., 381 F.
Supp. 2d 91, 94 (N.D.N.Y. 2005) (quoting Clarke v. Bank of New York, 687 F. Supp. 863, 871
In reviewing a report and recommendation, a district court "may accept, reject, or modify,
in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(C). When a party makes specific objections to a magistrate judge's report, the district
court engages in de novo review of the issues raised in the objections. See id.; Farid v. Bouey,
554 F. Supp. 2d 301, 307 (N.D.N.Y. 2008). When a party fails to make specific objections, the
court reviews the magistrate judge's report for clear error. See Farid, 554 F. Supp. 2d at 307; see
also Gamble v. Barnhart, No. 02-CV-1126, 2004 WL 2725126, *1 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 29, 2004).
Again, Defendants did not file objections in this case, so the Court will review the ReportRecommendation and Order for clear error.
As Magistrate Judge Dancks outlined, courts consider several factors in imposing
sanctions pursuant to Rule 37, including "(1) the willfulness of the non-compliant party or the
reason for noncompliance; (2) the efficacy of lesser sanctions; (3) the duration of the period of
noncompliance, and (4) whether the non-compliant party had been warned of the consequences of
noncompliance." S. New England Tel. Co. v. Glob. NAPs Inc., 624 F.3d 123, 144 (2d Cir. 2010)
(quotation omitted). Magistrate Judge Dancks carefully analyzed the factors and concluded that
Defendants' motion should be denied without prejudice, particularly in light of Plaintiff's pro se
status. See Dkt. No. 70 at 4-9. The Court finds no clear error in this determination.
Similarly, Magistrate Judge Dancks outlined the factors that courts consider when
deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 41(b). See id. at 9. Again, Magistrate Judge
Dancks carefully analyzed the factors and determined that dismissal is not warranted at this time.
See id. at 9-11. The Court finds no clear error in Magistrate Judge Dancks's careful and thorough
application of the factors.
Having carefully reviewed Magistrate Judge Dancks's Report-Recommendation and
Order, the parties' submissions, and the applicable law, and for the above-stated reasons, the
ORDERS that Magistrate Judge Dancks's August 11, 2017 Report-Recommendation and
Order (Dkt. No. 70) is ADOPTED in its entirety; and the Court further
ORDERS that Defendants' motion to dismiss (Dkt. No. 52) is DENIED; and the Court
ORDERS that the Clerk of the Court shall serve a copy of this Order on all parties in
accordance with the Local Rules.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: September 27, 2017
Albany, New York
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