Anderson v. Cameron et al
DECISION AND ORDER granting 10 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim; adopting Report and Recommendations re 27 Report and Recommendations. In addition, the Court sua sponte dismissed the claims against the non-moving defendants, for the reasons set forth in the Decision and Order. (The Clerk of Court is directed to close this case.) Signed by Hon. Michael A. Telesca on 5/23/17. (JMC)-CLERK TO FOLLOW UP-
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
GEORGE L. ANDERSON,
DECISION AND ORDER
-vsJANE C. CAMERON, TERESA J.
MUCHA, JOE MARTENS, LANGDON
MARSH, THOMAS C. JORLING, and
HENRY G. WILLIAMS,
Pro se plaintiff George L. Anderson (“plaintiff”) commenced
the instant action on June 3, 2013, alleging that defendants
unlawfully prevented him from operating a “grandfathered” gravel
mining operation on his property in Chautauqua County, New York.
On August 21, 2013, the Court entered a Decision and Order in which
it granted plaintiff permission to proceed in forma pauperis and
September 23, 2013.
Docket No. 4.
Plaintiff was informed that if
he failed to file an amended complaint, the Court would “proceed to
§ 1915(e)(2)(B), against only those defendants named in the Caption
and Parties to Action . . . [s]ection[s] of the complaint.” Id.
at 8. Plaintiff failed to file an amended complaint, and the Court
subsequently ordered that the complaint be served.
Docket No. 8.
Defendants Jane C. Cameron (“Cameron”), Joe Martens (“Martens”),
defendants”) filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim
on March 27, 2014.
Docket No. 10.
The docket indicates that
defendants Thomas C. Jorling, Langdon Marsh, and Henry G. Williams
(collectively the “non-moving defendants”) were never served with
the with the summons and complaint.
Docket No. 9.
On January 4, 2017, United States Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth
No. 27) recommending that the moving defendants’ motion to dismiss
be granted. For the reasons discussed below, the Court adopts the
findings set forth in the R&R and grants the motion to dismiss.
addition, the Court finds sua sponte pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915
that plaintiff has failed to state a claim as to Thomas C. Jorling,
Langdon Marsh, and Henry G. Williams.
As a result, the complaint
is dismissed in its entirety.
Standard of Review
When specific objections are made to a magistrate judge’s
report and recommendation, the district judge makes a “de novo
determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed
findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C.
When only general objections are made to a
magistrate judge’s report and recommendation, the district judge
reviews it for clear error or manifest injustice. E.g., Brown v.
Peters, 1997 WL 599355, at *2-3 (N.D.N.Y. Sept. 22, 1997), aff’d,
175 F.3d 1007 (2d Cir. 1999).
After conducting the appropriate
review, the 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).
Sua Sponte Dismissal of Plaintiff’s Claims Against the
As a threshold matter, the Court notes that Judge Schroeder
limited his consideration to whether plaintiff had stated a claim
as to the moving defendants. Judge Schroeder apparently mistakenly
read the Court’s August 21, 2013 Decision and Order as dismissing
plaintiff’s claims against the non-moving defendants.
No. 27 at 4.
However, review of the August 21, 2013 Decision and
Order shows that the Court reserved decision on the adequacy of the
claims against all the defendants listed in the caption, which
includes non-moving defendants Langdon Marsh, Thomas C. Jorling,
and Henry G. Williams.
See Docket No. 4 at 7.
The Court has
reviewed those claims and determines that sua sponte dismissal is
appropriate as to the non-moving defendants.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court shall dismiss
a case in which in forma pauperis status has been granted if, at
any time, the Court determines that the action (i) is frivolous or
malicious; (ii) fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted; or (iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief.
Section 1915 “provide[s] an efficient
Abbas v. Dixon, 480 F.3d 636, 639 (2d Cir.
“[S]ua sponte § 1915 . . . dismissal may occur and is in
some cases preferable after service of process and expansion of the
Anderson v. Coughlin, 700 F.2d 37, 41 (2d Cir. 1983).
In evaluating the complaint, the Court must accept as true all
See Larkin v. Savage, 318 F.3d 138, 139
(2d Cir. 2003). Moreover, “a court is obliged to construe [pro se]
pleadings liberally, particularly when they allege civil rights
McEachin v. McGuinnis, 357 F.3d 197, 200 (2d Cir.
2004). Nevertheless, even pleadings submitted pro se must meet the
notice requirements of Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Wynder v. McMahon, 360 F.3d 73 (2d Cir. 2004).
Here, the complaint contains no factual allegations whatsoever
against non-moving defendants Langdon Marsh, Thomas C. Jorling, and
defendants’ names appear are in the case caption and list of
parties. Moreover, plaintiff was given an opportunity to amend his
complaint pursuant to the Court’s August 21, 2013 Decision and
Order and failed to do so.
Under these circumstances, the Court
finds that sua sponte dismissal of the claims against non-moving
defendants Langdon Marsh, Thomas C. Jorling, and Henry G. Williams
Plaintiff’s Objections to the R&R
Turning to plaintiff’s claims against the moving defendants,
reiteration of the arguments considered by Judge Schroeder.
result, the Court reviews the R&R for clear error, and finds none.
As discussed in detail in the R&R, the complaint contains no
factual allegations whatsoever regarding defendants Cameron and
Because there is no supervisory liability in a case
brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and because plaintiff has failed to
identify any allegedly unlawful actions taken by Cameron and/or
Martens, dismissal of his claims against them is appropriate.
With respect to defendant Mucha, plaintiff alleges that she
violated his due process rights by ordering him to stop operating
his gravel operation under threat of fines and penalties.
forth in the R&R, even assuming that plaintiff had a cognizable
property interest in continuing his gravel operation, he has failed
to allege facts from which a fact-finder could conclude that
defendant Mucha actually prevented him from doing so.
plaintiff’s own papers demonstrate that he has been afforded
extensive process, including having had his claims adjudicated by
no less than four state and federal courts, all of which decided
Plaintiff also has not stated claims for violation of the
Judge Schroeder explained, in order to state a claim based on the
Takings Clause, a plaintiff must allege that he sought compensation
via state procedures and was denied.
Plaintiff has made no such
Plaintiff also has not alleged the existence of a
contract or a change in law that impaired that contract, as is
required to state a claim for violation of the Contracts Clause.
Finally, with respect to Plaintiff’s conspiracy claim, the
Court agrees with Judge Schroeder that plaintiff has failed to
allege any facts showing an agreement between defendant Mucha and
the administrative law judge.
Additionally, Mucha was acting in a
prosecutorial capacity when she allegedly initiated administrative
proceedings against plaintiff and is therefore entitled to immunity
from civil suit.
Having considered plaintiff’s objections, and for the reasons
set forth above, this Court finds no clear error or manifest
injustice in Judge Schroeder’s findings, as a whole, and therefore
adopts the R&R with respect to the claims against the moving
For the reasons set forth in Judge Schroeder’s thorough and
well-reasoned R&R, the undersigned adopts his conclusions. The R&R
(Docket No. 27) is hereby adopted, and the moving defendants’
motion to dismiss (Docket No. 10) is granted.
In addition, the
Court sua sponte dismissed the claims against the non-moving
defendants, for the reasons set forth above. The Clerk of Court is
directed to close this case.
ALL OF THE ABOVE IS SO ORDERED.
S/Michael A. Telesca
MICHAEL A. TELESCA
United States District Judge
May 23, 2017
Rochester, New York
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