Richard v. Caliber Home Loans, Inc. et al
ORDER ADOPTING AND AFFIRMING 94 Report and Recommendations. Plaintiff's 64 Motion for Sanctions (Doc. 64 ) is DENIED. Defendants' Motion for Leave to File Amended Answer and Counterclaims (Doc. 79 ) is GRANTED. Signed by Judge George C. Smith on 6/14/2017. (agm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
DENNIS G. RICHARD,
Case No.: 2:15-cv-2647
JUDGE GEORGE C. SMITH
Magistrate Judge Deavers
CALIBER HOME LOANS, INC., et al.,
On April 24, 2017, the United States Magistrate Judge issued a Report and
Recommendation recommending that Defendants’ Motion for Leave to File an Amended
Answer and Counterclaims be GRANTED and Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions be DENIED.
(See Doc. 94, Report and Recommendation). This matter is now before the Court on Plaintiff’s
objection to the Report and Recommendation. (Doc. 101). Defendants have filed an opposition
to Plaintiff’s objection. (Doc. 105).
Upon timely objection, a district court “must consider timely objections and modify or set
aside any part of the order that is clearly erroneous or contrary to law.” 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a). The “clearly erroneous” standard applies to the magistrate
judge’s factual findings while legal conclusions are reviewed under the more lenient “contrary to
law” standard. Gandee v. Glaser, 785 F.Supp. 684, 686 (S.D. Ohio 1992), aff’d, 19 F.3d 1432
(6th Cir. 1994). “[A] finding is ‘clearly erroneous’ when although there is evidence to support it,
the reviewing court on the entire evidence is left with the definite and firm conviction that a
mistake has been committed.” Eversole v. Butler County Sheriff’s Office, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
26894, at *2 (S.D. Ohio August 7, 2001) (sustaining objections to magistrate judge’s order
rejecting claim of attorney-client privilege and work-product) (citation omitted). The District
Court Judge’s review under the “contrary to law” standard is “plenary,” and it “’may overturn
any conclusions of law which contradict or ignore applicable precepts of law, as found in the
Constitution, statutes, or case precedent.’” Gandee, 785 F.Supp. at 686 (citations omitted). It is
with these standards in mind that the Court reviews the Magistrate Judge’s Order.
Plaintiff does not object to the portion of the Report and Recommendation regarding
Defendant’s Motion for Leave to Amend, therefore, that portion is adopted and affirmed.
Plaintiff specifically objects to the Magistrate Judge’s denial of sanctions. Plaintiff argues that
he should be awarded sanctions in this case because the counterclaims against him in this case
were not reasonable and intended to punish Plaintiff for bringing this case. Defendants respond
that the Court need not consider Plaintiff’s new arguments raised in the objections. Further,
Defendants asset that the Magistrate Judge’s conclusions are correct in that they had a sufficient
basis for asserting the fraud in the inducement counterclaim. (Doc. 105 at 7).
The Magistrate Judge in her Report and Recommendation carefully considered all the
arguments of the parties in ruling on Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions. Specifically, she found
that it was “objectively reasonable for Defendants to assert their counterclaims at the time of
their pleading.” (Doc. 94 at 5). Plaintiff argues that the Magistrate’s decision incorrectly relied
on the parties’ prior negotiations, despite the Second Settlement Agreement containing the
integration language. This is the new argument that Defendants argue the Court need not
consider because it was not addressed before the Magistrate Judge. However, out of an
abundance of caution, the Court will consider all of Plaintiff’s arguments. Although there was
some confusion with the change in counsel and what was considered prior to signing the Second
Settlement Agreement, the Court agrees with the reasoning set forth in the Report and
Recommendation, that there was sufficient basis for Defendants to assert a fraud in the
inducement counterclaim and therefore sanctions are not appropriate in this instance.
For the reasons stated above, Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions is DENIED. The
Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation is hereby ADOPTED AND AFFIRMED.
The Clerk shall remove Documents94 and 101 from the Court’s pending motions list.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
/s/ George C. Smith__________________
GEORGE C. SMITH, JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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