Mincy v. Luzerne County Pennsylvania et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION - Finally, Mincy asks the Court to overrule the R&R because the Magistrate Judge: (1) "ignore[d] (credible) sufficient evidence favoring the non-moving party (the Plaintiff) such that areasonable jury could return a verdict in Plaintiffs favor," (2) "did not view the facts inthe light most favorable to the non-moving party (Plaintiff) and draw all inferences in Plaintiffs favor; and (3) misappl[ied] the substantive law." (Doc. 332, at 1). Areview of the rec ord, the R&R, and applicable case law leads the Court to conclude that the Magistrate Judge properly entered summary judgment in favor of the Defendants and against Plaintiff.Accordingly, the Court will adopt the R&R in its entirety. A separate Order follows.Signed by Honorable Robert D. Mariani on 3/30/17. (jfg)
THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
HILTON KARRIEM MINCY,
LUZERNE COUNTY, et al.
Presently before the Court is a Report and Recommendation ("R & R") by Magistrate
Judge Mehalchick in which the Magistrate Judge recommends granting Defendants' Motion
for Summary Judgment and denying Plaintiffs Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. (Doc.
327). Plaintiff Hilton Karriem Mincy ("Mincy") has filed Objections to the R&R. (Docs. 328,
332). Upon de novo review of Magistrate Judge Mehalchick's R&R, the Court will overrule
Mincy's Objections and adopt the R&R for the reasons that follow.
Mincy's Second Amended Complaint centers around allegations that the DefendantsLuzerne County, former Prothonotary of Luzerne County Carolee Olenginski, former Deputy
Prothonotary of Luzerne County Bob Sypniewski, and former Solicitor to the Luzerne
County's Prothonotary's Office Samuel Stretton-refused to file certain documents,
including an appeal of an April 12, 2010 Order dismissing Mincy's malpractice complaint
against his former attorney. Mincy alleges that he informed the Defendants of his intent to
appeal on May 11, 2011 and therefore his appeal was timely. However, on May 28, 2010,
Defendant Stretton informed Mincy that his appeal would not be filed because it was
received more than thirty (30) days after the Court order and did not include the proper filing
fee. Count I of the Second Amended Complaint alleges that the Defendants denied Mincy
access to courts in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Count II of the
Second Amended Complaint raises a First Amendment retaliation claim and Count III
alleges a denial of Equal Protection. Mincy's remaining claims include, inter alia, a Monell
liability claim and various state law claims under Pennsylvania law.
Mincy first objects to the R&R by asserting that the Magistrate Judge "misstate[d] the
background and procedural history of the second amended complaint (and facts of record)
and acts as an advocate for the defendants in relying upon those misstatements in order to
mold the facts in a manner favorable to the defendants." (Doc. 332, at 1). Upon review of
the record, the Court finds that this objection is wholly without merit and will be overruled.
Second, Mincy asserts that the R&R should "be stricken and dismissed because Plaintiff
and/or defendants have not expressly consented to a magistrate pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
Section 636." (Doc. 332, at 1). This objection is without merit. See Jackson v. Wingard,
Civil Action No. 14-1530,2015 WL 5311278 at *2 (W.D. Pa. Sept. 11,2015) ("Here,
petitioner did not consent to a magistrate judge having the authority to, among other things,
enter judgment in this case; rather, petitioner elected to have his case assigned to a district
court judge. Under those circumstances, the magistrate judge to which the case is referred
does not have the authority to enter judgment with respect to dispositive motions ... but
may, among other things, issue a report and recommendation with respect to dispositive
motions in accordance with 28 U.S.c. § 636(b)(1)(B) and (C).") (emphasis added). That is
what happened here-the Court referred the pending summary judgment motions to
Magistrate Judge Mehalchick who issued a report and recommendation. Magistrate Judge
Mehalchick did not enter any judgment with respect to any dispositive motion.
Third, Mincy asks this Court to overrule the R&R based on what he maintains are
"contradictory and perjurous [sic] affidavits submitted by the defendants, that are also not
supported by any of the facts of record" and failed to "meet Defendants' burden of evidence
under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 56." (Doc. 332, at 1). Specifically, Mincy
asserts that the affidavit of Defendant Olenginski is pejurious because it "seeks to create the
false impression that she did not know of the incidents surrounding the refusal to file
Plaintiffs notice of appeal." (Doc. 332, at 35). In addition, Mincy claims that the Sypniewski
affidavit "falsely alleges that he was advised by Defendant Stratton to not file Plaintiffs
notice of appeal, however, the May 19, 2010 letter from Defendant Sypniewski does not
indicate that, nor does the May 28, 2010 letter from Defendant Stratton." (Id. at 36). These
objections, too, lack merit. The Court's review of the record shows that these affidavits are
"not starkly at odds" with the record evidence. Brown v. Plaff, 161 F. App'x 218,220 (3d
Finally, Mincy asks the Court to overrule the R&R because the Magistrate Judge: (1)
"ignore[d] (credible) sufficient evidence favoring the non-moving party (the Plaintiff) such
that a reasonable jury could return a verdict in Plaintiffs favor," (2) "did not view the facts in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party (Plaintiff) and draw all inferences in
Plaintiffs favor; and (3) misappl[ied] the substantive law." (Doc. 332, at 1). A review of the
record, the R&R, and applicable case law leads the Court to conclude that the Magistrate
Judge properly entered summary judgment in favor of the Defendants and against Plaintiff.
Accordingly, the Court will adopt the R&R in its entirety. Aseparate Order follows.
Robert . ananl
United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?