PETITION OF LESLIE WILLIS TO PERPETUATE EVIDENCE PERTAINING TO THE TRUST FOR ANNIE PEARL (WHITE) WILLIS
MEMORANDUM ORDER denying 212 Motion District Judge Order filed by LESLIE WILLIS re 209, 210 Orders; overruling/denying Objections/Appeal. The October 12, 2023, Orders of Magistrate Judge Lenihan are AFFIRMED. Details more fully stated in Order. Signed by Judge David S. Cercone on 11/15/2023. (lyk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
PETITION OF LESLIE WILLIS
TO PERPETUATE EVIDENCE
PERTAINING TO “THE TRUST FOR
ANNIE PEARL (WHITE) WILLIS”
November 15, 2023
Petitioner, Leslie Willis (“Willis” or “Petitioner”), has filed a "Rule 60(b)(6)" Motion
(ECF No. 212) to the Orders of Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo Lenihan (ECF No. 209, 210) dated
October 12, 2023, granting in part and denying in part Willis’ Motion for Clarification (ECF No.
207). Petitioner raises an "objection" to the rulings because the Magistrate Judge did not address
petitioner's specific questions regarding this court's Memorandum Order (Doc. No. 178). This
court will consider Petitioner’s Motion/objections as an appeal from the Magistrate Judge’s
Orders pursuant to the Magistrate Judges Act (the “Act”), 28 U. S. C. § 636(b)(1).
A United States Magistrate Judge may hear and determine any [non-dispositive] pretrial
matter pending before the Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). The district court will
only reverse a magistrate judge’s decision on these matters if it is “clearly erroneous or contrary
to law.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) (“A judge of the court may reconsider any [non-dispositive]
pretrial matter . . . where it has been shown that the magistrate judge's order is clearly erroneous
or contrary to law.”); FED. R. CIV. P. 72 (a). Therefore, “this Court will review a magistrate
judge’s findings of fact for clear error.” Haines v. Liggett Group, Inc., 975 F.2d 81, 91-92 (3d
Cir. 1992); see also Lithuanian Commerce Corp., Ltd. v. Sara Lee Hosiery, 177 F.R.D. 205, 213
(D.N.J.1997). A finding is clearly erroneous if “the reviewing court on the entire evidence is left
with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.” United States v. U.S.
Gypsum Co., 333 U.S. 364, 395 (1948); see also Kounelis v. Sherrer, 529 F. Supp. 2d 503, 518
(D.N.J. 2008); Lo Bosco v. Kure Engineering Ltd., 891 F. Supp. 1035, 1037 (D.N.J. 1995). The
district court will not reverse the magistrate judge’s determination, even in circumstances where
the court might have decided the matter differently. Cooley v. Merski, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
50271, *3 (W.D. Pa. June 26, 2008) (citing Cardona v. General Motors Corp., 942 F. Supp. 968,
971 (D.N.J. 1996)).
In matters where the magistrate judge is authorized to exercise his or her discretion, the
decision will be reversed only for an abuse of discretion. See, e.g., Kresefky v. Panasonic
Commc’ns & Sys. Co., 169 F.R.D. 54, 64 (D.N.J. 1996) (“Where, as here, the magistrate has
ruled on a non-dispositive matter . . . , his or her ruling is entitled to great deference and is
reversible only for abuse of discretion”). “This deferential standard is ‘especially appropriate
where the Magistrate Judge has managed this case from the outset and developed a thorough
knowledge of the proceedings.’” Lithuanian Commerce Corp., Ltd. v. Sara Lee Hosiery, 177
F.R.D. at 214 (quoting Pub. Interest Research Group v. Hercules, Inc., 830 F. Supp. 1525, 1547
(D.N.J. 1993), aff’d on other grounds and rev’d on other grounds, 50 F.3d 1239 (3d Cir.1995)).
After a review of Willis’ Motion/objection and the Orders of Magistrate Judge Lisa Pupo
Lenihan denying petitioner's motion for clarification, this Court is unable to find either an abuse
of discretion by the Magistrate Judge, or that the Magistrate Judge’s ruling was clearly erroneous
or contrary to law. Accordingly,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that after consideration of Willis’ Motion/Objections
to/Appeal of Magistrate Judge Lenihan’s Orders dated October 12, 2023,  the Motion is
denied and the Objections/Appeal are overruled/denied. The October 12, 2023, Orders of
Magistrate Judge Lenihan are AFFIRMED.
s/DAVID STEWART CERCONE
David Stewart Cercone
Senior United States District Judge
Bridget J. Daley, Esquire
(Via CM/ECF Electronic Mail)
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