Rymer v. Lemaster et al
ORDER granting 34 Motion to Dismiss; adopting Report and Recommendations re 122 Report and Recommendation. The Court OVERRULES Plaintiff's objections [Docs. 123/124] and ADOPTS Magistrate Judge Frensley's R&R [Doc. 122]. Oldham' s Motion to Dismiss [Docs. 34/81] is GRANTED, and he is DISMISSED from the case. Signed by District Judge Victoria A. Roberts on 10/4/17. (xc:Pro se party by regular mail. ) (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(am)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTICT OF TENNESSEE
Case No. 16-02711
Honorable Victoria A. Roberts
Magistrate Judge Jeffery S. Frensley
ROBERT LEMASTER, et al.,
ORDER: (1) OVERRULING PLAINTIFF’S OBJECTIONS; (2) ADOPTING REPORT
AND RECOMMENDATION [Doc. 122]; (3) GRANTING DEFENDANT OLDHAM’S
MOTION TO DISMISS [Docs. 34/81]; and (4) DISMISSING HIM FROM THE CASE
On August 30, 2017, Magistrate Judge Jeffery S. Frensley issued a Report and
Recommendation (“R&R”) [Doc. 122], recommending that Defendant Roger Oldham’s
Motion to Dismiss [Doc. 34/81] be GRANTED and that Oldham be DISMISSED from the
case. Plaintiff objects to the R&R. [Docs. 123/124].
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b)(3), a district judge is required to
determine de novo any part of a magistrate judge’s report and recommendation that has
been properly objected to. Id.; see also 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). This de novo review
requires the Court to re-examine all relevant evidence previously reviewed by the
magistrate judge to determine whether the recommendation should be accepted,
rejected, or modified in whole or in part. Cole v. Comm’r of Soc. Sec., 105 F. Supp. 3d
738, 741 (E.D. Mich. 2015); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
Magistrate Judge Frensley concluded that the Court does not have jurisdiction to
hear Plaintiff’s claims based on his alleged wrongful conversion to Christianity under the
ecclesiastical abstention doctrine. Specifically, he found that because Plaintiff’s claims
against Oldham, a Baptist minister, turn on the veracity of Oldham’s religious counseling
and statements of faith allegedly professed by him to Plaintiff, analysis of those claims
could not be done on secular or neutral grounds, but would inherently involve
examination of faith, beliefs, and religious doctrine – which is impermissible under the
ecclesiastical abstention doctrine.
Regarding Plaintiff’s claims that Oldham was a co-conspirator with the other
defendants, Magistrate Judge Frensley concluded that Plaintiff’s allegations failed to
satisfy the general pleading requirements set forth by Twombly and Iqbal, because the
allegations were conclusory and fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Plaintiff makes several objections to the R&R. However, after a de novo review
of Plaintiff’s allegations, the parties’ briefs, the R&R’s findings and conclusions, and the
governing law, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s objections lack merit.
The Court agrees with Magistrate Judge Frensley’s findings and conclusions. He
accurately laid out the facts and considered all of Plaintiff’s allegations, and he set forth
the applicable law in depth. His conclusions are well supported.
The Court OVERRULES Plaintiff’s objections [Docs. 123/124] and ADOPTS
Magistrate Judge Frensley’s R&R [Doc. 122].
Oldham’s Motion to Dismiss [Docs. 34/81] is GRANTED, and he is DISMISSED
from the case.
IT IS ORDERED.
S/Victoria A. Roberts
Victoria A. Roberts
United States District Judge
Sitting by Special Designation
Dated: October 4, 2017
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