United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DISMISSING DEFENDANTS FROM CIVIL RIGHTS
BARBARA J. ROTHSTEIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on the Report and
Recommendation ("R&R") of The Honorable
Michelle L. Peterson, United States Magistrate Judge (ECF No.
9) and Plaintiff Frederick Christophe's
("Christophe") response to the R&R (ECF No.
10). The Court has considered the R&R, Christophe's
putative objection, the remaining record, and the relevant
legal authorities, the hereby adopts the R&R.
April 8, 2019, Christophe filed a pro se civil
rights complaint by a prisoner under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
(ECF No. 1-1). He alleged that police used excessive force
against him, including a dog bite by a police K-9, in an
incident before he was incarcerated. Id. Christophe
filed an amended complaint on April 30, 2019 (ECF No. 7) in
which he listed the names of several defendants. Christophe
alleges that one of them, City of Auburn Police Officer Nunn,
said "let's show his black ass what we do to
runners" and gave his K-9 a command which caused the dog
to lunge toward and bite Christophe. Id. at 5.
13, 2019, the Magistrate Judge issued an order (ECF No. 8)
which concluded that while Christophe had arguably alleged a
viable cause of action against Officer Nunn, he had failed to
adequately allege a cause of action against any of the other
named defendants. Id. at 3. The order declined to
direct service of Christophe's amended complaint because
of the deficiencies identified, but granted Christophe thirty
days to file a second amended complaint to cure the
deficiencies. Id. at 5. The order instructed that if
no second amended complaint were timely filed, the Magistrate
Judge would recommend that Christophe's first amended
complaint be served on Officer Nunn and that all other
Defendants be dismissed from the action. Id.
did not file a second amended complaint. On July 8, 2019 -
fifty-six days after the previous order - the Magistrate
Judge issued an R&R (ECF No. 9) that did what the
previous order promised: recommended the dismissal of
Christophe's first amended complaint as to all defendants
except Officer Nunn. Id. at 4. The R&R informed
Christophe that he had twenty-one days to file objections.
filed a response on August 9, 2019 (ECF No. 11). This filing
requested an extension of time of 90 days to file a second
amended complaint. Id. at 2. Christophe also
requested that the Court treat this filing as an objection to
the R&R, though it listed no specific or substantive
party files specific and properly filed written objections to
an R&R, the district court must review the Magistrate
Judge's findings de novo. United States v.
Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 673 (1980); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b).
general objection to the entirety of a magistrate's
report "has the same effects as would a failure to
object." Howard v. Secretary of Health and Human
Services, 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991). The court
in Howard explained further that when no specific
objection is made,
[t]he district court's attention is not focused on any
specific issues for review, thereby making the initial
reference to the magistrate useless. The functions of the
district court are effectively duplicated as both the
magistrate and the district court perform identical tasks.
This duplication of time and effort wastes judicial resources
rather than saving them, and runs contrary to the purposes of
the Magistrates Act. We would hardly countenance an
appellant's brief simply objecting to the district
court's determination without explaining the source of
the error. We should not permit appellants to do the same to
the district court reviewing the magistrate's report.
Id. (citing Thomas v. Am, 474 U.S. 140,
148, 106 S.Ct. 466, 88 L.Ed.2d 435 (1985)). See also
Boydv. Carney, No. CI 1-5782BHS, 2012 WL 4896935, at
*1 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 15, 2012).
Christophe had no specific objection to the Magistrate
Judge's R&R. His objection was no more than a
placeholder as it refers only to Christophe's request for
an extension of time to file a second amended complaint. As
such, it does not constitute a specific or properly filed
objection. See Howard, 932 F.2d at 509; Am,474 U.S. 148 ("The same rationale that prevents a party
from raising an issue before a circuit court of appeals that
was not raised before the district court applies here [when a
District Court reviews non-specific objections to an
R&R].") (internal citations omitted). The
requirement for this Court to make de novo review is
limited to those parts of the R&R to which objection is
made. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) ("A judge
of the court shall make a de novo determination of those
portions of the ...