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Stanard v. Nolan

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

January 14, 2020

ROBERT ALLEN STANARD, Plaintiff,
v.
NOLAN, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND TERMINATING ACTION

          JAMES L. ROBART UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the court are Magistrate Judge Mary Alice Theiler's report and recommendation granting Defendant Sean Nolan, Dan Sproul, Ian Connors, and Mary Mitchell's (collectively, “Defendants”) Motion to Dismiss and pro se Plaintiff Robert Stanard's objections thereto.[1] (See Objections (Dkt. # 81); R&R (Dkt. # 28); MTD (Dkt. # 15).) Defendants filed a response to Plaintiff's objections. (See Resp. (Dkt. # 32).) For the reasons discussed below, the court ADOPTS the report and recommendation and DISMISSES with prejudice Mr. Stanard's complaint.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A district court has jurisdiction to review a Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation on dispositive matters. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). “The district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to.” Id. “A judge of the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The court reviews de novo those portions of the report and recommendation to which specific written objection is made. United States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121 (9th Cir. 2003) (en banc). “The statute makes it clear that the district judge must review the magistrate judge's findings and recommendations de novo if objection is made, but not otherwise.” Id. Because Mr. Stanard is proceeding pro se, this court must interpret his complaint and and objections liberally. See Bernhardt v. Los Angeles Cnty., 339 F.3d 920, 925 (9th Cir. 2003).

         III. ANALYSIS

         Mr. Stanard alleges in this Bivens action that his First and Fifth Amendment Rights were violated when his prison public messaging account was suspended by an employee at the SeaTac Federal Detention Center (“FDC”) and when subsequent attempts to have his account reinstated through the Bureau of Prisons administrative remedy process were rejected. (See Compl. (Dkt. # 1-1) at 13-19.) Magistrate Judge Theiler recommends granting Defendants' motion to dismiss on the basis that “it would be inappropriate to extend the Bivens remedy to plaintiff's First and Fifth Amendment claims.” (See R&R at 8.)

         Liberally construed, Mr. Stanard's late-filed objections to the report and recommendation present two issues for the court's review: (1) whether Magistrate Judge Theiler committed an error in her analysis whether the Bureau of Prisons administrative law remedy is adequate; (2) whether Magistrate Judge Theiler erred by finding that Congress, not the court, could authorize a suit for money damages. (See generally Objections; see also Resp.)

         The court has thoroughly examined the record and finds Magistrate Judge Theiler's reasoning persuasive in light of the record and the applicable law. Mr. Stanard's objections raise issues that were properly analyzed in Magistrate Judge Theiler's report and recommendation. Magistrate Judge Theiler correctly applied United States Supreme Court authority making clear that “expanding the Bivens remedy is now a ‘disfavored' judicial activity” and noting that the Supreme Court has “consistently refused to extend Bivens to any new context or new category of defendants.” (See R&R at 5 (quoting Ziglar v. Abbasi, 137 S.Ct. 1843, 1857 (2017)).) Mr. Stanard's objections provide no contrary authority. (See generally Objections.) Nevertheless, Magistrate Judge Theiler applied the two-step test for extending Bivens and concluded that Mr. Standard's claims do not meet that test. (See R&R at 5-8.) The court finds the report and recommendation persuasive and adopts it in full. Because amendment would be futile given that Mr. Stanard does not have an actionable Bivens claim, the court dismisses his complaint with prejudice.

         IV. CONCLUSION

         For the foregoing reasons, the court hereby ORDERS as follows:

         (1) The court ADOPTS Magistrate Judge Theiler's report and recommendation (Dkt. # 28) in its entirety;

         (2) The court GRANTS Defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim (Dkt. # 15);

         (3) The court DISMISSES Plaintiff's Civil Rights Complaint (Dkt. # 1-1) ...


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