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Swenson v. County of Kootenai

United States District Court, D. Idaho

March 25, 2014

SUZANNE A. SWENSON, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF KOOTENAI, KOOTENAI COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, KOOTENAI COUNTY SHERIFF ROCKY WATSON, DEPUTY SHAWN LINDBLOM, KOOTENAI COUNTY PROSECUTOR BARRY McHUGH, DEPUTY PROSECUTOR JIM REIERSON, DEPUTY PROSECUTOR JOSHUA STUDOR, DEPUTY PROSECUTOR KEN BROOKS, DEPUTY JOHN DOES, et al., JUDGE BARRY E. WATSON, MAGISTRATE SCOTT WAYMAN, DETECTIVE JASON AUSTIN, and DEPUTY JONATHAN BRANDEL, Defendants.

ORDER ON REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND OBJECTION ON MOTION TO COMPEL TAX RETURNS AND MOTION TO MODIFY SCHEDULING ORDER

EDWARD J. LODGE, District Judge.

OBJECTIONS

On February 14, 2014, United States Magistrate Judge Ronald E. Bush issued a Report and Recommendation in this matter. (Dkt. 114.) Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), the parties had fourteen days in which to file written objections to the Report and Recommendation. On February 28, 2014, objections (Dkts. 120 and 121) were filed by the Plaintiff.[1] Defendant filed new affidavits in accordance with the Report and Recommendation on February 20, 2014, but no responses to Plaintiff's objections were filed. Plaintiff also filed an objection to the resubmitted affidavits on March 10, 2014 (Dkt. 129). The matter is now ripe for the Court's consideration.

DISCUSSION

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C), this Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings and recommendations made by the magistrate judge. Where the parties object to a report and recommendation, this Court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report which objection is made. Id. Where, however, no objections are filed the district court need not conduct a de novo review. In United States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121 (9th Cir. 2003), the court interpreted the requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C):

The statute [28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C)] 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. As the Peretz Court instructed, "to the extent de novo review is required to satisfy Article III concerns, it need not be exercised unless requested by the parties." Peretz, 501 U.S. at 939 (internal citation omitted). Neither the Constitution nor the statute requires a district judge to review, de novo, findings and recommendations that the parties themselves accept as correct. See Ciapponi, 77 F.3d at 1251 ("Absent an objection or request for review by the defendant, the district court was not required to engage in any more formal review of the plea proceeding."); see also Peretz, 501 U.S. at 937-39 (clarifying that de novo review not required for Article III purposes unless requested by the parties)
....

See also Wang v. Masaitis, 416 F.3d 993, 1000 & n.13 (9th Cir. 2005). Furthermore, to the extent that no objections are made, arguments to the contrary are waived. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 72; 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) (objections are waived if they are not filed within fourteen days of service of the Report and Recommendation). "When no timely objection is filed, the Court need only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation." Advisory Committee Notes to Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 (citing Campbell v. United States Dist. Court, 501 F.2d 196, 206 (9th Cir.1974)). In this case, the objections were filed, so the Court is required to conduct a de novo determination to the objected parts of the Report and Recommendation.

Swenson alleges that she was wrongfully arrested in Kootenai County, Idaho for felony possession of controlled substances and misdemeanor battery, that she was mistreated by the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department in violation of her civil rights under the Fourth and Eighth Amendments, and that she was maliciously prosecuted.

Magistrate Judge Bush recommended granting Defendants Wayman and Watson's motion to dismiss based on judicial immunity and granting the summary judgment motion of Kootenai County, Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, and the following individual Defendants Watson, McHugh, Reierson, Studor, Brooks, Austin and Brandel. Judge Bush recommended allowing Plaintiff's claim of excessive force related to Defendant Lindblom's placing of handcuffs on Plaintiff to proceed to trial.

Plaintiff once again objects to Judge Bush not recusing himself from this case and not applying the applicable statutes and the Constitution. The Court finds these continual attacks on Judge Bush to be meritless. Judge Bush has already ruled on Plaintiff's motion to recuse and found no basis for his recusal from this case. This Court has also reviewed the allegations of Plaintiff and finds them to be without merit. Just because a judge does not rule in a party's favor, does not mean that judge is not applying the law correctly or is biased. Plaintiff has the option to appeal the rulings if she believes the Court was in error on the law.

In an abundance of caution, the Court has again specifically reviewed the requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 144 and finds no factual support for the appearance of or actual bias or prejudice by the undersigned judge or Judge Bush. The Court has also reviewed the requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 455 and finds there are no applicable statutory requirements that the undersigned judge or Judge Bush recuse themselves from this case.

Moreover, Plaintiff's argument she should be able to have any person speak on her behalf in federal court is incorrect. The District of Idaho does not allow non-attorneys to represent individuals in federal court. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 83.7. Simply put, in order to represent another person in federal court, that person must be a licensed attorney admitted to practice in the District of Idaho. Plaintiff is free to represent herself, but she cannot select someone who is not admitted to practice in this court to represent her interests. This is not a violation of Plaintiff's Constitutional rights to have restrictions on who may practice law in the District of Idaho.

Plaintiff objects to the recommendation to dismiss the claims against all defendants except the excessive force claim against Defendant Lindblom. As to the objections, the Court has reviewed the law and facts and finds the analysis by Judge Bush is well-founded in the law. State magistrate judges are entitled to absolute judicial ...


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