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Mote v. Murtin

July 11, 2008

KRISHNA MOTE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CAPTAIN JAMES W. MURTIN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Jones

Magistrate Judge Blewitt

MEMORANDUM

THE BACKGROUND OF THIS MEMORANDUM IS AS FOLLOWS

Pending before this Court is a Report (doc. 36), issued by Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Blewitt ("Magistrate Judge" or "Magistrate Judge Blewitt") on April 3, 2008, which recommends that Defendants' Motions to Dismiss (docs. 18, 23) be granted. Also pending before this Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Appoint Counsel (doc. 39), which was filed on April 21, 2008. For the reasons to follow, we will adopt the Report (doc. 36) to the extent it is consistent herewith, grant both pending Motions to Dismiss (docs. 18, 23), and deny as moot Plaintiff's Motion to Appoint Counsel (doc. 39).

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On August 27, 2007, Plaintiff Krishna Mote, through counsel, instituted the instant civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (See Rec. Doc. 1). As will be discussed more fully below, Plaintiff's action, which also includes pendent state law claims, allegedly arose out of state law enforcement officials' raid on a residence in which Plaintiff was located on January 23, 2007.

Prior to the filing of any responsive motions or pleadings, Plaintiff terminated his counsel via a letter dated November 30, 2007 (see doc. 14-2), and, thus, on January 7, 2008, Magistrate Judge Blewitt granted (doc. 16) a Motion for Leave to Withdraw as Counsel (doc. 14) that had been filed. Although Plaintiff sought and received several extensions of time in which to find a new attorney (see docs. 22, 31, 33), Plaintiff's efforts were apparently unproductive as, to date, no other attorney has entered an appearance on the docket on Plaintiff's behalf. Accordingly, since January 7, 2008, Plaintiff has been proceeding pro se in this action.

On January 14, 2008, Defendant Captain James W. Murtin ("Captain Murtin") filed one of the pending Motions to Dismiss (doc. 18), and on January 22, 2008, several other Defendants, the Borough of Lehighton ("the Borough") and Richard Roes #1-10 ("Roe Defendants"), filed their Motion to Dismiss (doc. 23).

The Magistrate Judge's April 3, 2008 Report (doc. 36) recommends that these Motions be granted.

On April 21, 2008, Plaintiff simultaneously filed Objections to the Report (see doc. 38) and a Motion (see doc. 39) requesting the appointment of counsel.

As the periods in which further briefing as to any of these matters have now passed, all pending submissions are ripe for our disposition.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

When objections are filed to a report of a magistrate judge, we make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge to which there are objections. See United States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667 (1980). See also 28 U.S.C. ยง636(b)(1); Local Rule 72.3l. Furthermore, district judges have wide discretion as to how they treat recommendations of a magistrate judge. See id. Indeed, in providing for a de novo review determination rather than a de novo hearing, Congress intended to permit whatever reliance a district judge, in the exercise of sound discretion, chooses to place ...


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