United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
William W. Caldwell United States District Judge
BACKGROUND OF THIS ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS:
October 28, 2016, pro se Plaintiff Scott Robinson
filed a complaint and motion for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis (IFP) against Defendants, United States
Senator Elizabeth Warren and the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau (CFPB), alleging that they are to blame for
Wells Fargo Bank's denial of his application to refinance
his residential mortgage. (Docs. 1-2). Plaintiff alleges that
in May 2016, he attempted to refinance his mortgage with
Wells Fargo by working with a local mortgage consultant and
underwriter. (Doc. 2-3). He claims that, despite complying
with all steps of the application process, he was denied the
loan on the same day that Senator Warren made remarks at a
Senate hearing disparaging Wells Fargo. (Doc. 1 at 4).
Despite averring that he has no assets and too many debts to
list concisely in his motion to proceed IFP, Plaintiff sued
Defendants, alleging that their actions and regulatory scheme
caused the denial of his refinancing loan in violation of the
United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the
Declaration of Independence. (Doc. 1 at 3-4); (Doc. 2 at 2).
October 31, 2016, Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson evaluated
Plaintiff's complaint and motion to proceed IFP. In a
thorough and well-reasoned fifteen-page report and
recommendation, Judge Carlson opined that the motion to
proceed IFP should be granted, but that the complaint should
nonetheless be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted. (Doc. 5 at 14). After attempting
to discern the plausible claims upon which Plaintiff's
complaint rests, Judge Carlson found that granting leave to
amend would be futile. (Id.) On November 29, 2016,
Plaintiff, in what he labeled as a “motion for summary
judgment, ” filed objections to the report and
recommendation. (Doc. 8). In those objections, Plaintiff
broadly alleges, among other things, that the CFPB has an
unconstitutional structure, that Defendants “routinely
interfered” with Wells Fargo's refinancing
decision, that Defendants overstepped their
“Constitutional Authority” resulting in denial of
the refinancing loan, that the CFPB does not have sovereign
immunity, and that Senator Warren's statements do not
qualify as speech or debate covered by the Speech and Debate
Clause, U.S. Const. art. I, § 6, cl. 1. (Doc. 8 at 2-5).
the objections were pending before this court, Plaintiff
apparently paid the $400 civil filing fee for his complaint.
(Doc. 12). Noting that he had recommended granting
Plaintiff's petition to proceed IFP, and that it appears
clear that Plaintiff submitted the filing fee in error, Judge
Carlson issued an order directing the Clerk of Court to
return the fee. (Doc. 12 at 2-3).
objections to a magistrate judge's report and
recommendation are filed, the court must perform a de
novo review of the contested portions of the report.
Supinski v. United Parcel Serv., Civ. A. No.
06-0793, 2009 WL 113796, at *3 (M. D. Pa. Jan. 16, 2009).
“To trigger de novo review, however, the
objections must be specific.” Id. “In
this regard, Local Rule of Court 72.3 requires ‘written
objections which . . . specifically identify the portions of
the proposed findings, recommendations or report to which
objection is made and the basis for those
objections.'” Id. (quoting M.D. Pa. L. R.
report and recommendation, and in accord with the standard of
review under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), Judge
Carlson attempted to discern any plausible legal bases to the
claims in Plaintiff's complaint. Judge Carlson found
none. We agree with Judge Carlson's report and
recommendation and, upon our independent review of the
record, we find Plaintiff's objections totally devoid of
merit, and his complaint fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. Any leave to amend would be futile.
this 7th day of February, 2017, upon consideration of
Magistrate Judge Carlson's Report and Recommendation
(Doc. 5) that Plaintiff's complaint (Doc. 1) be dismissed
for failure to state a claim and that Plaintiff's motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Doc. 2) be
granted, and, after independent review of the record, and,
noting Plaintiff's objections (Docs. 8), and the Court
finding Plaintiff's objections to be without merit and
addressed by Judge Carlson's thorough report, IT IS
(1) The Report and Recommendation (Doc. 5) is ADOPTED;
(2) Plaintiff's Objections (Doc. 8) are OVERRULED;
(3) Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. 1) is DISMISSED WITH
(4) The Clerk of Court shall CLOSE this case.