United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
SAPORITO MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Richard Caputo United States District Judge
before me is the Report and Recommendation of Magistrate
Judge Joseph F. Saporito, Jr. (Doc. 45), which recommends
that Plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction (Doc.
33) be denied, multiple motions to dismiss filed by
Defendants (Docs. 15, 18, 20, 26) be granted, and
Plaintiff's claims be dismissed without leave to amend.
Plaintiff timely objected to the Report and Recommendation
(Doc. 46), arguing that he was illegally incarcerated in
Lackawanna County prison and that he states claims under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, as well as claims for false imprisonment,
civil conspiracy, negligence, gross negligence, and slander.
The Report and Recommendation is adopted, Plaintiff's
objections are overruled, and the Complaint is dismissed
without leave to amend.
objections to the magistrate judge's Report are filed,
the court must conduct a de novo review of the
contested portions of the Report. Sample v. Diecks,
885 F.2d 1099, 1106 n.3 (3d Cir. 1989) (citing 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)). However, this only applies to the extent
that a party's objections are both timely and specific;
if objections are merely “general in nature, ”
the court “need not conduct a de novo
determination.” Goney v. Clark, 749 F.2d 5,
6-7 (3d Cir. 1984). Indeed, the Third Circuit has instructed
that “providing a complete de novo
determination where only a general objection to the report is
offered would undermine the efficiency the magistrate system
was meant to contribute to the judicial process.”
Id. at 7. In conducting a de novo review,
the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part,
the factual findings or legal conclusions of the magistrate
judge. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Owens v.
Beard, 829 F.Supp. 736, 738 (M.D. Pa. 1993).
the review is de novo, the law permits the court to
rely on the recommendations of the magistrate judge to the
extent it deems proper. See United States v.
Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 675-76 (1980); Goney,
749 F.2d at 7; Ball v. United States Parole
Comm'n, 849 F.Supp. 328, 330 (M.D. Pa.1994).
Uncontested portions of the Report may be reviewed at a
standard determined by the district court. See Thomas v.
Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 154 (1985); Goney, 749 F.2d
at 7. At the very least, the court should review uncontested
portions for clear error or manifest injustice. See,
e.g., Cruz v. Chater, 990 F.Supp. 375,
376-77 (M.D. Pa. 1998).
the Magistrate Judge recommends that Plaintiff's §
1983 claims be dismissed pursuant to Heck v.
Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 114 S.Ct. 2364, 129 L.Ed.2d 383
(1994). In Heck, the United State Supreme Court held
that if the success of a § 1983 damages suit brought by
a plaintiff would “necessarily imply the invalidity of
his conviction or sentence, ” the plaintiff may only
bring the claim where the conviction or sentence has been
invalidated. See id. at 486, 114 S.Ct. 2364. This
holding has been referred to as the “favorable
termination rule.” See Curry v. Yachera, 835
F.3d 373, 378 (3d Cir. 2016). Specifically, the Court in
[I]n order to recover damages for allegedly unconstitutional
conviction or imprisonment, or for other harm caused by
actions whose unlawfulness would render a conviction or
sentence invalid, a § 1983 plaintiff must prove that the
conviction or sentence has been reversed on direct appeal,
expunged by executive order, declared invalid by a state
tribunal authorized to make such determination, or called
into question by a federal court's issuance of a writ of
habeas corpus, 28 U.S.C. § 2254. A claim for damages
bearing that relationship to a conviction or sentence that
has not been so invalidated is not cognizable under §
Heck, 512 U.S. at 486-87, 114 S.Ct. 2364. In other
words, “a prisoner's civil rights suit for damages
is barred unless he can demonstrate that his conviction or
sentence has been invalidated.” Holmes v.
Dreyer, 431 F. App'x 69, 70 (3d Cir. 2011) (per
curiam). Notably, “a prisoner's § 1983 action
is barred (absent prior invalidation) - no matter the relief
sought (damages or equitable relief), no matter the target of
the prisoner's suit . . . - if success in the action
would necessarily demonstrate the invalidity of [a
Plaintiff's] confinement or its duration.”
Wilkinson v. Dotson, 544 U.S. 74, 81-82, 125 S.Ct.
1242, 161 L.Ed.2d 253 (2005). In addition to Heck,
the Magistrate Judge also notes that Plaintiff's §
1983 claims suffer from numerous other deficiencies,
including, for example, the failure to allege the personal
involvement of certain Defendants, that claims against
various Defendants fail on immunity grounds, and that the
Complaint fails to set forth facts supporting plausible
claims. (See Doc. 45, 13).
Plaintiff has filed objections to the Report and
Recommendation, his objections are general in nature.
(See Doc. 46, generally). Nowhere in
Plaintiff's objections does he address Magistrate Judge
Saporito's determination that the § 1983 claims are
barred by Heck, nor does he contest the numerous
other grounds the Magistrate Judge identifies as supporting
the dismissal of the Complaint. (See id.). As such,
the Report and Recommendation is reviewed for clear error.
Finding none and further noting that Plaintiff's §
1983 claims challenge the validity and duration of his
confinement, the Report and Recommendation is adopted in its
NOW, this 10th day of October, 2017,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
Report and Recommendation (Doc. 45) is ADOPTED in its
Plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction (Doc. 33)
Defendants' motions to dismiss (Docs. 15, 18, 20, 26) are
Complaint is DISMISSED without ...