United States District Court, D. Oregon
MICHAEL H. SIMON UNITED STATES DISTRICT
States Magistrate Judge Paul Papak issued Findings and
Recommendation in this case on September 12, 2018. ECF 55.
Magistrate Judge Papak recommended that Plaintiff's
motion for partial summary judgment be DENIED.
the Federal Magistrates Act (“Act”), the Court
may “accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part,
the findings or recommendations made by the
magistrate.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). If a party
files objections to a magistrate judge's findings and
recommendations, “the court shall make a de novo
determination of those portions of the report or specified
proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is
made.” Id.; Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3).
those portions of a magistrate judge's findings and
recommendations to which neither party has objected, the Act
does not prescribe any standard of review. See Thomas v.
Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 152 (1985) (“There is no
indication that Congress, in enacting [the Act], intended to
require a district judge to review a magistrate's report
to which no objections are filed.”); United States.
v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121 (9th Cir. 2003) (en
banc) (holding that the court must review de novo
magistrate judge's findings and recommendations if
objection is made, “but not otherwise”). Although
in the absence of objections no review is required, the Act
“does not preclude further review by the district
judge sua sponte . . . under a de novo or
any other standard.” Thomas, 474 U.S. at 154.
Indeed, the Advisory Committee Notes to Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)
recommend that “[w]hen no timely objection is filed,
” the Court review the magistrate judge's
recommendations for “clear error on the face of the
timely filed an objection (ECF 58), to which Defendants
responded. ECF 59. Plaintiff objects to the portion of
Magistrate Judge Papak's recommendation finding genuine
disputes of material facts in Plaintiff's excessive force
claim, and further finding that a dispute of fact about
whether Plaintiff has established that Officer Faulkner used
excessive force precludes summary judgment on Plaintiff's
state law assault and battery claims. Plaintiff also objects
on the grounds that Magistrate Judge Papak considered
evidence that is not relevant under Federal Rule of Evidence
401 or is substantially more unfairly prejudicial than
probative under Federal Rule of Evidence 403.
Court has reviewed de novo those portions of
Magistrate Judge Papak's Findings and Recommendation to
which Plaintiff has objected, as well as Plaintiff's
objections and Defendants' response. The Court agrees
with Magistrate Judge Papak's reasoning regarding the
existence of genuine disputes of material facts and ADOPTS
those portions of the Findings and Recommendation.
Court finds that genuine disputes of material fact exist
about the cause and extent of Plaintiff's injuries. Some
key factual disputes involve whether Officer Faulkner
followed routine procedures when placing handcuffs on
Plaintiff and whether Plaintiff's injuries were
consistent with excessively tight handcuffs or could also
have been caused by struggling against handcuffs. There is
also a genuine dispute of fact over whether Plaintiff's
continuing injuries are due to handcuffs and not some other
cause, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. The lack of a specific
and particular recollection on the part of Officer Faulkner
about the circumstances of Plaintiff's case does not mean
that Plaintiff's evidence is undisputed. It is for a
finder of fact to determine whether Officer Faulkner followed
his routine procedures in Plaintiff's arrest.
although Magistrate Judge Papak did not address
Plaintiff's evidentiary objections to Defendants'
factual statements, Plaintiff's objections are without
merit. “Evidence is relevant if . . . it has any
tendency to make a fact more or less probable than it would
be without the evidence . . . .” Fed.R.Evid. 401(a).
The facts that Plaintiff argues are inadmissible due to their
irrelevance are facts pertaining to Plaintiff's arrest
and transport to jail, his medical treatment, and testimony
from Officer Faulkner about his routine procedures for
handcuffing detainees and ensuring that detainees receive
necessary medical care. Evidence of a person's routine
practices and procedures “may be admitted to prove that
on a particular occasion the person . . . acted in accordance
with the habit or routine practice.” Fed.R.Evid. 406.
The facts that Magistrate Judge Papak considered, including
facts from Officer Faulkner's deposition that contradict
Plaintiff's version of the facts, were relevant to the
issue of liability.
summary judgment stage, Rule 403 objections are unnecessary
because there is no jury that can be misled and no danger of
confusing the issues. “While the Court may consider
Plaintiff's views on whether Defendant's evidence is
relevant, it need not exclude evidence at the summary
judgment stage for danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of
the issues, or any other grounds outlined in Rule 403.”
See Montoya v. Orange Cty. Sheriff's Dep't.,
987 F.Supp.2d 981, 994 (C.D. Cal. 2013). Furthermore, the
evidence that Plaintiff objects to under Rule 403 includes
Defendants' evidence regarding Plaintiff's arrest and
transport to jail, his medical treatment, and Officer
Faulkner's routine procedures. This evidence is probative
and not unfairly prejudicial. Plaintiff may renew any
evidentiary objections before trial.
Court ADOPTS Judge Papak's Findings and Recommendation
(ECF 55). Plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment
(ECF 34) is DENIED.