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McIntyre v. Eugene School District 4J

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Eugene Division

January 23, 2019

LEXYNGTON MCINTYRE, Plaintiff,
v.
EUGENE SCHOOL DISTRICT 4J Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          ANN AIKEN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         United States Magistrate Judge Jolie Russo issued Findings and Recommendation ("F&R") (doc. 11) in this case on September 12, 2018. Magistrate Judge Russo recommended that defendant's Eugene School District 4J ("District") Motion to Dismiss (doc. 6) be granted. For the reasons stated below, the Court ADOPTS Magistrate Judge Russo's F&R.

         STANDARDS

         Under 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 F&R, "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).

         For those portions of a magistrate judge's F&R to which neither party has objected, the Act does not prescribe any standard of review. See Thomas v. Am, 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 a magistrate judge's findings and recommendations de novo if objection is made, "but not otherwise"). Although in the absence of objection 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 Rule 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 record."

         DISCUSSION

         On May 3, 2018, plaintiff, a graduate of South Eugene High School, initiated this suit against alleging that, during the 2013-2014, 2015-2016, and 2016-2017 school years, the District violated her rights under the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA").

         The District moves to dismiss plaintiffs claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), because plaintiff failed to exhaust her administrative remedies under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA") and because the claims are barred by the two-year statute of limitations in Or. Rev. Stat. § 12.110. Judge Russo recommends that the Court grant the District's Motion to Dismiss on both grounds.

         Plaintiff filed timely objections (doc. 14) to which defendants responded (doc. 15) and plaintiff replied (doc. 16).[1] Therefore, I will review de novo the specific portions of the F&R to which plaintiff objected.

         I will begin by addressing plaintiffs motion to take judicial notice of three documents. Next, because it is potentially dispositive, I will address plaintiffs judicial estoppel argument, which is based on one of those documents. Then, I will turn to plaintiffs objections-that Magistrate Judge Russo erred in concluding that exhaustion was required and that the claims were barred by the statute of limitations. Finally, I will address plaintiffs argument that Magistrate Judge Russo erred in denying her request for leave to amend the complaint and plaintiffs renewed request for leave to amend.

         I. Judicial Notice

         In her objections, plaintiff, who is represented by counsel, asks the Court to take judicial notice of three documents, including (1) the District's reply brief on a motion to dismiss in case involving a different plaintiff before the Oregon Office of Administrative Hearings; (2) one of Judge Russo's F&R's in another educational discrimination case, G.M. v. Lincoln Cnty, Sch. Dist., 2017 WL 2804996 (D. Or. Apr. 14, 2017); (3) Judge McShane's Opinion and Order adopting the F&R 2017 WL 2804996 (D. Or. June 28, 2017). Plaintiffs requests are denied because they do not comply with the Local Rules. LR 7-1 (b) (motions may not be combined with any response, reply, or other pleading).

         II, Judicial Estoppel

         Plaintiff argues that the District's Motion to Dismiss should be denied because the District took a contradictory position regarding IDEA exhaustion in a reply brief for another case before the Oregon Office of Administrative Hearings. That brief was filed on September 17, 2018, after Magistrate Judge Russo issued the F&R in this case. Because I denied plaintiffs motion to take judicial notice above, the District's reply brief cannot provide a basis for judicial ...


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