United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Stephanie Dawkins Davis, United States Magistrate Judge
OPINION AND ORDER AFFIRMING MAGISTRATE JUDGE
DAVIS'S JUNE 23, 2017 ORDER  AND OVERRULING
PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS 
GERSHWIN A. DRAIN, United States District Court Judge
matter came before the Court on Plaintiff's July 10, 2017
objections, Dkt. No. 93, to Magistrate Judge Stephanie
Dawkins Davis's June 23, 2017 order, Dkt. No. 92. For the
reasons stated herein, the Court will AFFIRM Magistrate Judge
Davis's order and OVERRULE Plaintiff's objections
Standard of Review
72(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a party
to submit objections to a magistrate judge's ruling on
non-dispositive matters, such as discovery
orders. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a); 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A). While Rule 72(b) provides a timeline in which a
party may respond to opposing counsel's objections to a
ruling on a dispositive matter, Rule 72(a) does not state
that a response may be filed to objections. Compare
Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a) with Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b).
“When an objection is filed to a magistrate judge's
ruling on a non- dispositive motion, the ruling remains in
full force and effect unless and until it is stayed by the
magistrate judge or a district judge.” E.D. Mich. LR
non-dispositive matter, the review of a magistrate's
discovery order is properly governed by the “clearly
erroneous or contrary to law” standard of review.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a). The United States Supreme Court and the
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit have
both held that “a finding is ‘clearly
erroneous' when although there is evidence to support it,
the reviewing court on the entire evidence is left with the
definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been
committed.” United States v. U.S. Gypsum Co.,
333 U.S. 364, 395 (1948) (explaining the clearly erroneous
standard under Rule 52(a)); United States v. Mabry,
518 F.3d 442, 449 (6th Cir. 2008) (quoting U.S.
Gypsum, 333 U.S. at 395). This standard does not allow a
reviewing court to reverse a magistrate judge's finding
merely because it would have decided the matter differently.
Sedgwick Ins. v. F.A.B.E. Custom Downstream Sys.,
Inc., 47 F.Supp.3d 536, 538 (E.D. Mich. 2014). See
also 12 Charles Alan Wright, Arthur R. Miller &
Richard L. Marcus, Federal Practice and Procedure § 3069
(2d ed. 1997) (“In sum, it is extremely difficult to
justify alteration of the magistrate judge's
nondispositive actions by the district judge.”).
‘clearly erroneous' standard applies only to the
magistrate judge's factual findings; his legal
conclusions are reviewed under the plenary ‘contrary to
law' standard.” Sedgwick Ins., 47
F.Supp.3d at 538 (quoting Haworth, Inc. v. Herman Miller,
Inc., 162 F.R.D. 289, 291 (W.D. Mich. 1995)). The
Court's review under the “contrary to law”
standard requires the exercise of independent judgment in
determining whether the magistrate judge's legal
conclusions “contradict or ignore applicable precepts
of law, as found in the Constitution, statutes, or case
precedent.” Gandee v. Glaser, 785 F.Supp. 684,
686 (S.D. Ohio 1992), aff'd, 19 F.3d 1432 (6th
Cir. 1994) (quoting Adolph Coors Co. v. Wallace, 570
F.Supp. 202, 205 (N.D. Cal. 1983)).
23, 2017, Magistrate Judge Davis issued an order that granted
Defendants' Motion for More Definite Statement, Dkt. No.
60, granted in part and denied in part Plaintiff's
Motions to Compel, Dkt. No. 68, 72, and denied
Plaintiff's Fourth Motion to Appoint Counsel, Dkt. No.
70. See Dkt. No. 92. Plaintiff now seeks to object
to the Magistrate's order on three grounds. Dkt. No. 93.
Having reviewed Magistrate Judge Davis's findings, the
Court holds that her order is neither clearly erroneous nor
contrary to law and overrules Plaintiff's objections.
Objection #1: Requiring Submission of an Amended Complaint
first objects that Magistrate Judge Davis required him to
submit an amended complaint that clarifies the claims
Plaintiff seeks to bring and the parties against whom those
claims are brought. See Dkt. No. 93, p. 2 (Pg. ID
767); Dkt. No. 92, pp. 3-6 (Pg. ID 753-56). Plaintiff states
that the Magistrate's order is contrary to law, but does
not provide a single case or citation in support of this
argument. Similarly, Plaintiff argues the order is contrary
to fact, but does not provide a single factual assertion that
was clearly erroneous.
reviewed the record, the Court agrees with Magistrate Judge
Davis that submission of an amended complaint would greatly
improve the clarity of Plaintiff's claims.
Plaintiff's original complaint contained a litany of
allegations against various named and anonymous individuals,
some of which were dismissed in March 2017. See Dkt.
No. 80. Plaintiff has not amended his complaint since this
partial dismissal. Accordingly, it would be in the interest
of judicial efficiency to have Plaintiff clearly restate his