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Williams v. United States

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division

October 18, 2017

VINCENT KENT WILLIAMS, Petitioner,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Respondent.

          Patricia T. Morris Magistrate Judge

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO ACCEPT MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AS TIMELY FILED, OVERRULING OBJECTIONS, AND DENYING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION

          THOMAS L. LUDINGTON United States District Judge

         On February 26, 2015, Defendant Vincent Kent Williams was sentenced to 140 months after pleading guilty to aiding and abetting the distribution of cocaine base. ECF No. 135. His sentence was affirmed on appeal. ECF No. 195. On June 24, 2016, Williams filed a motion to vacate his sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. ECF No. 233. That motion was referred to Magistrate Judge Patricia T. Morris for decision, ECF No. 235, and Judge Morris issued a report and recommendation on January 18, 2017. ECF No. 259. In the report and recommendation, Judge Morris recommended that Williams's motion to vacate be denied because his ineffective assistance of counsel claims were procedurally barred and because he was properly sentenced as a career offender.

         Although the Magistrate Judge's report explicitly stated that the parties to this action could object to and seek review of the recommendation within fourteen days of service of the report, Williams did not file objections within that time period. On February 21, 2017, over a month after the report and recommendation was issued, the Court adopted the report and recommendation. ECF No. 260, 261. Later that same day, Williams filed objections to the report and recommendation. ECF No. 262. On August 14, 2017, Williams filed a motion to accept his motion for reconsideration as timely. ECF No. 275. He attached the motion for reconsideration as an exhibit to his motion.

         Williams's objections are untimely. However, even if they were considered on their merits, Williams would not be entitled to relief. Williams's motion to accept the motion for reconsideration as timely filed will be granted. However, because Williams's does not identify a defect in Judge Morris's report and recommendation or the Court's order dismissing his § 2255 motion, the motion for reconsideration will be denied.

         I.

         A.

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72, a party may object to and seek review of a magistrate judge's report and recommendation. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(2). Objections must be stated with specificity. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 151 (1985) (citation omitted). If objections are made, “[t]he district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). De novo review requires at least a review of the evidence before the magistrate judge; the Court may not act solely on the basis of a magistrate judge's report and recommendation. See Hill v. Duriron Co., 656 F.2d 1208, 1215 (6th Cir. 1981). After reviewing the evidence, the Court is free to accept, reject, or modify the findings or recommendations of the magistrate judge. See Lardie v. Birkett, 221 F.Supp.2d 806, 807 (E.D. Mich. 2002).

         Only those objections that are specific are entitled to a de novo review under the statute. Mira v. Marshall, 806 F.2d 636, 637 (6th Cir. 1986). “The parties have the duty to pinpoint those portions of the magistrate's report that the district court must specially consider.” Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). A general objection, or one that merely restates the arguments previously presented, does not sufficiently identify alleged errors on the part of the magistrate judge. See VanDiver v. Martin, 304 F.Supp.2d 934, 937 (E.D. Mich. 2004). An “objection” that does nothing more than disagree with a magistrate judge's determination, “without explaining the source of the error, ” is not considered a valid objection. Howard v. Sec'y of Health and Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991). Without specific objections, “[t]he functions of the district court are effectively duplicated as both the magistrate and the district court perform identical tasks. This duplication of time and effort wastes judicial resources rather than saving them, and runs contrary to the purposes of the Magistrate's Act.” Id.

         B.

         Pursuant to Eastern District of Michigan Local Rule 7.1(h), a party can file a motion for reconsideration of a previous order, but must do so within fourteen days. A motion for reconsideration will be granted if the moving party shows: “(1) a palpable defect, (2) the defect misled the court and the parties, and (3) that correcting the defect will result in a different disposition of the case.” Michigan Dept. of Treasury v. Michalec, 181 F.Supp.2d 731, 733-34 (E.D. Mich. 2002) (quoting E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(g)(3)). A “palpable defect” is “obvious, clear, unmistakable, manifest, or plain.” Id. at 734 (citing Marketing Displays, Inc. v. Traffix Devices, Inc., 971 F.Supp.2d 262, 278 (E.D. Mich. 1997). “[T]he Court will not grant motions for rehearing or reconsideration that merely present the same issues ruled upon by the Court, either expressly or by reasonable implication.” E.D. Mich. L.R. 7.1(h)(3). See also Bowens v. Terris, No. 2:15-CV-10203, 2015 WL 3441531, at *1 (E.D. Mich. May 28, 2015).

         II.

         Williams has filed four objections to Judge Morris's report and recommendation. The objections were untimely. However, because the Court prefers to resolve matters on their merits as opposed to via technicalities, the objections will be ...


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