United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Ex rel. BEVERLY TRAN, Plaintiff,
DETROIT LAND BANK AUTHORITY, CITY OF DETROIT, MIKE DUGGAN, WAYNE COUNTY CORPORATION, TITLE SOURCE, INC., DETROIT LAND BANK COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION (Doc. 57) AND GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS
TO DISMISS (Docs. 38, 42, 44) AND DENYING PENDING PROCEDURAL
MOTIONS AS MOOT (Docs. 31, 37, 39, 48) AND DISMISSING
COHN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a qui tam action by relator/plaintiff Beverly Tran,
proceeding pro se, claiming violations of the False
Claims Act (FCA). The United States has declined to
intervene. See Doc. 10. Tran has named the following
as defendants: Detroit Land Bank Authority (DLBA); Detroit
Land Bank Community Development Corporation (DLBCDC); the
City of Detroit; Mayor Mike Duggan; Wayne County; and Title
matter was referred to the magistrate judge for pretrial
proceedings. (Doc. 47). Thereafter, Wayne County filed a
motion to dismiss (Doc. 38), DLBA and DLBCDC filed a motion
to dismiss (Doc. 42), and Title Source filed a motion to
dismiss (Doc. 44). Also, several procedural motions were
filed, including Tran's motion to compel corporate
disclosures of DLBA and DLBCDC (Doc. 31), Tran's motion
for entry of default against DLBA (Doc. 39) and DLBCDC (Doc.
37), and defendants' joint motion to stay discovery (Doc.
magistrate judge issued a report and recommendation (MJRR),
recommending that defendants' motions to dismiss be
granted, the procedural motions be denied as moot, and the
case dismissed in its entirety. (Doc. 57). Before the Court
are Tran's objections to the MJRR. (Doc. 58). For the
reasons that follow, the MJRR will be adopted,
defendants' motions to dismiss will be granted, and the
procedural motions will be denied as moot, and the case will
district court must conduct a de novo review of the parts of
a magistrate judge's report and recommendation to which a
party objects. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The district
"court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in
part, the findings or recommendations made by the
magistrate" judge. Id. The requirement of de
novo review "is a statutory recognition that Article III
of the United States Constitution mandates that the judicial
power of the United States be vested in judges with life
tenure." United States v. Shami, 754 F.2d 670,
672 (6th Cir. 1985).
general objection, or one that merely restates the arguments
previously presented, is not sufficient to alert the court to
alleged errors on the part of the magistrate judge. An
"objection" that does nothing more than state a
disagreement with a magistrate judge's suggested
resolution, or simply summarizes what has been presented
before, is not an objection as that term is used in this
context. Howard v. Sec'y of Health and Human
Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 508 (6th Cir. 1991) ("It is
arguable in this case that Howard's counsel did not file
objections at all.... [I]t is hard to see how a district
court reading [the ‘objections'] would know what
Howard thought the magistrate had done wrong.").
magistrate judge recommends that defendants' motions to
dismiss be granted because Tran cannot bring a FCA qui tam
action on behalf of the United States as a pro se
litigant. In her objections, Tran does not dispute
the magistrate judge's conclusion, which is supported by
ample authority. However, Tran says that the United States
should be required to explain why it chose not to intervene.
Tran's argument is not well taken. The United States is
not required to provide a reason for not intervening in a qui
tam action under the FCA. Rather, it is required only to
investigate the action and it “may” intervene.
The United States investigated and declined to intervene.
the MJRR is ADOPTED as the findings and conclusions of the
Court. Defendants' motions to dismiss (Docs. 38, 42, 44)
are GRANTED. The procedural motions (Docs. 31, 37, 39, 48)
are DENIED AS MOOT. This case is DISMISSED.