United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
K. Majzoub, Mag. Judge.
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION  AND
GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTION
FOR ATTORNEY FEES 
E. LEVY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub's Report
and Recommendation (“R&R”) recommending that
the Court grant in part and deny in part plaintiff's
motion for attorney fees. (ECF No. 124 PageID.1545-58.)
Plaintiff submitted one objection to the R&R (ECF No. 143
PageID.1821-26), defendants responded (ECF No. 48
PageID.1828-31), and plaintiff filed a reply in support of
her objection. (ECF No. 146 PageID. 1840-41). Defendants
submitted three objections (ECF No. 142 PageID.1803-20) and
plaintiff responded (ECF No. 147 PageID.1844-53.) For reasons
set forth below, plaintiff and defendants' objections are
overruled, and the R&R is adopted in full.
Court has carefully reviewed the R&R and is satisfied
that it is a thorough account of the relevant portions of the
record. The factual background from the R&R is
incorporated as if set forth herein.
may object to a magistrate judge's report and
recommendation on any motion, and a district judge must
resolve proper objections under a de novo standard of review.
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B)- (C); Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b)(1)-(3). “For an objection to be proper, Eastern
District of Michigan Local Rule 72.1(d)(1) requires parties
to ‘specify the part of the order, proposed findings,
recommendations, or report to which [the party] objects'
and to ‘state the basis for the objection.'”
Pearce v. Chrysler Group LLC Pension Plan, 893 F.3d
339, 346 (6th Cir. 2018). Objections that restate arguments
already presented to the magistrate judge are improper,
Coleman-Bey v. Bouchard, 287 Fed.Appx. 420, 422 (6th
Cir. 2008) (citing Brumley v. Wingard, 269 F.3d 629,
647 (6th Cir. 2001)), as are those that dispute the general
correctness of the R&R. Miller v. Currie, 50
F.3d 373, 380 (6th Cir. 1995).
objections must be clear so that the district court can
“discern those issues that are dispositive and
contentious.” Id. (citing Howard v.
Sec'y of Health and Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509
(6th Cir. 1991)); and see Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S.
140, 147 (1985) (explaining that objections must go to
“factual and legal” issues “at the heart of
the parties' dispute”). In sum, the parties'
objections must be clear and specific enough to permit Court
to squarely address them on the merits. See Pearce,
893 F.3d at 346.
Plaintiff's Objection 1
objects to the R&R's finding that she was not a
prevailing party on her Michigan state law conversion claim
after remand. (ECF No. 143 PageID.1822-26.) She argues that
the Magistrate Judge erred when she found that the stipulated
order (the “Stipulated Order”) (ECF. No. 120
PageID.1526-27) lacks the judicial imprimatur necessary to
confer prevailing party status on plaintiff for the purposes
of an attorney fee award. (ECF No. 143 PageID.1822-23.) For
the reasons set forth below, the Court disagrees.
remand from the Sixth Circuit, the parties settled
plaintiff's remaining state conversion claims. (ECF No.
141, PageID.1770). Pursuant to the parties' settlement,
the Court entered the Stipulated Order resolving the final
claim for damages. (ECF No. 120, PageID.1526-27). Only a
final judgment on the merits or a court-enforced consent
decree renders a party the “prevailing party” for
the purpose of requesting attorney fees. Buckhannon Bd.
& Care Home, Inc. v. W. Virginia Dep't. of Health and
Human Res., 532 U.S. 598, 605 (2001). Because plaintiff
did not acquire either, she cannot recover attorney fees for
these claims. See also Toms v. Taft, 338 F.3d 519
(6th Cir. 2016) (Because the plaintiffs
“obtained neither a ‘judgment on the merits'
nor a ‘court-ordered consent decree,' they are not
eligible for attorney's fees”).
argues that defendants' payment of $7000 constituted a
sufficient material change in her legal relationship with
defendants to render her the prevailing party. (ECF No. 143,
PageID.1825). But “[p]rivate settlement agreements do
not confer prevailing party status.” Toms, 338
F.3d at 528-29; See also Buckhannon, 532 U.S. at
the Magistrate Judge correctly found that plaintiff was not
eligible for attorney fees incurred on remand for work