United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER (1) OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTION TO
MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION (ECF #28);
(2) ADOPTING RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION OF REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION (ECF #27); (3) GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION
TO DISMISS (ECF #23); AND (4) DISMISSING ACTION WITH
MATTHEW F. LEITMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
action, Plaintiff Cardale Middleton
(“Middleton”), proceeding pro se,
alleges that Defendant Octapharma Plasma, Inc.
(“Octapharma”), his former employer,
discriminated against him on the basis of his race and gender
in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42
U.S.C. § 2000e et. seq.
filed his initial Complaint in this action in January of
2018. The Court dismissed that Complaint without prejudice on
the ground that it was not timely filed. (Order, ECF #19.)
But the Court granted Middleton leave to file an Amended
Complaint in which he could plead specific facts that, if
proven, would entitle him to equitable tolling of the
limitations period. (See id.) In an effort to point
Middleton to the controlling test for equitable tolling, the
Court directed Middleton to the Sixth Circuit's decision
in Zappone v. United States, 870, F.3d 551 (6th Cir.
2017). (See id.)
filed his First Amended Complaint on September 28, 2018.
(See Am. Compl., ECF #20.) Octapharma moved to
dismiss the Amended Complaint as time-barred on October 30,
2018. (See Mot. to Dismiss Am. Compl., ECF #23.) The
assigned Magistrate Judge has issued a Report and
Recommendation (“R & R”) in which he
recommends that the Court grant Octapharma's motion.
(See R & R, ECF #27.) In the R & R, the
Magistrate Judge opines that Middleton has failed to allege
sufficient facts to warrant equitable tolling and that
without such tolling, the claims in the Amended Complaint are
time-barred. (See id.)
has filed objections to the R & R
(“Objections”). (See Objections, ECF
#28.) For the reasons explained below, the Objections are
OVERRULED, the recommended disposition of
the R & R is ADOPTED, Octapharma's
motion is GRANTED, and this action is
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
party objects to a portion of a Magistrate Judge's
R&R, the Court reviews that portion de novo.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3); Lyons v.
Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 351 F.Supp.2d 659, 661 (E.D.
Mich. 2004). The Court has no duty to conduct an independent
review of the portions of the R&R to which a party has
not objected. See Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149
Objections are difficult to follow. He failed to identify, or
cite to, any specific portion of the R & R or any
particular finding of the Magistrate Judge with which he
disagrees. Instead, the bulk of Middleton's Objections
seem to either restate Middleton's grievances against
Octapharma or restate his mental and physical health issues.
Middleton's contentions amount to a general objection to
the R & R in toto. That sort of objection is
insufficient. As the Sixth Circuit has explained:
A general objection to the entirety of the magistrate's
report has the same effects as would a failure to object. The
district court's attention is not focused on any specific
issues for review, thereby making the initial reference to
the magistrate useless. The 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 Magistrates
Howard v. Sec. of Health and Human Svs., 932 F.2d
505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991). Middleton's general objection,
if allowed, would lead to the precise type of
“duplication of time and effort” that the Sixth
Circuit warned against in Howard.
Court recognizes that Middleton is proceeding pro se
and that his filings should thus be liberally construed. But
the Magistrate Judge advised him that his failure to make
“specific objections” would waive his right to
further review of the R & R. (See R & R, ECF
#27 at Pg. ID 286.) And, as noted above, Middleton did not
specifically object to any portion of the R & R.
Accordingly, Middleton is not entitled to relief.
event, even if the Court were to reach the merits of
Middleton's Objections, it would not sustain them.
Middleton cites two cases that, he appears to contend,
support application of equitable tolling here. Those cases
are Stoll v. Runyon, 165 F.3d 1238 (9th Cir. 1999)
and Nasouluck v. DeAngelo-Kipp, 2016 WL 4089212
(E.D. Mich. Aug. 2, 2016). Neither controls here nor entitles
Middleton to equitable tolling.
Stoll, the Ninth Circuit held that extreme
circumstances - including rape, sexual harassment, and abuse
by co-workers and supervisors - warranted equitable tolling.
Stoll, 165 F.3d at 1242-43. The egregious abuse left
her mentally incapacitated and unable to even communicate
with her lawyer except through her psychiatrist. Id.
at 1240-41. The circumstances and alleged mistreatment by
co-workers here do not rise to that level. Moreover, the
court in Stoll did not apply the multi-factor test
for equitable tolling that is ...