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United States v. Sanchez

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division

July 23, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
ROSA PINEDA SANCHEZ, Defendant.

ORDER

TIMOTHY C. BATTEN, Sr., District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Magistrate Judge Walker's Report and Recommendation (the "R&R") [255], which recommends that Defendant Rosa Pineda Sanchez's motion to vacate, set aside or correct her sentence be denied. Although Sanchez did not file objections per se, she did file a notice of appeal of the R&R, which indicates to the Court that she objects to the R&R's findings of fact and conclusions of law. Thus, the Court reviews the R&R as if Sanchez had filed objections.

A district judge has a duty to conduct a "careful and complete" review of a magistrate judge's R&R. Williams v. Wainwright, 681 F.2d 732, 732 (11th Cir. 1982) (quoting Nettles v. Wainwright, 677 F.2d 404, 408 (5th Cir. 1982)).[1] Where no objection to the R&R is made, it need only be reviewed for clear error. Macort v. Prem, Inc., 208 F.Appx. 781, 784 (11th Cir. 2006).[2] Where objections are made, a district judge "shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). The district judge must "give fresh consideration to those issues to which specific objection has been made by a party." Jeffrey S. v. State Bd. of Educ., 896 F.2d 507, 512 (11th Cir. 1990).

"Parties filing objections must specifically identify those findings objected to. Frivolous, conclusive or general objections need not be considered by the district court." Nettles, 677 F.2d at 410 n.8. "This rule facilitates the opportunity for district judges to spend more time on matters actually contested and produces a result compatible with the purposes of the Magistrates Act." Id. at 410.

The district judge also has discretion to decline to consider arguments that were not raised before the magistrate judge. Williams v. McNeil, 557 F.3d 1287, 1292 (11th Cir. 2009). Indeed, a contrary rule "would effectively nullify the magistrate judge's consideration of the matter and would not help to relieve the workload of the district court." Id. (quoting United States v. Howell, 231 F.3d 615, 622 (9th Cir. 2000)).

After conducting a complete and careful review of the R&R, the district judge may accept, reject or modify the magistrate judge's findings and recommendations. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); Williams, 681 F.2d at 732. The district judge may also receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).

The Court has conducted a careful review of the R&R and finds that the factual and legal conclusions were correct. Thus, the Court ADOPTS AS ITS ORDER the R&R [255] and DENIES Sanchez's motion [251], DISMISSES the related civil action, No. 1:14-cv-2161-TCB, and DENIES a certificate of appealability.

Furthermore, the Court GRANTS Sanchez's motion for leave to appeal in forma pauperis ("IFP") [258]. If a prisoner is appointed counsel under the Criminal Justice Act, she may appeal "without prepayment of fees and costs or security therefor and without filing the affidavit required by section 1915(a) of title 28." 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(d)(7). Sanchez was appointed CJA counsel at the beginning of this case [104] and continues to be represented by CJA counsel.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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