United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
Timothy C. Batten, Sr., United States District Judge.
case comes before the Court on Magistrate Judge Janet F.
King's Final Report and Recommendation (the
“R&R”) , which recommends denying
Defendant Edward Culton's motion  to suppress
evidence. Culton has filed objections  to the R&R. He
also objects to the magistrate judge's order (contained
within the R&R) denying his motion  for disclosure of
the name(s) and location(s) of confidential informant(s).
Legal Standard on Review of a Magistrate Judge's
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) (per curiam) (quoting Nettles v. Wainwright,
677 F.2d 404, 408 (5th Cir. Unit B 1982)). This review may
take different forms, however, depending on whether there are
objections to the R&R. A district judge must “make
a de novo determination of those portions of the [R&R] to
which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(C); see also Jeffrey S. v. State Bd. of
Educ., 896 F.2d 507, 512 (11th Cir. 1990) (A judge must
“give fresh consideration to those issues to which
specific objection has been made by a party.”). Those
portions of the R&R to which no objection is made need
only be reviewed for clear error. Macort v. Prem,
Inc., 208 Fed.Appx. 781, 784 (11th Cir. 2006) (per
curiam) (quoting Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident
Ins., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005)).
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.
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)).
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).
Objections to Order
party objects to a magistrate judge's order on a
nondispositive matter, the Court “must consider timely
objections and modify or set apart any part of the order that
is contrary to law or clearly erroneous.” Fed. R. Crim.
P. 59(a). Culton objects to Magistrate Judge King's order
denying his request for the disclosure of the identity of
confidential informants used to conduct controlled buys from
his co-Defendant, Hubert Nathans.
relies in large part on testimony that was presented in an
ex parte hearing before the magistrate judge. Culton
argues that at the hearing he provided reasons that the CI or
CI's may have information regarding Nathans's
drug-dealing habits and that he should be able to ask about
any prior interactions with Nathans (regardless of whether
they dealt with the specific buys at issue). Further, he
argues that the conspiracy and substantive counts charged go
beyond the January- February 2018 time frame and that he
should be entitled to information about Nathans's
drug-related activities from the full time-period charged. He
contends that the Government likely showed only the usual
concerns of retribution.
the R&R stated (after having had the benefit of oral
argument from both sides) that there were “no
non-speculative reasons why the CI/Cis either would be in a
position to offer additional information about each
controlled buy or would be able to cast any doubt on any
testimony that Nathans may offer concerning the source of the
controlled substances sold to the CI/CIs.”  at 4-5.
Court has reviewed the transcript of Culton's ex
parte hearing before the magistrate judge and finds no
clear error in her conclusion in the R&R. Culton's
objection therefore will be overruled, and his request for a
hearing will be denied.
Objections to the R&R
also has filed several objections to the R&R, which the
Court will review de novo. Specifically, he argues that there
were sufficient omissions and misrepresentations in the
search warrant affidavit to require a Franks v.
Delaware hearing. These include (1) the drug use of
Alexandra Lagouros, co-Defendant Hubert Nathans's
girlfriend; (2) Lagouros's allegedly false denial that
she did not know Nathans was selling drugs; (3) Grant
Smith's overdose on Xanax that he purchased in Athens, as
opposed to from Nathans; and (4) the description of the