United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Newnan Division
Timothy C. Batten, Sr., United States District Judge
case comes before the Court on Magistrate Judge Russell G.
Vineyard's Report and Recommendation (the
“R&R”) , which recommends denying
Defendant Carlos Montelongo-Guzman's motions [18, 19] to
suppress evidence. Montelongo-Guzman has filed objections
 to the R&R.
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 the R&R
objects to the R&R's findings that (1) the stop of
the vehicle was not supported by probable cause or reasonable
suspicion and (2) the scope and duration of the stop were
the initial stop of the vehicle, Montelongo-Guzman argues
that the trooper's testimony was not credible and that,
under the totality of the circumstances, there was no
reasonable, articulable suspicion to support pursuing the
vehicle or the initial stop. However, as the R&R points
out, a driver of a car who has broken even a minor traffic
law cannot succeed on a motion to suppress evidence on the
basis that the stop was pretextual. United States v.
Wright, No. CR210-022, 2010 WL 4967468, at *1 (S.D. Ga.
Nov. 5, 2010), adopted by 2010 WL 4967838, at *1
(S.D. Ga. Dec. 1, 2010).
as the R&R notes, Montelongo-Guzman has not presented any
evidence to contradict the trooper's evidence that he was
speeding. The Court therefore agrees with the R&R's
conclusion that the trooper's testimony was reliable. His
observations therefore provided probable cause to conduct the
traffic stop. United States v. Acosta, 807 F.Supp.2d
1154, 1196 (N.D.Ga. 2011). This objection will be overruled.
the scope and duration, Montelongo-Guzman argues that the
officer's lack of diligence, the stop's
intrusiveness, and the stop's duration should warrant a
determination that the stop was unreasonable. However, an
officer who asks questions while in the process of writing a
citation or waiting for the response of a computer check does
not extend the scope or duration of a valid initial seizure.
United States v. Garcia, 284 Fed.Appx. 791, 794
(11th Cir. 2008) (per curiam).
traffic stop may last longer than would ordinarily be
permitted if specific facts and rational inferences drawn
from the facts lead an officer, in light of his training and
experience, to have an objectively reasonable and articulable
suspicion that illegal activity has occurred or is occurring.
United States v. DeJesus, 435 Fed.Appx. 895, 900
(11th Cir. 2011) (per curiam). In fact, an officer has the
duty to investigate suspicious circumstances that came to his
attention after an initial legal stop. United States v.
Simmons, 172 F.3d 775, 779 (11th Cir. 1999).
the initial stop was legal, as discussed above. The trooper
then ran a license check that revealed an outstanding
California arrest warrant, giving the trooper specific and
articulable suspicion that the person named in the warrant
was Montelongo-Guzman. He then proceeded to verify the
information and inquire as to whether California wanted to
extradite Montelongo-Guzman. While waiting, he received a
positive alert from the K-9. ...