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Trimble v. Castro Rios

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division

October 31, 2019

TIMOTHY E. TRIMBLE, Plaintiff,
v.
ROSARIO R CASTRO RIOS, JOSHUA LOPEZ, THOMAS R BUSATTA and ROBERT PAGE HENDERSON, Defendants.

          ORDER [1]

          SHERI POLSTER CHAPPELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is United States Magistrate Judge Nicholas P. Mizell's Report and Recommendation (the “R&R”). (Doc. 9). Judge Mizell recommends denying Plaintiff Timothy Trimble's Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (Doc. 2) and dismissing the Amended Complaint (Doc. 8). Trimble filed a pro se response. (Doc. 12). This matter is ripe for review.

         After conducting a careful and complete review of the findings and recommendations, a district judge may accept, reject, or modify a report and recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Williams v. Wainwright, 681 F.2d 732, 732 (11th Cir. 1982). Without specific objections, there is no requirement to review factual findings de novo, and the Court may accept, reject, or modify the findings in whole or in part. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Garvey v. Vaughn, 993 F.2d 776, 779 n.9 (11th Cir. 1993). But review of legal conclusions is de novo, regardless of any objection. Cooper-Houston v. S. Ry., 37 F.3d 603, 604 (11th Cir. 1994).

         In his one-page response, Trimble does not make any specific objections. (Doc. 12). Instead, Trimble “takes issue” with the R&R. (Doc. 12 at 1). He also “reserves the right to pursue any legal means regarding deprivation of rights by the [D]efendants or even this [C]ourt.” (Doc. 12 at 1). And Trimble “finds it appalling that a sworn officer of the [C]ourt for the United States of America would employ such tactics against a pro se litigant.” (Doc. 12 at 1). It is unclear what rights Trimble intends to reserve or what “tactics” he disagrees with. This lack of a specific objection, however, means the Court need not review the R&R's factual findings de novo. Kohser v. Protective Life Corp., 649 Fed.Appx. 774, 777 (11th Cir. 2016). “Parties filing objections to a magistrate's report and recommendation must specifically identity those findings objected to. Frivolous, conclusive, or general objections need not be considered by the district court.” United States v. Schultz, 565 F.3d 1353, 1361 (11th Cir. 2009) (citation omitted). The Court, therefore, accepts and adopts the factual findings Judge Mizell made on the existence of Trimble's final state court judgment.[2]

         Even if Trimble challenged those findings, federal courts may take judicial notice of state-court dockets. E.g., Paez v. Sec'y, Fla. Dep't of Corr., 931 F.3d 1304, 1306-08 (11th Cir. 2019) (holding a report and recommendation properly took judicial notice of a state-court docket sua sponte when plaintiff failed to (1) object, (2) ask to be heard, or (3) dispute the accuracy of the docket); see also Boyd v. Georgia, 512 Fed.Appx. 915, 916-18 (11th Cir. 2013). Here, the R&R directed Trimble to the specific case name and number filed in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit in and for Lee County, Florida.[3] (Doc. 9 at 4). A final judgment against Trimble-labeled “FINAL JUDGMENT”-was entered in state court on the day Judge Mizell identified. (Doc. 9 at 4). The docket shows Trimble lost on appeal. See also Trimble v. Castro, 123 So.3d 573 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2013) (summarily affirming); Trimble v. Castro, 113 So.3d 11 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2013) (same). Now, the judgment creditor is trying to collect on the final state-court judgment. Thus, the R&R findings appear accurate, and Trimble does nothing to call them into question.

         Given this factual finding, Judge Mizell concluded Rooker-Feldman bars the Court from hearing this case. (Doc. 9 at 3-5). The Court agrees with that legal analysis and adopts it. Trimble accurately notes the Supreme Court reined in usage of Rooker-Feldman. (Doc. 8 at 3-4 (citing Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus. Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 284 (2005))). Yet that doctrine still has its place when-as here-a state-court loser effectively seeks to nullify a state-court judgment.

         Leaving Rooker-Feldman aside, the R&R continued and peeked at whether Trimble stated a claim. (Doc. 9 at 5-6). Judge Mizell concluded Trimble did not state a claim because he brought a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action for purely private conduct. (Doc. 9 at 5-6). Again, the Court agrees and adopts that conclusion.

         After an independent and careful examination of the file, the Court accepts the R&R (Doc. 9) in full and incorporates it into this Order.

         Accordingly, it is now

         ORDERED:

         1. The Report and Recommendation (Doc. 9) is ACCEPTED and ADOPTED and the findings are incorporated here.

         2. Plaintiffs Application to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying Fees or Costs (Doc. 2) is DENIED.

         3. Plaintiffs Amended Complaint (Doc. 8) is DISMISSED.

         4. The Clerk is DIRECTED to enter judgment, terminate all pending motions and ...


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