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Coddington v. Cabrera

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 12, 2019

RYAN CODDINGTON, Plaintiff,
v.
RICHARD CABRERA, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER REGARDING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE WILLIAM G. COBB

          MIRANDA M. DU CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. SUMMARY

         Pro se Plaintiff Ryan Coddington alleges that Defendants Deputy Jack Sobol, Deputy Herbert Parada, and Sergeant Richard Cabrera violated his Fourteenth Amendment Due Process right when they applied excessive force to him while he was a pretrial detainee.

         Before the Court is a Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge William G. Cobb (“R&R”) (ECF No. 25), regarding Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (“Plaintiff's Motion”) (ECF No. 18) and Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment[1] (“Cross-Motion”) (ECF No. 19). Judge Cobb recommends that the Court deny both motions. (ECF No. 25 at 12:12-14.) Defendants filed objections to the R&R (ECF No. 27), but Plaintiff did not. As discussed further below, the Court agrees with Judge Cobb's reasoning, adopts the R&R in full, and denies both Motions.

         II. BACKGROUND

         On April 30, 2015, Plaintiff was a pretrial detainee at the time he was involved in a physical altercation with all three Defendants in the Lyon County Jail Complex. Both parties dispute whether Defendants' use of force was objectively reasonable. In doing so, both parties rely on video of the incident as well as the sworn testimony of Deputies Sobol and Parada at the preliminary hearing of the criminal charges brought against Plaintiff in connection with the incident. (ECF No. 18 at 18:14-22; ECF No. 19 at 5:2, 15; ECF No. 25 at 5:16-18.)

         Judge Cobb reviewed the video and concluded that there are genuine disputes of material fact that the video cannot resolve. (ECF No. 25 at 11:17-18.) Accordingly, Judge Cobb recommends that this Court deny both Plaintiff's Motion and Defendants' Cross-Motion. (Id. at 12:12-14.) This Court has reviewed all six footages within the video (ECF No. 20-1) and agrees with Judge Cobb's observations, incorporates by reference his descriptions of the video (ECF No. 25 at 10:5-19, 11:1-16), and does not recite those details here.

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         A. Review of the Magistrate Judge's Recommendations

         This Court “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Where a party timely objects to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, then the court is required to “make a de novo determination of those portions of the [report and recommendation] to which objection is made.” Id. Where a party fails to object, however, the court is not required to conduct “any review at all . . . of any issue that is not the subject of an objection.” Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149 (1985). Indeed, the Ninth Circuit has recognized that a district court is not required to review a magistrate judge's report and recommendation where no objections have been filed. See United States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114 (9th Cir. 2003) (disregarding the standard of review employed by the district court when reviewing a report and recommendation to which no objections were made); see also Schmidt v. Johnstone, 263 F.Supp.2d 1219, 1226 (D. Ariz. 2003) (reading the Ninth Circuit's decision in Reyna-Tapia as adopting the view that district courts are not required to review “any issue that is not the subject of an objection.”). Thus, if there is no objection to a magistrate judge's recommendation, then the court may accept the recommendation without review. See, e.g., Johnstone, 263 F.Supp.2d at 1226 (accepting, without review, a magistrate judge's recommendation to which no objection was filed).

         B. Summary Judgment Standard

         “The purpose of summary judgment is to avoid unnecessary trials when there is no dispute as to the facts before the court.” Nw. Motorcycle Ass'n v. U.S. Dep't of Agric., 18 F.3d 1468, 1471 (9th Cir. 1994). Summary judgment is appropriate when the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits “show there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 (1986). An issue is “genuine” if there is a sufficient evidentiary basis on which a reasonable fact-finder could find for the nonmoving party and a dispute is “material” if it could affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248-49 (1986). Where reasonable minds could differ on the material facts at issue, however, summary judgment is not appropriate. See Id. at 250-51. “The amount of evidence necessary to raise a genuine issue of material fact is enough ‘to require a jury or judge to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial.'” Aydin Corp. v. Loral Corp., 718 F.2d 897, 902 (9th Cir. 1983) (quoting First Nat'l Bank v. Cities Service Co., 391 U.S. 253, 288-89 (1968)). In evaluating a summary judgment motion, a court views all facts and draws all inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Kaiser Cement Corp. v. Fishbach & Moore, Inc., 793 F.2d 1100, 1103 (9th Cir. 1986).

         The moving party bears the burden of showing that there are no genuine issues of material fact. Zoslaw v. MCA Distrib. Corp., 693 F.2d 870, 883 (9th Cir. 1982). Once the moving party satisfies Rule 56's requirements, the burden shifts to the party resisting the motion to “set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256. The nonmoving party “may not rely on denials in the pleadings but must produce specific evidence, through affidavits or admissible discovery material, to show that the dispute exists, ” Bhan v. NME Hosps., Inc., 929 F.2d 1404, 1409 (9th Cir. 1991), and “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Orr v. Bank of Am., 285 F.3d 764, 783 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986)). “The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the plaintiff's position will be insufficient.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.

         Further, “when parties submit cross-motions for summary judgment, ‘[e]ach motion must be considered on its own merits.'” Fair Hous. Council of Riverside Cty., Inc. v. Riverside Two, 249 F.3d 1132, 1136 (9th Cir. 2001) (citations omitted) (quoting William W. Schwarzer, et al., The Analysis and Decision of Summary Judgment Motions, 139 F.R.D. 441, 499 (Feb. 1992)). “In fulfilling its duty to review ...


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