United States District Court, D. Nevada
MIRANDA M. DU CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a civil rights case brought by Elsie Spell, a former employee
of the Nevada Department of Corrections (“NDOC”),
and her husband Taniko Smith, an individual in NDOC's
custody. Plaintiffs sued Defendants Isidro Baca and James
Dzurenda for allegedly denying Spell's visitation
application, violating the Equal Protection Clause under the
the Court is a Report and Recommendation of United States
Magistrate Judge William G. Cobb (“R&R”) (ECF
No. 53) regarding Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment
(“Defendants' Motion”) (ECF No. 40) and
Plaintiffs' Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment
(“Plaintiffs' Cross-Motion”) (ECF No. 44).
Judge Cobb recommends that the Court deny Plaintiffs'
Cross-Motion and grant in part, and deny in part,
Defendants' Motion. (ECF No. 53 at 17.) The parties filed
objections to the R&R. (ECF Nos. 54, 56.) For the reasons
explained below, the Court will overrule the parties'
objections and adopt the R&R in full.
Court adopts the facts in the R&R (ECF No. 53 at 1-2,
5-9) and does not recite them here.
Review of the Magistrate Judge's Recommendations
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).
Summary Judgment Standard
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).
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.
“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 each cross-motion separately,
the court must review the evidence submitted in support of
each cross-motion.” Id.