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United States v. Wilford

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Western Division

January 14, 2020

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
MAURICE WILFORD, a/k/a"Mo," Defendant.

          ORDER

          JEFFREY L. VIKEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Defendant Maurice Wilford filed a motion to suppress physical evidence seized pursuant to a search warrant, (Docket 80). The suppression motion was referred to the magistrate judge for a report and recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and the standing order dated March 9, 2015. An evidentiary hearing was held and Magistrate Judge Wollmann issued a report and recommendation ("R&R") on defendant's motion. (Docket 103). The magistrate judge recommended defendant's motion to suppress physical evidence be denied. Id. at p. 1. The defendant timely filed his objections to the report and recommendation. (Docket 104).

         For the reasons stated below, the court finds the R&R is an appropriate application of the law to the facts presented by the parties at the suppression hearing. Defendant's objections are overruled and the R&R is adopted in its entirety.

         DEFENDANT'S OBJECTIONS

         Defendant's objections to the R&R are summarized as follows:

1. Mr. Wilford objects, generally to all factual findings and legal conclusions made by the magistrate judge.
2. Mr. Wilford objects to the factual finding that the sources of information in the affidavit in support of the search warrant were reliable.
3. Mr. Wilford objects to the factual finding that there was sufficient information in the affidavit to search his person and his vehicle.
4. Mr. Wilford objects to the legal conclusion that the search warrant as it pertained to him was supported by probable cause.
5. Mr. Wilford objects to the legal conclusion that if the search warrant was deficient, the Leon[1] exception applies and would permit the execution of the search warrant.

(Docket 104).

         Under the Federal Magistrate Act, 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), if a party files written objections to the magistrate judge's proposed findings and recommendations, the district court is required to "make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made." Id. The court may "accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." Id. See also Fed. R. Crim. P. 59(b)(3). The court completed a de novo review of those portions of, the R&R to which objections were filed.

         Each of defendant's objections will be separately addressed.

         ANALYSIS

         The court completed a de novo review of the affidavit in support of a search warrant, Suppression Hearing Exhibit 1 at pp. 1-7. Unless otherwise indicated, the court's findings of fact are consistent with the findings made by the magistrate judge.

         1. MR. WILFORD OB JECTS GENERALLY TO ALL FACTUAL FINDINGS AND LEGAL CONCLUSIONS MADE BY THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         "Congress has mandated that the district court give de novo review to those portions of a Magistrate's report and recommendation to which objections are made." Belk v. Purkett, 15 F.3d 803. 815 (8th Cir. 1994) (referencing 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)). "There is a court-created exception in some circuits: '. . . [T]he district court need not conduct de novo review when a party makes general and conclusory objections that do not direct the court to a specific error in the magistrate judge's proposed findings and recommendations.'" Id. (citing Johnson v. Knable, 934 F.2d 319 4th Cir. 1991) (unpublished opinion) (citing Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47-48 (4th Cir. 1982); United States v. Merz, 376 U.S. 192, 199, 84 (1964); Pendleton v. Rumsfeld, 628 F.2d 102, 105-06 (D.C. Cir. 1980)), "There is language in an Eighth Circuit case which indicates this Circuit's approval of such an exception." Id. (referencing Branch v. Martin, 886 F.2d 1043 (8th Cir. 1989) ("In the present case, plaintiffs objections to the magistrate's factual conclusions were timely filed and specific enough to trigger de novo review). See, e.g., Goney v. Clark, 749 F.2d 5, 7 (3d Cir. 1984) (per curiam) (no de novo review if objections are untimely or general)"). "[D]e novo review is not required 'when a party makes general and conclusory objections that do not direct the court to a specific error in the magistrate judge's proposed findings and recommendations.'" Hudson v. Gammon, 46 F.3d 785, 786 (8th Cir. 1995) (citing Belk, 15 F.3d at 815) (citations omitted).

         The court will address Mr. Wilford's specific objections to the R&R as they are "certainly definite enough to require de novo review." Id. (citing Belk, 15 F.3d at 815). The court is not compelled to evaluate defendant's generalized and conclusory ...


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