United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Michael F. Urbanski, Chief United States District Judge.
se plaintiffs Reagan Dwayne Reedy and Susan Annette Reedy
("Reedys") bring this action seeking injunctive and
declaratory relief arising out of the foreclosure of their
property located in Pulaski, Virginia. ECF No. 1, at 2. They
allege that defendants The Bank of Wells Fargo ("Wells
Fargo"), Mortgage Electronic Registration System
("MERS"), Samual White, Esq., USA Funding Corp.,
and Does 1-100 violated the Truth in Lending Act
("TELA"), violated the Real Estate Settlement and
Procedures Act ("RESPA"), and engaged in fraud and
unfair and deceptive business practices; the Reedys also seek
to quiet title and claim unconscionability. ECF No. 1, at 1,
14. Currently pending before the court are the Reedys5 motion
for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction
and motion for summary judgment (ECF Nos. 2 & 6), and
Wells Fargo and MERS' motion to dismiss the complaint
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and motion to
strike plaintiffs filings. ECF Nos. 7 & 16. These motions
were referred to United States Magistrate Robert S. Ballou
for report and recommendation, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B). ECF No. 11.
report and recommendation issued on December 12, 2017, the
magistrate judge recommended that the court deny the
Reedys' motions for injunctive relief and summary
judgment, dismiss all unserved defendants without prejudice,
and grant Wells Fargo's and MERS' motion to dismiss
but allow the Reedys' leave to file an amended complaint
regarding any claims for rescission under TILA. ECF No. 18.
The report gave notice to the parties that they had fourteen
days within which to file any objections. The Reedys
thereafter filed late objections to the report (ECF No. 19),
Wells Fargo and MERS responded on January 3, 2018. ECF No.
reasons set forth below, the court will
ADOPT the report and recommendation to the
extent consistent with this opinion (ECF No. 18),
GRANT in part Wells Fargo's and
MERS' motion to dismiss (ECF No. 7), and
DENY the Reedys' motion for summary
judgment and motion for temporary restraining order and
preliminary injunction. ECF Nos. 2, 6. The court also will
provide the Reedys with leave to amend the complaint pursuant
to the court's opinion.
72(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a party
to "serve and file specific, written objections" to
a magistrate judge's proposed findings and
recommendations within fourteen days of being served with a
copy of the report. See also 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1). The Fourth Circuit has held that an objecting
party must do so "with sufficient specificity so as
reasonably to alert the district court of the true ground for
the objection." United States v. Midgette. 478
F.3d 616, 622 (4th Or. 2007), cert denied. 127 S.Ct.
To conclude otherwise would defeat the purpose of requiring
objections. We would be permitting a party to appeal any
issue that was before the magistrate judge, regardless of the
nature and scope of objections made to the magistrate
judge's report. Either the district court would then have
to review every issue in the magistrate judge's proposed
findings and recommendations or courts of appeals would be
required to review issues that the district court never
considered. In either case, judicial resources would be
wasted and the district court's effectiveness based on
help from magistrate judges would be undermined.
Id. The district court must determine de
novo any portion of the magistrate judge's
report and recommendation to which a proper objection has
been made. "The district court may accept, reject, or
modify the recommended disposition; receive further evidence;
or return the matter to the magistrate judge with
instructions." Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3); accord 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). "General objections that merely
reiterate arguments presented to the magistrate judge lack
the specificity required under Rule 72, and have the same
effect as a failure to object, or as a waiver of such
objection." Moon v. BWX Techs.. Inc., 742
F.Supp.2d 827, 829 (W.D. Va. 2010) (citing Veney v. As
true. 539 F.Supp.2d 841, 845 (W.D. Va. 2008)), affd, 498
Fed.Appx. 268 (4th Cir. 2012); see also Thomas v.
Arn. 474 U.S. 140, 154 (1985(3)) ("[T]he statute
does not require the judge to review an issue de
novo if no objections are filed.").
objections that only repeat arguments raised before the
magistrate judge are considered general objections to the
entirety of the report and recommendation. See
Veney, 539 F.Supp.2d at 845. As the court noted in
Allowing a litigant to obtain de novo review of her
entire case by merely reformatting an earlier brief as an
objection "mak[es] the initial reference to the
magistrate useless. The functions of the district court are
effectively duplicated as both the magistrate and the
district court perform identical tasks. This duplication of
time and effort wastes judicial resources rather than saving
them, and runs contrary to the purposes of the Magistrates
Act." Howard [v. Sec'y of Health & Human
Servs.], 932 F.2d , 509 [(6th Cir. 1991)].
539 F.Supp.2d at 846. A plaintiff who reiterates his
previously raised arguments will not be given "the
second bite at the apple he seeks." Id.
Instead, his re-filed brief will be treated as a general
objection, which has the same effect as a failure to object.
court has reviewed the Reedys' objections to the
magistrate judge's report and recommendation and finds
their objections to be entirely without merit. Rather than
address the legal principles and case law solidly framing the
magistrate judge's report and recommendation, the Reedys
ask the court to find that it lacks jurisdiction despite
filing suit in this district. See Answer to Report &
Recommendation by Hon. Robert S. Ballou. ECF No. 19, at 1.
The Reedys broadly argue that federal courts do not have
jurisdiction to hear actions outside of the District of
Columbia. Id. at 1-2, 6.
courts repeatedly have rejected arguments that they broadly
lack jurisdiction. See, e.g., United States v.
Harding. No. 7:13CR00008, 2013 WL 1832564, at *1 (W.D.
Va. May 1, 2013) (reviewing cases rejecting similar
jurisdictional arguments advanced by proponents of the
sovereign citizen movement); Ouigley v. Geithner,
No. 1:09-CV-293- REB, 2010 WL 3613901, at *1 (D.
Idaho Sept. 8, 2010) ("The [sovereign citizen] legal
theory (in all of its various forms) has been struck down
consistently by the courts."). The case that the Reedys
cite in their objections does not support their position. In
United States v. Trowbridge. 591 Fed.Appx. 298, 299
(5th Cir. 2015), the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found
that the defendant's "argument that he is not a
citizen of the United States is equally frivolous." The
court did "not address his arguments further as there is
'no need to refute ...