United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
LOZANO, Judge United States District Court
matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
of Magistrate Judge John E. Martin (DE #141) dated August 30,
2016, and the Objection to the Report and Recommendation of
U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin (DE #143), filed by Robert
Holland (“Holland”) on September 20, 2016. For
the reasons set forth below, the objection is OVERRULED and
the report and recommendation is ADOPTED.
29, 2016, this Court sanctioned Holland in the amount of
$500. (DE #129). Holland objected to the imposition of
sanctions and also notified the Court that he was unable to
pay the sanctions. (DE ## 132, 133). This Court overruled the
objection and referred the notice of inability to pay to
Magistrate Judge John E. Martin for report and
recommendation. (DE ## 134, 135). Holland then filed a motion
to reconsider the Court's ruling on his objection to the
sanctions. (DE #136). That too was denied by this Court. (DE
Judge Martin conducted a hearing to explore Holland's
ability to pay sanctions. At that hearing, Holland testified
that his only income is Social Security Disability in the
amount of $1, 021 per month. Holland has looked for work, but
he claims that back issues limit his options. He does not
currently own any real property, but he believes that three
properties were unlawfully taken from him. He still lives at
one of those properties, and does not currently pay rent, a
mortgage, or property taxes. He does pay roughly $200 per
month for utilities. And, he owns the furnishing in the home.
He does not own a vehicle. On the date of the hearing, he had
$20 in cash and a total of $20.01 in two different checking
also testified that he is a plaintiff in at least six
different cases, five of which are related and three of which
are on appeal. As a result of the appeals, he needed to pay
$1, 515 in court fees over the next sixty days. In addition,
he will have significant expenses related to preparing
documents for those appeals.
the hearing, Magistrate Judge Martin recommended that this
Court find that Holland has the ability to pay the $500 in
sanctions. The report and recommendation provides in part
After reviewing Plaintiff's testimony, the Court finds
that he is not unable to pay the sanctions as ordered.
Plaintiff was specifically warned by Judge Lozano, in capital
letters, that the Court would impose “Sanctions of $500
per filing” for frivolous challenges to the Court's
order of dismissal. Plaintiff did not heed this warning and
was sanctioned accordingly. While the Court acknowledges that
$500 is approximately half of Plaintiff's stated monthly
income, the Court also notes that Plaintiff has paid hundreds
if not thousands of dollars in filing fees to maintain
several causes of action in this Court and in state court.
This ability to pay significant filing fees and hundreds of
dollars in printing costs refutes rather than supports
Plaintiff's claim that he cannot pay the instant
(DE #141 at 3). On September 20, 2016, Holland filed the
instant timely objection to the report and
recommendation. Defendants have not filed a response.
Accordingly, both the report and recommendation and
Holland's objection are ripe for adjudication.
party makes objections to a magistrate judge's
recommendations, “[t]he district court is required to
conduct a de novo determination of those portions of
the magistrate judge's report and recommendations to
which objections have been filed.” Goffman v.
Gross, 59 F.3d 668, 671 (7th Cir. 1995). “[T]he
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); see also
Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b).
objection sets forth the procedural history of the sanctions
at issue and some of the facts presented at the hearing held
before Magistrate Judge Martin. Holland then concludes that
“[t]he recommendation defies logic and the evidence
presented under the circumstances.” (DE #143 at 3).
Holland has not taken issue with any of the facts presented
in the report and recommendation, just Magistrate Judge
remainder of the objection presents yet another challenge to
this Court's decision to impose the sanctions in the
first place, claiming the sanctions were without legal
justification. This Court has considered Holland's
argument that the sanctions were unfounded on two prior
occasions: Holland objected to the imposition of sanctions
and this Court overruled the objection (DE ## 132, 134).
Holland then filed a motion to reconsider the Court's
ruling on his objection and that too was denied by this
Court. (DE ## 136, 139). This Court will not now entertain
Holland's third attempt to challenge the validity of the
initial decision to impose sanctions.
Holland's argument directed to Magistrate Judge
Martin's recommendation that this Court find he has the
ability to pay the sanctions imposed, Holland has offered
little to support his position. Holland's income is
minimal, but his living expenses are also minimal. To the
extent a move is in Holland's near future, little is
known about his future living expenses. Holland claims ...