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Howard v. United States

United States District Court, District of Columbia

June 6, 2013

GREGORY T. HOWARD, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant

GREGORY T. HOWARD, Plaintiff, Pro se, Toledo, OH.

For UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant: Kenneth A. Adebonojo, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Civil Division, Washington, DC.

OPINION

Page 55

MEMORANDUM OPINION

EMMET G. SULLIVAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

This action captioned " Complaint for the Tort of Negligence" [Dkt. # 1] brought pro se under the Federal Tort Claims Act (" FTCA" ), 28 U.S.C. § § 1346, 2671-80, was referred to Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson for a Report and Recommendation (" Report" or " R& R" ). Judge Robinson considered Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment on the Issue of Liability [Dkt. # 77] and Defendant's Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative for Summary Judgment and Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment [Dkt. # 88]. In her Report issued on March 8, 2012, Judge Robinson finds that this Court lacks jurisdiction over plaintiff's " claim of negligent interference with his rights under his student loan contract" and, thus, recommends granting defendant's motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) and denying as moot both parties' motions for summary judgment. Report [Dkt. # 102] at 4-5.

Defendant filed a timely objection, Def.'s LCvR 72.2 Objection to the R& R Ruling Submitted by the Hon. Deborah Robinson, U.S.M.J. (" Def.'s Obj." ) [Dkt. # 103], and plaintiff was granted leave to file his objection and response to defendant's objection, Pl.'s Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(1) through (3) Objection to the R& R Ruling Submitted by the Hon. Deborah Robinson, U.S.M.J. and Response to Def.'s Obj. to the R& R Ruling Submitted by the Hon. Deborah Robinson, U.S.M.J. (" Pl.'s Obj." ) [Dkt. # 106]. After careful consideration of the Report and each party's objections, the Court will sustain defendant's objection, adopt the R& R with modification, and overrule plaintiff's objections. Accordingly, defendant's motion to dismiss will be granted and this case will be dismissed.

REVIEW STANDARD

This Court's review of the magistrate judge's R& R is governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b). " When a party files written objections to any part of the magistrate judge's recommendation with respect to a dispositive motion, the Court considers de novo those portions of the recommendation to which objections have been made, and 'may accept, reject, or modify the recommended decision[.]'" Robinson v. Winter, 457 F.Supp.2d 32, 33 (D.D.C. 2006) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)).

DISCUSSION

The Complaint, as supplemented [Dkt. # 9] and amended [Dkt. # 80], stems from the Department of Education's initial decision on August 28, 2007, to deny plaintiff's request pursuant to 20 U.S.C. § 1087(a) for a discharge of his student loans due to disability.[1] See Compl. ¶ 4. The loans were " rightly" discharged on December 31, 2008, " based on Plaintiff's disability beginning September 30, 2005." Id. ¶ ¶ 5-6.

Page 56

Plaintiff claims that defendant " administratively, negligently, and wrongfully" denied his application in August 2007, id. ¶ 4, and seeks $12 million in damages for alleged emotional and financial injuries suffered as a result of the agency's delay in discharging the student loans. See id. ¶ ¶ 8-10, 13, 16. The Magistrate Judge's recommendation is based solely on the FTCA's provision excluding from suit " [a]ny claim arising out ...


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