United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Central Division
ORDER REGARDING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION CONCERNING DEFENDANT'S GUILTY
W. BENNETT U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
April 5, 2018, defendant Terri Cosgrove was charged in a
three-count indictment with the following offenses: In Count
1, with obstruction of correspondence, in violation of 18
U.S.C. § 1702; in Count 2, with obstruction of justice,
in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1503; and in Count 3, with
destruction of records, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §
1518. Cosgrove initially pleaded not guilty to the charges,
but on August 1, 2018, she entered a notice of her intention
to plead guilty in this case.
August 20, 2018, Cosgrove appeared before United States
Magistrate Judge Kelly K.E. Mahoney and entered a plea of
guilty to Count 1 of the Indictment, pursuant to a plea
agreement, a copy of which was entered into evidence. On
August 20, 2018, Judge Mahoney filed a Report And
Recommendation that Cosgrove's guilty plea to Count 1 be
accepted and explaining, inter alia, that Counts 2
and 3 will be dismissed at the time of sentencing.
party filed objections to the Report And Recommendation by
the deadline of September 4, 2018. Consequently, I now
undertake the necessary review of Judge Mahoney's
recommendation to accept Cosgrove's guilty plea in this
district judge must review a magistrate judge's Report
And Recommendation in a criminal case under the following
Within fourteen days after being served with a copy, any
party may serve and file written objections to such proposed
findings and recommendations as provided by rules of court. A
judge of the court shall make a de novo determination of
those portions of the report or specified proposed findings
or recommendations to which objection is made. A judge of the
court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the
findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge. The
judge may also receive further evidence or recommit the
matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); see also Fed. R. Crim.
P. 59(b). Thus, when a party objects to any portion of a
Report and Recommendation, the district judge must undertake
a de novo review of that portion.
other hand, any portion of a Report and Recommendation to
which no objections have been made must be reviewed under at
least a “clearly erroneous” standard. See,
e.g., Grinder v. Gammon, 73 F.3d 793, 795 (8th Cir.
1996) (noting that when no objections are filed “[the
district court judge] would only have to review the findings
of the magistrate judge for clear error”). As the
Supreme Court has explained, “[a] finding is
‘clearly erroneous' when although there is evidence
to support it, the reviewing court on the entire evidence is
left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has
been committed.” Anderson v. City of Bessemer
City, 470 U.S. 564, 573-74 (1985) (quoting United
States v. U.S. Gypsum Co., 333 U.S. 364, 395 (1948)).
district judge may elect to review a Report and
Recommendation under a more-exacting standard even if no
objections are filed:
Any party who desires plenary consideration by the Article
III judge of any issue need only ask. Moreover, while the
statute does not require the judge to review an issue de novo
if no objections are filed, it does not preclude further
review by the district judge, sua sponte or at the request of
a party, under a de novo or any other standard.
Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985).