United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
H. MILLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the court is a memorandum and recommendation
(“M&R”) filed by Magistrate Judge Nancy
Johnson. Dkt. 30. The Magistrate Judge considered defendant
United States' motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 21).
Id. Plaintiffs, Luul Yikalo Tikabo and sole
proprietorship Selam Grocery (collectively, “Tikabo
”), timely objected to the M&R. Dkt. 31. The United
States did not object. Having considered the M&R, the
motion, Tikabo's objections, and other relevant materials
in the record, the court is of the opinion that Tikabo's
objections should be OVERRULED and that the
M&R should be ADOPTED IN FULL.
filed this action seeking review of a final decision by the
Food and Nutrition Service (“FNS”) of the United
States Department of Agriculture. Dkt. 1. FNS permanently
disqualified Tikabo from the Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program (“SNAP”) for illegal food
stamp trafficking. Dkts. 1, 21 at 2-3. The United States
moved for summary judgment on grounds that the
disqualification was not arbitrary and capricious as a matter
of law. Dkt. 21. The Magistrate Judge agreed. Dkt. 30. Tikabo
asks the court to reject the M&R in full. Dkt. 31 at 3.
dispositive matters, the court “determine[s] de novo
any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has
been properly objected to.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3).
“The district judge may accept, reject, or modify the
recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or return
the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.”
Id. “When no timely objection is filed, the
court need only satisfy itself that there is no clear error
on the face of the record in order to accept the
recommendation.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b), Advisory Comm.
Note (1983). For non-dispositive matters, the court may set
aside the magistrate judge's order only to the extent
that it is “clearly erroneous or contrary to
law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a).
Motion for Summary Judgment
shall grant summary judgment if a “movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed
R. Civ. P. 56(a). “[A] fact is genuinely in dispute
only if a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
nonmoving party.” Fordoche, Inc. v. Texaco,
Inc., 463 F.3d 388, 392 (5th Cir. 2006). The moving
party bears the initial burden on demonstrating the absence
of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2552 (1986).
If the moving party meets its burden, the burden shifts to
the non-moving party to set forth specific facts showing a
genuine issue for trial. Fed R. Civ. P. 56(e). The court must
view the evidence in the light most favorable to the
non-movant and draw all justifiable inferences in favor of
the non-movant. Envtl. Conservation Org. v. City of
Dallas, 529 F.3d 519, 524 (5th Cir. 2008).
objects to: (1) the evidentiary burden applied; (2) the
United States' evidence; (3) the filing of the M&R
before discovery ended; (4) the recommended denial of
Tikabo's Rule 56(d) motion; and (5) the Magistrate
Judge's wording. Dkts. 31, 31-2.
review SNAP disqualification challenges under a de novo
standard of review. 7 U.S.C.§ 2023(a)(13); Redmond
v. United States, 507 F.2d 1007, 1010 (5th Cir. 1975).
Courts may also review the propriety of a sanction, but under
a different standard of review: “arbitrary and
capricious.” 7 U.S.C. § 2023(a)(13); Goodman
v. United States, 518 F.2d 505, 509, 512 (5th Cir. ...