United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Steven Walquist,  pro se plaintiff.
Terner Mnuchin, United States Secretary of the Treasury,
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND
R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE
Steven Walquist brought a petition for garnishment of U.S.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's salary in the amount
of $13, 401 to satisfy Walquist's debt to the IRS,
because he claims to have disclaimed all obligations to pay
federal taxes. (See Garnishment Pet., Nov. 27, 2017,
Docket No. 1.) Magistrate Judge David T. Schultz issued a
report and recommendation (“R&R”)
recommending that Walquist's petition be denied and the
action dismissed as frivolous. (R&R, Dec. 8, 2017, Docket
before the Court is the R&R, as well as several filings
by Walquist alleging “Refusal For Cause.”
(See Docket Nos. 4, 5, 7.) The Court has reviewed
these filings and finds that only one of them relates to the
R&R. In that filing, Walquist alleges that the Magistrate
Judge's “uninvited legal opinion is in error”
and returned a copy of the R&R with the words
“Refusal For Cause” written across it.
(Objs./Refusal for Cause at 2 & Ex. 1, Dec. 12, 2017,
Docket No. 7.) Because the Magistrate Judge exercised proper
authority under federal law and because his findings were not
clearly erroneous, the Court will adopt the R&R in full.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
the Federal Magistrate Judges Act, a magistrate judge has the
authority to propose findings and recommendations in the form
of an R&R on dispositive issues. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(B)-(C); accord D. Minn. LR 72.2(b).
The R&R must then be reviewed by the district judge, who
may accept, reject, or modify the recommendation. 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1)(C); accord D. Minn. LR 72.2(b).
may file “specific written objections” to the
R&R. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2); accord D. Minn. LR
72.2(b)(1). A party's objections “should specify
the portions of the magistrate judge's [R&R] to which
objections are made and provide a basis for those
objections.” Mayer v. Walvatne, No. 07-1958,
2008 WL 4527774, at *2 (D. Minn. Sept. 28, 2008). For
dispositive issues, the Court reviews de novo a
“properly objected to” portion of an R&R.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3); accord D. Minn. LR
72.2(b)(3). “Objections which are not specific but
merely repeat arguments presented to and considered by a
magistrate judge are not entitled to de novo review,
but rather are reviewed for clear error.”
Montgomery v. Compass Airlines, LLC, 98 F.Supp.3d
1012, 1017 (D. Minn. 2015).
WALQUIST'S OBJECTIONS TO THE R&R
did not formally object to the R&R; however, his most
recent filing suggests that he objects to the Magistrate
Judge's authority to issue an R&R in this case.
(See Objs./Refusal for Cause at 1-2 (calling the
Magistrate Judge's opinion “unsolicited” and
“uninvited”).) Although Walquist paid a filing
fee to file a case in this district, he suggests that he
meant for the Court be “utilized as evidence repository
for  documents . . . while the Garnishment is being
executed in” the United States District Court for the
District of Columbia. (Id. at 2.)
Court will construe this filing as an objection. Walquist
submitted several prior “Refusals for Cause, ”
(see Docket Nos. 4-5), but they do not appear to
address the Magistrate Judge's authority specifically. As
such, the Court will review this objection de novo.
Because the remainder of Walquist's filing does not
specify the portions of the R&R to which he is objecting
and does not give a specific basis for his objections, the
Court will review the content of the R&R for clear error.
Magistrate Judge issued the R&R recommending that
Walquist's case be dismissed in accordance with his
authority under federal law. See 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(B)-(C). Walquist need not “invite” or
“solicit” the Magistrate Judge's opinion,
because the authority to issue an R&R is bestowed by
federal law. Thus Walquist's objection fails.
Magistrate Judge recommends dismissal of Walquist's case
as frivolous. (R&R at 2.) The Magistrate Judge noted that
the Court has the power to dismiss an action sua
sponte if it is frivolous. (Id. (citing
Mallard v. U.S. Dist. Court for S. Dist. Iowa, 490
U.S. 296, 307-08 (1989); Porter v. Fox, 99 F.3d 271,
273 (8th Cir. 1996); Fitzgerald v. First E.
Seventh St. Tenants Corp., 221 F.3d 362, 364 (2d Cir.
2000)).) The Magistrate Judge also found that Walquist's
petition is frivolous because he “has presented no
colorable claim that the audit of his tax return conducted by
the IRS is unlawful, or that the conclusions of the audit
were erroneous, ” and “has not alleged with any
degree of plausibility why [any] compensation should be
garnished from the salary of a cabinet official.”
(Id.) This finding is not clearly erroneous, as
Walquist's action lacks “an arguable basis either