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Straws v. Stevenson

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

March 31, 2015

Jabbar Jomo Straws, #231018 Petitioner,
v.
Robert M. Stevenson, III, Warden, Respondent.

OPINION AND ORDER

BRUCE HOWE HENDRICKS, District Judge.

The petitioner, Jabbar Jomo Straws ("the petitioner"), proceeding pro se, filed this writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (ECF No. 1.) In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rule 73.02, D.S.C., the action was referred to United States Magistrate Judge Kaymani D. West for pretrial handling and a Report and Recommendation ("Report"). Judge West recommends that the respondent's motion for summary judgment be granted and the petitioner's petition for writ of habeas corpus be dismissed with prejudice. (ECF No. 43.) The Report and Recommendation sets forth in detail the relevant facts and standards of law on this matter and the Court incorporates them without recitation.

BACKGROUND

The petitioner filed this action against the respondent on December 11, 2013, [1] alleging, inter alia, prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel. On December 17, 2014, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report; and on January 7, 2015, the Clerk of Court entered petitioner's objections, along with several attachments. (ECF No. 46). The court has reviewed the objections but finds them to be without merit. Therefore, it will enter judgment accordingly.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to the court. The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The responsibility to make a final determination remains with the court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71, 96 S.Ct. 549, 46 L.Ed.2d 483 (1976). The court is charged with making a de novo determination of those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which specific objection is made, and the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, or recommit the matter with instructions. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). However, the court need not conduct a de novo review when a party makes only "general and conclusory objections that do not direct the court to a specific error in the magistrate's proposed findings and recommendations." Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d 44, 47 (4th Cir.1982). In the absence of a timely filed, specific objection, the Magistrate Judge's conclusions are reviewed only for clear error. See Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir.2005).

DISCUSSION

In regards to the filing of objections, the Magistrate Judge instructed the petitioner as follows:

The parties are advised that they may file specific written objections to this Report and Recommendation with the District Judge. Objections must specifically identify the portions of the Report and Recommendation to which objections are made and the basis for such objections. "[I]n the absence of a timely filed objection, a district court need not conduct a de novo review, but instead must only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation.'" Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310 (4th Cir. 2005) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory committee's note).
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Failure to timely file specific written objections to this Report and Recommendation will result in waiver of the right to appeal from a judgment of the District Court based upon such Recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985); Wright v. Collins, 766 F.2d 841 (4th Cir. 1985); United States v. Schronce, 727 F.2d 91 (4th Cir. 1984).

(ECF No. 43 at 41). Nevertheless, the petitioner failed to lodge any specific objections to the Report. Instead, he states that "every" document attached to this objection to the REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION is his objection." (ECF No. 46 at 2). Therefore, in light of the petitioner's failure to file any specific objections to the Report, the objections that he did file will be overruled.

CONCLUSION

For the reasons stated above and by the Magistrate Judge, the court overrules the petitioner's objections, adopts the Magistrate Judge's Report to the extent that it does not contradict this Order, and incorporates it herein.[2] It is therefore ORDERED that respondent's motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 34) is GRANTED and the petitioner's petition is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE and without an evidentiary hearing.

CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

The governing law provides that:

(c) (2) A certificate of appealability may issue... only if the applicant has made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.
(c) (3) The certificate of appealability... shall indicate which specific issue or issues satisfy the showing required by paragraph (2).

28 U.S.C. § 2253(c). A prisoner satisfies this standard by demonstrating that reasonable jurists would find this court's assessment of his constitutional claims is debatable or wrong and that any dispositive procedural ruling by the district court is likewise debatable. See Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336 (2003); Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000); Rose v. Lee, 252 F.3d 676, 683 (4th Cir.2001). In this case, the legal standard for the issuance of a certificate of appealability has not been met. Therefore, a certificate of appealability is denied.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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