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Owens v. Warden of Perry Correctional Institution

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Orangeburg Division

June 23, 2015

William Allen Owens, Petitioner,
v.
Warden of Perry Correctional Institution, Respondent.

ORDER

R. BRYAN HARWELL, District Judge.

Petitioner William Allen Owens, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. See Petition, ECF No. 1. Respondent filed a motion for summary judgment and a return and supporting memorandum. See ECF Nos. 18-19. The matter is before the Court for review of the Report and Recommendation (R & R) of United States Magistrate Judge Kaymani D. West, made in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 73.02 for the District of South Carolina.[1] See R & R, ECF No. 25. The Magistrate Judge recommends the Court grant Respondent's motion for summary judgment and dismiss the petition with prejudice. See id. at 34.

The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court. The recommendation has no presumptive weight, and the responsibility to make a final determination remains with this Court. See Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). The Court is charged with making a de novo determination of those portions of the R & R 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. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

Neither party has filed objections to the R & R. In the absence of objections to the R & R, the Court is not required to give any explanation for adopting the Magistrate Judge's recommendations. See Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983). The Court reviews only for clear error in the absence of an objection. See Diamond v. Colonial Life & Acc. Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005) (stating that "in the absence of a timely filed objection, a district court need not conduct 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'" (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory committee's note)). After a thorough review of the record in this case, the Court finds no clear error. Accordingly, the R & R of the Magistrate Judge [ECF No. 25] is adopted and incorporated by reference.

Furthermore, a certificate of appealability will not issue absent "a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right." 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). When the district court denies relief on the merits, a prisoner satisfies this standard by demonstrating that reasonable jurists would find that the court's assessment of the constitutional claims is debatable or wrong. Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000); see also Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336-38 (2003). When the district court denies relief on procedural grounds, the prisoner must demonstrate (1) the dispositive procedural ruling is debatable and (2) the petition states a debatable claim of the denial of a constitutional right. Slack, 529 U.S. at 484-85. In the instant matter, the Court concludes that Petitioner has failed to make the requisite showing of "the denial of a constitutional right."

THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that Respondent's motion for summary judgment [ECF No. 19] is GRANTED and Petitioner's § 2254 petition [ECF No. 1] is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a certificate of appealability is DENIED because Petitioner has failed to make "a substantial showing of the denial of a ...


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