Beason v. Davenport et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION Signed by Chief Judge Karon O Bowdre on 1/6/15. (SAC )
2015 Jan-06 PM 04:11
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
JOSEPH M. BEASON,
CARTER DAVENPORT, Warden,
and THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
OF THE STATE OF ALABAMA,
Case No. 4:14-cv-01983-KOB-HGD
On November 26, 2014, the magistrate judge entered his report and
recommendation and gave the parties fourteen days in which to file objections to his
recommendations. (Doc. 7). After obtaining an extension of time (doc. 9), petitioner
filed objections to the magistrate judge’s report and recommendation on December
30, 2014 (doc. 10).
In his objections, petitioner avers that his lack of literacy, knowledge or skill
in legal matters and his dependence on inmate assistance to prepare his habeas corpus
petition should entitle him to equitable tolling of the limitation period for filing his
federal habeas corpus petition. (Doc. 10). Unfortunately for the petitioner, the law
is well settled that an inmate’s pro se status or lack of legal knowledge does not
constitute extraordinary circumstances sufficient to warrant equitable tolling of the
limitation period. See Rich v. Dep’t of Corrs., 317 Fed. Appx. 881, 883 (11th Cir.
2008) (finding pro se status and lack of understanding of legal process is not
extraordinary circumstance); Helton v. Sec’y Dep’t of Corrs., 259 F.3d 1310 (11th
Cir. 2001) (finding that petitioner’s misunderstanding of the law does not constitute
extraordinary circumstances); Wakefield v. Railroad Ret. Bd., 131 F.3d 967, 969 (11th
Cir. 1997) (ignorance of the law “is not a factor that can warrant equitable tolling”);
Marsh v. Soares, 223 F.3d 1217, 1220 (10th Cir. 2000) (neither inmate’s ignorance
of the law, nor inadequacy of services of inmate law clerk who helped draft habeas
petition, nor fact that prison law library was closed for 15 days entitled petitioner to
equitable tolling of limitations period).
After careful consideration of the record in this case and the magistrate judge’s
report and recommendation and the petitioner’s objections, the court hereby ADOPTS
the report of the magistrate judge. The court further ACCEPTS the recommendations
of the magistrate judge that the petition for writ of habeas corpus be dismissed as
Pursuant to Rule 11 of the Rules Governing § 2254 Cases, the court has
evaluated the claims within the petition for suitability for the issuance of a certificate
of appealability (COA). See 28 U.S.C. § 2253. Rule 22(b), Fed. R. App. P., provides
Page 2 of 4
that in a § 2254 habeas corpus proceeding, “the applicant cannot take an appeal
unless a circuit justice or a circuit or district judge issues a certificate of appealability
under 28 U.S.C. §2253(c).” Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2), a COA may issue
only when the petitioner “has made a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right.” A petitioner can establish this showing by demonstrating that
“reasonable jurists could debate whether (or for that matter, agree that) the petition
should have been resolved in a different manner” or that the issues were “adequate
to deserve encouragement to proceed further.” Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484,
(2000) (citing Barefoot v. Estelle, 463 U.S. 880, 893 & n.4 (1983)). For procedural
rulings, a COA will issue only if reasonable jurists could debate whether the petition
states a valid claim of the denial of a constitutional right and whether the court’s
procedural ruling was correct. Id.
The court finds that reasonable jurists could not debate its resolution of the
claims presented in this habeas corpus petition. For the reasons stated in the
magistrate judge’s report and recommendation, the Court DECLINES to issue a COA
with respect to any claims.
The court will enter contemporaneously a separate Order in conformity with
this Memorandum Opinion.
Page 3 of 4
DONE and ORDERED this 6th day of January, 2015.
KARON OWEN BOWDRE
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Page 4 of 4
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?