HOLLEMAN v. ZATECKY et al
ENTRY Dismissing Action and Directing Entry of Final Judgment: The petition of Robert Holleman for a writ of habeas corpus is denied and this cause isdismissed with prejudice. Judgment consistent with this Entry shall now issue. The court thereforedenies a certificate of appealability***SEE ENTRY FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION***. Signed by Judge William T. Lawrence on 7/20/2015. Copy sent via US Mail.(DW)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
ROBERT L. HOLLEMAN,
DUSHAN ZATECKY, Superintendent,
Case No. 1:15-cv-01104-WTL-DML
Entry Dismissing Action and Directing Entry of Final Judgment
The petition of Robert Holleman for a writ of habeas corpus is denied and this cause is
dismissed with prejudice. In addition, a certificate of appealability will not be issued. These
conclusions rest on the following facts and circumstances:
Holleman is serving a life sentence following his conviction for felony murder in
an Indiana state court. See Holleman v. State, 400 N.E.2d 123 (Ind. 1980).
Holleman became eligible for parole after serving 20 years of his sentence. Since
that time, however, the Indiana Parole Board has seen fit to deny Holleman parole.
Holleman brings the present action challenging the Indiana Parole Board’s denial
of parole. Holleman first challenged the denial of parole in an action for post-conviction relief in
the trial court. The denial of post-conviction relief was affirmed in Holleman v. State, 27 N.E.3d
344, 346 (Ind.Ct.App. 2015), trans. Denied, and the filing of this action followed. This action is
before the court for its preliminary review pursuant to Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254
Proceedings in the United States District Courts.
The inclusion of the Indiana Parole Board as a co-respondent is improper and is stricken.
“[I]n all habeas corpus proceedings under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, the successful
petitioner must demonstrate that he ‘is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties
of the United States.’” Brown v. Watters, 599 F.3d 602, 611 (7th Cir. 2010) (quoting 28 U.S.C. §
2254(a)). The scope of the Great Writ is limited because a viable habeas claim pursuant to §
2254(a) necessarily precludes a claim which is not based on alleged noncompliance with federal
law. See Wilson v. Corcoran, 131 S. Ct. 13, 16 (2010)(“But it is only noncompliance with federal
law that renders a State's criminal judgment susceptible to collateral attack in the federal courts.”).
As the Supreme Court has clearly stated, “federal habeas corpus relief does not lie for errors of
state law.” Swarthout v. Cooke, 131 S. Ct. 859, 861 (2011) (citing Estelle v. McGuire, 502 U.S.
62, 67 (1991)). ATo say that a petitioner's claim is not cognizable on habeas review is thus another
way of saying that his claim >presents no federal issue at all.=@ Perruquet v. Briley, 390 F.3d 505,
511 (7th Cir. 2004) (quoting Bates v. McCaughtry, 934 F.2d 99, 101 (7th Cir. 1991)).
The principles just recited means that an asserted violation of state law does not
present a viable or cognizable claim for relief pursuant to § 2254(a). Holleman is therefore not
entitled to relief based on the asserted violations of Indiana law. See Estelle v. McGuire, 502 U.S.
62, 67-68 (1991) (“it is not the province of a federal habeas court to re-examine state-court
determinations on state-law questions”).
Holleman also claims in his habeas petition that he was denied constitutional due
process. Liberty interests protected by the Due Process Clause may arise from the Due Process
Clause itself or from the laws of the states. See Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 483–84 (1995).
A prisoner has no federal constitutional right to be released before the expiration of
his sentence. Greenholtz v. Inmates of the Nebraska Penal and Correctional Complex, 442
U.S. 1, 7 (1979).
It has been definitively determined that under Indiana statutes “a prisoner has
neither a liberty nor a property interest in his application for parole.” Huggins v.
Isenbarger, 798 F.2d 203, 206 (7th Cir. 1986); see also Hendrix v. Borkowski, 927 F.2d
607 (7th Cir. 1991)(“This court has concluded that the Indiana parole scheme creates
neither a liberty nor property interest in an application for parole.”)(citing Huggins); Ware
v. Rizzo, No. 3:07-CV-584RM, 2007 WL 4287467, at *2 (N.D.Ind. Dec. 3, 2007)(“Indiana
has not created a protectable liberty interest in parole.”). Holleman’s habeas petition argues
that the denial of parole was a denial of due process, but this argument takes him nowhere,
for when no recognized liberty or property interest has been taken, the confining authority
Ais free to use any procedures it choses, or no procedures at all.@ Montgomery v. Anderson,
262 F.3d 641, 644 (7th Cir. 2001).
The foregoing demonstrates that Holleman’s petition shows on its face that he is
not entitled to a writ of habeas corpus.
Judgment consistent with this Entry shall now issue.
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 22(b), Rule 11(a) of the Rules Governing
§ 2254 Proceedings, and 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c), the court finds that Holleman has failed to show
that reasonable jurists would find “it debatable whether the petition states a valid claim of the
denial of a constitutional right.” Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). The court therefore
denies a certificate of appealability.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
ROBERT L. HOLLEMAN
PENDLETON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
4490 West Reformatory Road
PENDLETON, IN 46064
Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
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