Dudley v. McKinney
ORDER Adopting 24 Report and Recommendations. 4 Petitioners application for writ of habeas corpus is denied. A certificate of appealability is denied. Signed by Chief Judge Leonard T Strand on 5/25/2017. (des)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF IOWA
MCKINLEY DUDLEY, JR.,
This matter is before me on a Report and Recommendation (R&R) (Doc. No. 24),
filed by the Honorable C.J. Williams, United States Chief Magistrate Judge, on June 22,
2016. The R&R addresses an application for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §
2254 (Doc. No. 4), filed by McKinley Dudley, Jr. (petitioner) on April 28, 2015. Judge
Williams recommends that I deny petitioner’s application and decline to grant a certificate
of appealability. Id. Petitioner filed timely, but unspecific, objections (Doc. No. 25) to
the R&R on July 6, 2016.
II. STANDARDS FOR REVIEW OF A REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
The standard of review to be applied by the court to a report and recommendation
of a magistrate judge is established by statute:
Within fourteen days after being served with a copy, any party
may serve and file written objections to such proposed
findings and recommendations as provided by rules of court.
A judge of the court shall make a de novo determination of
those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or
recommendations to which objection is made. A judge of the
court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the
findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.
The judge may also receive further evidence or recommit the
matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(2)-(3) (providing procedure to
file written objections and making clear that, where a proper objection is made, the
district judge must determine de novo a magistrate judge’s recommendation on a
dispositive motion). Thus, when a party objects to any portion of an R&R, the district
judge must undertake a de novo review of the issue.
Any portions of a R&R to which no objections have been made must be reviewed
under at least a “clearly erroneous” standard. See, e.g., Grinder v. Gammon, 73 F.3d
793, 795 (8th Cir. 1996) (noting that, when no objections are filed, “[the district judge]
would only have to review the findings of the magistrate judge for clear error”). “A
finding is ‘clearly erroneous’ when although there is evidence to support it, the reviewing
court on the entire evidence is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake
has been committed.” Anderson v. City of Bessemer City, 470 U.S. 564, 573-74 (1985)
(quoting United States v. U.S. Gypsum Co., 333 U.S. 364, 395 (1948)). However, a
district judge may elect to review a R&R under a more-exacting standard even if no
objections are filed:
Any party that desires plenary consideration by the Article III
judge of any issue need only ask. Moreover, while the statute
does not require the judge to review an issue de novo if no
objections are filed, it does not preclude further review by the
district judge, sua sponte or at the request of a party, under a
de novo or any other standard.
Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985).
“Petitioner objects to the conclusion and recommendation that [his application] be
dismissed with prejudice [and] further objects to the recommendation that the Court deny
Petitioner a Certificate of Appealability.” However, he does not respond to the analysis
in the R&R. Indeed, petitioner’s objections do not identify any particular finding of fact
or conclusion of law and attempt to explain why it is incorrect. Because petitioner has
not objected to any specific portion of the R&R, it is appropriate for me to review it
under a clearly erroneous standard of review. After conducting that review, I am not
“‘left with [a] definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed,’” and find
no reason to reject or modify the R&R. Anderson, 470 U.S. at 573-74.
Given the record, which includes but is not limited to the application for writ of
habeas corpus (Doc. No. 4), respondent’s answer (Doc. No. 6), the relevant state court
documents (Doc. No. 7), petitioner’s briefs (Doc. Nos. 19, 20), respondent’s brief (Doc.
No. 18), the R&R (Doc. No. 24) and the objections (Doc. No. 25), I find that there is
no basis to grant relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). See generally Harrington v. Richter,
562 U.S. 86, 101-03 (2011). The R&R contains a very thorough and cogent analysis of
the facts and applicable law. Judge Williams’ recommended disposition of the application
for writ of habeas corpus and issuance of a certificate of appealability is fully supported
by the factual record and controlling legal authorities. Thus, I will adopt the R&R
After thoroughly reviewing the record, I find that petitioner’s claims are without
merit. It is appropriate to deny the application for writ of habeas corpus because the
Iowa courts neither reached a decision contrary to that reached by the United States
Supreme Court on a question of law nor correctly identified the applicable principles of
federal law but then unreasonably applied that law to the facts of petitioner’s claims. See
28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1).
Nor was any decision by the Iowa courts based on an
unreasonable determination of the facts. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(2). Consequently, the
claims that petitioner raised in the application for writ of habeas corpus do not warrant
relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). Finally, I conclude that there is no reason to grant a
certificate of appealability. See 28 U.S.C. § 2253.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
Petitioner’s objections (Doc. No. 25) are OVERRULED.
Judge Williams’ Report and Recommendation (Doc. No. 24) is ADOPTED.
Petitioner’s application for writ of habeas corpus (Doc. No. 4) is DENIED.
A certificate of appealability is DENIED, as petitioner failed to make the requisite
“substantial showing” with respect to the claims that he raises in his application
for writ of habeas corpus. See 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2); Fed. R. App. P. 22(b).
Because he does not present questions of substance for appellate review, there is
no reason to grant a certificate of appealability. If he desires further review of his
application, petitioner may request the issuance of a certificate of appealability by
a circuit judge of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, in accordance with
Tiedeman v. Benson, 122 F.3d 518, 520-22 (8th Cir. 1997).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED this 25th day of May, 2017.
Leonard T. Strand, Chief Judge
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?