Brightwell v. Wolfe et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Chief Judge Deborah K. Chasanow on 07/21/2014. (bas, Deputy Clerk)(c/m 7/21/2014
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
* CIVIL ACTION NO. DKC-14-1540
JOHN S. WOLFE, et al.,
On May 9, 2014, Petitioner David Brightwell filed the instant 28 U.S.C. ' 2254 habeas
corpus application attacking his convictions for armed robbery and a related weapons offense
entered in 1998 by the Circuit Court for Somerset County. ECF No. 1. Respondents filed an
Answer indicating that the Petition must be dismissed as an unauthorized successive Petition
under 28 U.S.C. '2244(b)(3)(A). ECF No. 8. Petitioner has replied. ECF Nos. 9 and 10.1
Petitioner previously sought habeas relief in this court in 2002, challenging his judgment
of conviction rendered in the Circuit Court for Somerset County in 1998. See Brightwell v.
Hutchinson, DKC-02-2529 (D. Md.).
Under 28 U.S.C. ' 2244, Petitioner may only file a second or successive habeas corpus
petition if he has first moved the appropriate circuit court for an order authorizing the district
court to consider his application. See 28 U.S.C. ' 2244(b)(3); Felker v. Turpin, 83 F.3d 1303,
1305-07 (11th Cir. 1996). The pending Petition is successive and this court may not consider it
until the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit enters an order authorizing the
court to do so. See 28 U.S.C. ' 2244(b)(3)(A); see also In re Vial, 115 F.3d 1192, 1197-98 (4th
Cir. 1997). Because it does not appear that Petitioner has complied with this “gatekeeper”
Petitioner also seeks to stay the proceedings pending resolution of his Application for Leave to Appeal the denial
of his Motion to Correct Illegal Sentence and Motion to Reopen Post Conviction Proceedings pending in the
Maryland Court of Special Appeals. ECF No. 7. As the resolution of that matter has no bearing on this court’s lack
of jurisdiction to hear the instant case, the motion will be denied.
provision, the pending application for habeas corpus relief must be dismissed pursuant to 28
U.S.C. ' 2244(b)(3).
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has set forth instructions to
obtain the aforementioned authorization Order. The procedural requirements and deadlines are
Consequently, this Clerk shall be directed to provide Petitioner a packet of
instructions promulgated by the Fourth Circuit which addresses the comprehensive procedure to
be followed should Petitioner wish to seek authorization to file a successive petition. It is to be
emphasized that Petitioner must file the request for authorization with the Fourth Circuit and
obtain authorization to file his successive petition before this court may examine his claims.
When a district court dismisses a habeas petition solely on procedural grounds, a
certificate of appealability (“COA”) will not issue unless the petitioner can demonstrate both “(1)
‘that jurists of reason would find it debatable whether the petition states a valid claim of the
denial of a constitutional right’ and (2) ‘that jurists of reason would find it debatable whether the
district court was correct in its procedural ruling.’” Rouse v. Lee, 252 F.3d 676, 684 (4th Cir.
2001) (quoting Slack v. Daniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000)). The denial of a COA does not
preclude a petitioner from seeking permission to file a successive petition or from pursuing his
claims upon receiving such permission. Because Petitioner has not made a substantial showing
of the denial of his constitutional rights, this Court will not issue a COA. A separate Order
July 21, 2014
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW
United States District Judge
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