Holbrook v. McCullick
OPINION and ORDER Dismissing 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus; and Denying a Certificate of Appealability, Signed by District Judge John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
Case Number: 5:17-11606
HON. JOHN CORBETT O’MEARA
OPINION AND ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE
This matter is before the Court on Michigan state prisoner Charles Holbrook’s
three-page pleading. The pleading was docketed as a habeas corpus petition filed under
28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner’s filing fails to comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
3 or Rules 2(c) and (d), Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District
Courts. The matter, therefore, will be dismissed without prejudice.
Upon the filing of a habeas corpus petition, the Court must promptly examine the
petition to determine “if it plainly appears from the face of the petition and any exhibits
annexed to it that the petitioner is not entitled to relief.” Rule 4, Rules Governing Section
2254 cases. If the Court determines that the petitioner is not entitled to relief, the Court
shall summarily dismiss the petition. McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994)
(“Federal courts are authorized to dismiss summarily any habeas petition that appears
legally insufficient on its face”). A petition may be summarily dismissed where the
allegations are so “vague (or) conclusory” that they do not “point to a real possibility of
constitutional error.” Blackledge v. Allison, 431 U.S. 63, 76 (1977) (internal citations
omitted). “[A] claim for relief in habeas corpus must include reference to a specific
federal constitutional guarantee, as well as a statement of the facts which entitle the
Petitioner to relief.” Gray v. Netherland, 518 U.S. 152, 162-63 (1996) (internal citations
omitted). See also Perez v. Hemingway, 157 F. Supp. 2d 790, 796 (E.D. Mich. 2001) (“A
petition for a writ of habeas corpus must set forth facts that give rise to a cause of action
under federal law or it may summarily be dismissed.”).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 3 explains that “[a] civil action is commenced by
filing a complaint.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 3. The Supreme Court has held that, “[t]he logical
conclusion, therefore, is that a habeas suit begins with the filing of an application for
habeas corpus relief – the equivalent of a complaint in an ordinary civil case. Woodford
v. Garceau, 538 U.S. 202, 208 (2003). Rules 2(c) and (d) of the Rules Governing Section
2254 Cases provide that an application for writ of habeas corpus shall be in the form of a
petition which specifies each ground for relief. Although the instant filing references
convictions for two counts of producing child sexually abusive material, it is far from
clear that these are the convictions Petitioner seeks to challenge. Petitioner also fails to
identify the jurisdiction of conviction or the claims raised. The Court will not guess what
conviction(s) Petitioner might be challenging or the grounds upon which he seeks relief.
The petition will be dismissed without prejudice.
Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 22 provides that an appeal may not proceed
unless a certificate of appealability (COA) is issued under 28 U.S.C. § 2253. A COA
may be issued “only if the applicant has made a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). A petitioner must show “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 presented were adequate to deserve
encouragement to proceed further.” Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484, 120 S. Ct.
1595, 1603-04 (2000) (citation omitted). In this case, the Court concludes that reasonable
jurists would not debate the Court’s conclusion that the petition should be dismissed
without prejudice and denies a certificate of appealability.
Accordingly, the petition for a writ of habeas corpus is DISMISSED WITHOUT
PREJUDICE and a certificate of appealability is DENIED.
Date: June 1, 2017
s/John Corbett O’Meara
United States District Judge
I hereby certify that on June 1, 2017 a copy of this order was served upon Petitioner
using first-class U.S. mail.
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