Oates v. Minnesota Department of Corrections et al
ORDER: The Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge 17 is hereby ADOPTED. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 1. This case is DISMISSED without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction; 2. The Application to proceed in forma pauperis 3 is DENIED; 3. The M otions for Appointment of Counsel 9 10 are DENIED; 4. The Motion for Amendment 11 is DENIED; 5. The Motion for a Summons 12 is DENIED; 6. The Motion for Judicial Notice 15 is DENIED as moot; and 7. No Certificate of Appealability will issue. LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY. (Written Opinion) Signed by The Hon. Paul A. Magnuson on 2/14/2018. (LLM)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
Lovell N. Oates,
Civ. No. 17-5166 (PAM/LIB)
Minnesota Department of Corrections,
and Tom Roy, Commissioner,
This matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation (R&R) of
United States Magistrate Judge Leo I. Brisbois dated January 30, 2018. The R&R
recommends that Petitioner Lovell N. Oates’s Petition for habeas-corpus relief be
dismissed and various related Motions be denied either as a result of the dismissal of the
Petition or as moot. Oates filed timely objections to the R&R.
This Court must review de novo any portion of an R&R to which specific
objections are made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); D. Minn. L.R. 72.2(b). After conducting the
required review and for the following reasons, the Court ADOPTS the R&R. (Docket
The R&R determined that the instant Petition constitutes a second or successive
petition. (R&R at 2.) Because Oates has not received permission from the Eighth Circuit
Court of Appeals to file a second or successive petition, the Court lacks jurisdiction to
consider the Petition. (Id.) Oates’s objection claims that the state court erred in finding
his motion challenging the computation of the Minnesota sentencing guidelines untimely
under the statute of limitations for filing postconviction motions. (Obj. (Docket No. 18)
at 1.) But Oates’s objection shows that his claim concerns the application of state law,
not federal law.
He insists that the state-court decisions raise his interest in a
determination on the sentencing issue to the level of a state-created liberty interest. Thus,
according to this argument, he is raising a challenge under the federal Constitution. But
he cannot avoid the second-or-successive prohibition by claiming that enforcing the
prohibition gives rise to a constitutionally protected liberty interest. His argument is one
of state law, not federal. Moreover, it appears from the allegations in the Petition itself
that the Minnesota Supreme Court has yet to rule on the merits of Petitioner’s state-law
argument. (See Pet. (Docket No. 1) at ¶ 11 (stating that the Supreme Court stayed Oates’s
petition for further review pending a decision in a case involving the same postconviction
motion issue). Thus, even if this Petition were not second or successive, and even if it
were timely, 28 U.S.C. § 2254 affords him no relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(2)(B).
The R&R also correctly found that a Certificate of Appealability should not issue
on Oates’s claims. His challenges to his sentence are a matter of state law, not federal,
and reasonable minds cannot differ as to the merits of his claim. Cox v. Norris, 133 F.3d
565, 569 (8th Cir. 1997). A Certificate of Appealability is therefore denied.
Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
This case is DISMISSED without prejudice for lack of jurisdiction;
The Application to proceed in forma pauperis (Docket No. 3) is DENIED;
The Motions for Appointment of Counsel (Docket Nos. 9 & 10) are
The Motion for Amendment (Docket No. 11) is DENIED;
The Motion for a Summons (Docket No. 12) is DENIED;
The Motion for Judicial Notice (Docket No. 15) is DENIED as moot; and
No Certificate of Appealability will issue.
LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.
Paul A. Magnuson
United States District Court Judge
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