Utter v. Lombardi et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER : IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that petitioner's motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis [ECF No. 2 ] is granted. An Order of Dismissal will be filed separately.. Signed by District Judge Carol E. Jackson on 01/12/17. (KKS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
SAMUEL F. UTTER,
GEORGE LOMBARDI, et al.,
No. 4:17-CV-169 CEJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on the motion of Samuel Utter for leave to proceed in
forma pauperis and his petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Petitioner is currently confined in the Moberly Correctional Center. Because petitioner is
a convicted sex offender, he must complete the Missouri Sexual Offender Program (MOSOP) as
a prerequisite for conditional release. A requirement of MOSOP is that offenders admit to their
crimes. Petitioner states that will not admit guilt because he is only accountable to God. He has
either been denied conditional release or will be in the future.
Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a), a district court may entertain a petition for writ of habeas
corpus only if the petitioner “is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of
the United States.” Claims that do not state a constitutional issue are not cognizable in a federal
habeas petition. E.g. Gee v. Groose, 110 F.3d 1346, 1351-52 (8th Cir. 1997). “[A]n inmate does
not have a constitutionally-protected liberty interest in the possibility of parole, and [the United
States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit] has held that the Missouri parole statutes ‘create
no liberty interest’ under state law in the parole board’s discretionary decisions.” Adams v
Agniel, 405 F.3d 643, 645 (8th Cir. 2005) (citing Greenholtz v. Inmates of Nebraska Penal &
Corrections, 442 U.S. 1, 9-11, (1979)). Because petitioner has failed to articulate a liberty
interest, his claims are not cognizable in a § 2254 proceeding.
Finally, petitioner has failed to make a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right, which requires a demonstration “that jurists of reason would find it debatable
whether the petition states a valid claim of the denial of a constitutional right.” Khaimov v. Crist,
297 F.3d 783, 785 (8th Cir. 2002) (quotation omitted).
Thus, the Court will not issue a
certificate of appealability. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c).
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that petitioner’s motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis [ECF No. 2] is granted.
An Order of Dismissal will be filed separately.
Dated this 12th day of January, 2017.
CAROL E. JACKSON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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