Keller v. Kirkegard
ORDER ADOPTING FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 2 in full. Petition is DISMISSED. A certificate of appealability is DENIED. Signed by Judge Dana L. Christensen on 2/16/2017. Mailed to Keller. (TAG)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT c ,c-G9 I
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
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KRISTIN KANE KELLER,
United States Magistrate Judge John Johnston entered his Findings and
Recommendations in this matter on December 16, 2016, recommending dismissal
of Petitioner Kristin Kane Keller's ("Keller") application for writ of habeas corpus
under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. On December 28, 2016, Keller moved for an extension to
file objections to the Findings and Recommendations stating that he just received
the document from prison staff. (Doc. 3.) The Court granted Keller's request and
allowed him until January 27, 2017, to file his objections. (Doc. 4.) However,
instead of filing objections, on February 10, 2017, Keller filed a notice of appeal
stating that he is appealing Judge Johnston's Findings and Recommendations.
"As a general rule, the filing of a notice of appeal divests a district court of
jurisdiction over those aspects of the case involved in the appeal." Stein v. Wood,
127 F.3d 1187, 1189 (9th Cir.1997). However, there is an exception to the general
rule when the appeal is patently frivolous. Marks v. Clarke, 102 F.3d 1012, 1018
n. 8 (9th Cir. 1996) (citation omitted). Here, since Keller has not appealed from an
appealable final order, the appeal is frivolous. See 28 U.S.C. § 1291. As a result,
this Court reviews the Findings and Recommendations for clear error. See
McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Commodore Bus. Mach., Inc., 656 F.2d 1309, 1313
(9th Cir. 1981); Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149 (1985). Clear error exists if the
Court is left with a "definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been
committed." United States v. Syrax, 235 F.3d 422, 427 (9th Cir. 2000) (citations
Having reviewed the Findings and Recommendations, the Court finds no
clear error in Judge Johnston's conclusion that Keller's petition is second or
successive in nature and, thus, the Court lacks jurisdiction to hear his claims.
Keller's present petition attempts to challenge his 2014 convictions. However,
this Court has already dismissed two petitions by Keller which attempted to
challenge those convictions. See Keller v. Frink, No. CV-15-159-H-DLC-JTJ (D.
Mont. Jan. 26, 2016); Keller v. Kirkegard, No. CV-16-14-H-DLC (D. Mont. Apr.
22, 2016). Accordingly, this Court will likewise dismiss Keller's petition as
second or successive in nature. Keller must seek leave from the United States
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to file his petition. See 28 U.S.C. §
There being no clear error in Judge Johnston's Findings and
Recommendations, IT IS ORDERED that:
(1) Judge Johnston's Findings and Recommendations (Doc. 2) are
ADOPTED IN FULL.
(2) Keller's Petition (Doc. 1) is DISMISSED for lack of jurisdiction.
(3) The Clerk of Court is directed to enter, by separate document, a
judgment of dismissal.
(4) A certificate of appealability is DENIED.
Dated this~ day of February, 20
Dana L. Christensen, Chief Judge
United States District Court
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