Scott v. Brown
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION: This Court adopts, in full, Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom's Report and Recommendation (i) denying the habeas petition; (ii) declining to issue a certificate of appealability, 28 U.S.C. § 2253; and (i ii) certifying that any appeal would not be taken in good faith and thus denying in forma pauperis status for the purpose of an appeal, 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3). The Clerk of the Court is directed to enter judgment accordingly. Ordered by Judge Pamela K. Chen on 1/30/2014. (Lo, Justin)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT
11 CV 953 (PKC) (LB)
WILLIAM CONNOLLY, Superintendent of Fishkill
PAMELA K. CHEN, United States District Judge:
Petitioner Napoleon Scott (“Petitioner”), acting pro se, petitions the Court for a writ of
habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. This matter was referred to the Honorable Lois
Bloom, United States Magistrate Judge, for a Report and Recommendation, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Rule 72.1(d). In the Report and Recommendation, issued October 7,
2013, Judge Bloom recommended that the Court (a) deny the petition for a writ of habeas corpus
in its entirety; (b) decline to issue a certificate of appealability; and (c) certify that any appeal
from the Court’s judgment would not be taken in good faith. See Report & Recommendation
(Dkt. 16) at 28. On November 21, 2013, Petitioner filed objections to Magistrate Bloom’s
Report and Recommendation. See Objection to Report & Recommendation (Dkt. 18).
II. STANDARD OF REVIEW
When a party objects to a magistrate judge’s report and recommendation, the district
court makes a “de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed
findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).
“General or conclusory objections, or objections which merely recite the same arguments
presented to the magistrate judge, are reviewed for clear error.” O’Diah v. Mawhir, No. 08-CV322, 2011 WL 933846, at *1 (N.D.N.Y. Mar. 16, 2011) (citing Farid v. Bouey, 554 F. Supp. 2d
301, 306 n.2 (N.D.N.Y. 2008); Frankel v. N.Y.C., Nos. 06-CV-5450, 07-CV-3436, 2009 WL
465645 at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 25, 2009)). “After reviewing the Report-Recommendation, the
Court may ‘accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made
by the magistrate judge. The judge may also receive further evidence or recommit the matter to
the magistrate judge with instructions.’” O’Diah, 2011 WL 933846, at *1 (quoting 28 U.S.C. §
Although Petitioner filed objections to Judge Bloom’s Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”), his objections “recite the same arguments” presented in his habeas petition. O’Diah,
2011 WL 933846, at *1. The Court thus reviews the R&R for “clear error.” Id.
The Court has reviewed Judge Bloom’s exhaustively thorough and well-reasoned R&R,
and finds that it is free of clear error. In addition, the R&R explicitly addresses the arguments
again raised in Petitioner’s objections. See Dkt. 16 at 8-10, 13-15 (weight and sufficiency of the
evidence); 15-16 (failure to produce Brady material); 16-17 (juror misconduct); 19-20 (right to
waive counsel); 24-26 (right to conflict-free counsel); and 20-24 (ineffective assistance of
counsel). 1 The Court, therefore, adopts the R&R in its entirety.
While the R&R does not specifically reference Petitioner’s argument, made both in his
objections and habeas petition, that the trial judge focused on the wrong jurors when
investigating Petitioner’s claim about two jurors sleeping during the trial, the R&R points out
that the trial judge had “made eye contact with all the jurors.” (Dkt. 16 at 16-17; Dkt. 14-4 at
527). This fact undermines Petitioner’s claim that, by “referring to ‘two other jurors’” than the
ones complained about, the trial judge failed to detect the jurors that were allegedly asleep during
the trial. Dkt. 18 at 4. This fact, in itself, is sufficient to defeat Petitioner’s claim on federal
habeas review. See Dkt. 17 at 17 (citing cases affirming trial court’s “broad discretion” to
determine the scope of an investigation into alleged juror misconduct); accord Williams v.
Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 413 (2000) (O’Connor, J.) (state court decision is an unreasonable
Accordingly, the habeas petition is dismissed.
Because Petitioner has not made a
“substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right,” no certificate of appealability will be
issued. 28 U.S.C. § 2253; see Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 480-82 (2000) (Kennedy, J.).
The Court also certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that any appeal from this Order
would not be taken in good faith, and therefore in forma pauperis status is denied for the purpose
of an appeal. See Coppedge v. U.S., 369 U.S. 438, 444-45 (1962) (Warren, C.J.).
PAMELA K. CHEN
United States District Judge
Dated: January 30, 2014
Brooklyn, New York
application of clearly established federal law “if the state court identifies the correct governing
legal principle from [Supreme Court] decisions but unreasonably applies that principle to the
facts of the prisoner’s case”); Grayton v. Ercole, 691 F.3d 165, 174 (2d Cir. 2012) (“[T]he writ
may only issue where the state court’s application of the law was not only wrong, but
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?