Chestnut v. Thomas
ORDER adopting 13 Report and Recommendation, denying Petitioner's habeas petition without prejudice. It is FURTHER ORDERED that a certificate of appealability is denied. Signed by Honorable R Bryan Harwell on 11/4/2013.(abuc)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA
Ray Edward Chestnut, a.k.a.
Raymond Edward Chestnut,
J. Thomas, Warden,
Civil Action No.: 1:13-cv-02249-RBH
Petitioner Ray Edward Chestnut, a federal prisoner proceeding pro se, filed this petition for
a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. In his petition, Petitioner challenges a South
Carolina conviction and sentence. The matter is now before the Court for review after the issuance
of a Report and Recommendation by United States Magistrate Judge Shiva V. Hodges, made in
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2) for the District of South
Carolina. The Magistrate Judge recommends that the Court summarily deny Petitioner’s habeas
The Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court. The recommendation
has no presumptive weight. The responsibility to make a final determination remains with this
Court. See Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270-71 (1976). The Court is charged with making a
de novo determination of those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which specific
objection is made, and the Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge or recommit the matter with instructions. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
Neither party has filed objections to the Report and Recommendation. In the absence of
objections to the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge, this Court is not required to
give any explanation for adopting the recommendation. See Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 199
(4th Cir. 1983). The Court reviews only for clear error in the absence of an objection. See Diamond
v. Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co., 416 F.3d 310 (4th Cir. 2005) (stating that “in the absence of a
timely filed objection, a district court need not conduct de novo review, but instead must ‘only
satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the
recommendation’ ”) (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 72 advisory committee’s note). After a thorough
review of the record in this case, the Court finds no clear error. Accordingly, the Report and
Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge is adopted and incorporated by reference.
Furthermore, a certificate of appealability will not issue absent “a substantial showing of the
denial of a constitutional right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). When the district court denies relief on the
merits, a prisoner satisfies this standard by demonstrating that reasonable jurists would find that the
court’s assessment of the constitutional claims is debatable or wrong. Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S.
473, 484 (2000); see Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 336-38 (2003). When the district court
denies relief on procedural grounds, the prisoner must demonstrate both that the dispositive
procedural ruling is debatable, and that the petition states a debatable claim of the denial of a
constitutional right. Slack, 529 U.S. at 484-85. In the instant matter, the Court concludes that
Petitioner has failed to make the requisite showing of “the denial of a constitutional right.”
THEREFORE IT IS ORDERED that Petitioner’s habeas petition is DENIED without
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a certificate of appealability is DENIED because the
Petitioner has failed to make “a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.” 28
U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/ R. Bryan Harwell
R. Bryan Harwell
United States District Judge
Florence, South Carolina
November 4, 2013
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