Bellows v. Director TDCJ
MEMORANDUM ORDER overruling petitioner's objections and adopting the magistrate judge's 6 Report and Recommendation. Signed by Judge Thad Heartfield on 7/8/2015. (bjc, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
CHRISTOPHER PAUL BELLOWS
CIVIL ACTION NO. 9:13cv231
MEMORANDUM ORDER OVERRULING PETITIONER’S OBJECTIONS AND
ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Petitioner Christopher Paul Bellows, an inmate confined at the Polunsky Unit of the Texas
Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division, proceeding pro se, brought this
petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
The court referred this matter to the Honorable Zack Hawthorn, United States Magistrate
Judge, at Beaumont, Texas, for consideration pursuant to applicable laws and orders of this court.
The Magistrate Judge recommends the petition be dismissed.
The court has received and considered the Report and Recommendation of United States
Magistrate Judge filed pursuant to such order, along with the record, pleadings and all available
evidence. Petitioner filed objections to the magistrate judge’s Report and Recommendation.
The court conducted a de novo review of the objections in relation to the pleadings and the
applicable law. See FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b). After careful consideration, the court concludes
petitioner’s claims fail to state a claim warranting habeas relief for the reasons stated by the
magistrate judge. Petitioner has no liberty interest in his classification designator for staff assault.
Accordingly, petitioner is not entitled to due process. Further, because the classification designator
does not affect the fact or duration of his confinement, petitioner’s claim does not state a claim upon
which habeas relief may be granted. Finally, petitioner’s claims are barred by the applicable oneyear statute of limitations.
Furthermore, petitioner is not entitled to the issuance of a certificate of appealability. An
appeal from a judgment denying federal habeas corpus relief may not proceed unless a judge issues
a certificate of appealability. See 28 U.S.C. § 2253; FED. R. APP. P. 22(b). The standard for granting
a certificate of appealability, like that for granting a certificate of probable cause to appeal under
prior law, requires the movant to make a substantial showing of the denial of a federal constitutional
right. See Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 483-84 (2000); Elizalde v. Dretke, 362 F.3d 323, 328
(5th Cir. 2004); see also Barefoot v. Estelle, 463 U.S. 880, 893 (1982). In making that substantial
showing, the movant need not establish that he should prevail on the merits. Rather, he must
demonstrate that the issues are subject to debate among jurists of reason, that a court could resolve
the issues in a different manner, or that the questions presented are worthy of encouragement to
proceed further. See Slack, 529 U.S. at 483-84. Any doubt regarding whether to grant a certificate
of appealability is resolved in favor of the movant, and the severity of the penalty may be considered
in making this determination. See Miller v. Johnson, 200 F.3d 274, 280-81 (5th Cir.), cert. denied,
531 U.S. 849 (2000).
Here, petitioner has not shown that any of the issues raised by his claims are subject to debate
among jurists of reason. The factual and legal questions advanced by petitioner are not novel and
have been consistently resolved adversely to his position. In addition, the questions presented are
not worthy of encouragement to proceed further. Therefore, petitioner has failed to make a sufficient
showing to merit the issuance of a certificate of appealability. Accordingly, a certificate of
appealability shall not be issued.
Accordingly, petitioner’s objections are OVERRULED.
The findings of fact and
conclusions of law of the magistrate judge are correct and the report of the magistrate judge is
ADOPTED. A final judgment will be entered in this case in accordance with the magistrate judge’s
SIGNED this the 8 day of July, 2015.
United States District Judge
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