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Thomas v. Williams

United States District Court, M.D. Georgia, Macon Division

April 15, 2015

LASTARZA R. THOMAS, Petitioner,
v.
Warden DOUG WILLIAMS, Respondent.

ORDER

MARC T. TREADWELL, District Judge.

Before the Court is the Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Charles H. Weigle. (Doc. 13). The Magistrate Judge recommends granting the Respondent's motion to dismiss the Petitioner's application for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 as untimely. (Docs. 1; 8). The Magistrate Judge further recommends that a certificate of appealability be denied. The Petitioner has objected to the Recommendation. (Doc. 14). The Court has reviewed the objection and has made a de novo determination of the portions of the Recommendation to which the Petitioner objects. The Petitioner contends, as he did in response to the motion to dismiss, that his petition was timely filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(C) because it is based on a new rule of constitutional law announced in Hinton v. Alabama, 134 S.Ct. 1081 (2014). However, the Court agrees the petition is not timely for the reasons stated in the Recommendation.[1]

The Court has reviewed the Recommendation and the Petitioner's objection, and the Court accepts and adopts the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the Magistrate Judge. The Recommendation is ADOPTED and made the order of this Court. Accordingly, the Defendant's motion to dismiss (Doc. 8) is GRANTED, and the petition (Doc. 1) is DISMISSED as untimely.

CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

A prisoner seeking to appeal a district court's final order denying his petition for writ of habeas corpus has no absolute entitlement to appeal but must obtain a certificate of appealability ("COA"). 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1)(A). As amended effective December 1, 2009, Rule 11(a) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts provides that "[t]he district court must issue or deny a [COA] when it enters a final order adverse to the applicant, " and if a COA is issued "the court must state the specific issue or issues that satisfy the showing required by 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2)."

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2), a COA may issue "only if the applicant has made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right." This requires a demonstration that "jurists of reason could disagree with the district court's resolution of [a petitioner's] constitutional claims or that jurists could conclude the issues presented are adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed further." Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 327 (2003). When the Court denies a habeas petition on procedural grounds without reaching the underlying constitutional claims, as in this case, the petitioner must show that "jurists of reason would find it debatable whether the district court was correct in its procedural ruling"; and (2) "jurists of reason would find it debatable whether the petition states a valid claim of the denial of a constitutional right." Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). The Petitioner has not made these showings. Therefore, Petitioner is DENIED a COA. Additionally, because there are no non-frivolous issues to raise on appeal, an appeal would not be taken in good faith. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3). Accordingly, any motion to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal is DENIED.

SO ORDERED.


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