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Humphrey v. Director, TDCJ-CID

United States District Court, Fifth Circuit

January 13, 2014

BRISON KEITH HUMPHREY
v.
DIRECTOR, TDCJ-CID

ORDER OVERRULING PETITIONER'S OBJECTIONS AND ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

RON CLARK, District Judge.

Petitioner Brison Keith Humphrey, a prisoner confined in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division, brought this petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Petitioner challenged the constitutionality of a disciplinary proceeding.

The court ordered that this matter be referred to the Honorable Zack Hawthorn, United States Magistrate Judge, for consideration pursuant to applicable laws and orders of this court. The Magistrate Judge has submitted a Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge. The Magistrate Judge recommends denying the petition.

The court has received and considered the Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge, along with the record and the pleadings. Petitioner filed objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation.

The court has 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 of all the pleadings and the relevant case law, the court concludes that petitioner's objections lack merit because the sanctions imposed in this case do not impose upon a liberty interest. Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 483-84 (1995).

In this case, the 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 petitioner 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 petitioner 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; Avila v. Quarterman, 560 F.3d 299, 304 (5th Cir. 2009). If the petition was denied on procedural grounds, the petitioner must show that jurists of reason would find it debatable: (1) whether the petition raises a valid claim of the denial of a constitutional right, and (2) whether the district court was correct in its procedural ruling. Slack, 529 U.S. at 484; Elizalde, 362 F.3d at 328. Any doubt regarding whether to grant a certificate of appealability is resolved in favor of the petitioner, 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. 2000).

Here, the petitioner has not shown that any of the issues raised by his claims are subject to debate among jurists of reason, or that a procedural ruling was incorrect. In addition, the questions presented are not worthy of encouragement to proceed further. Therefore, the petitioner has failed to make a sufficient showing to merit the issuance of a certificate of appealability.

ORDER

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 ...


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