United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER [RESOLVING ECF NOS.
Y. PEARSON, JUDGE
before the Court are Petitioner's Application for a
Certificate of Appealability (ECF No. 33) and Motion
to Appeal in forma pauperis (ECF No. 34).
For the following reasons, the Court denies the Application
for a Certificate of Appealability, and denies the Motion to
Appeal in forma pauperis without prejudice to
refiling in the pending Sixth Circuit case.
Application for a Certificate of Appealability (ECF No.
se Petitioner filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas
Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. ECF No. 1.
Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss. ECF No. 6. The
case was referred to Magistrate Judge James R. Knepp, II, who
issued a Report recommending that the Court grant
Respondent's Motion to Dismiss, as the Petition was
time-barred. ECF No. 20. The Court adopted the
Report and overruled Petitioner's objections. ECF No.
24. At that time, the Court certified that an appeal
from this decision could not be taken in good faith, and
there was no basis upon which to issue a certificate of
appealability. Id. at PageID #: 426.
appealed the Court's decision. ECF No. 26. The
Sixth Circuit denied his application for a certificate of
appealability. ECF No. 28.
then filed a Motion for Relief from Judgment Pursuant to
Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). ECF No. 29. The
Court denied the Motion, finding that Petitioner had not
demonstrated a basis for relief under Rule 60(b).
Petitioner now appeals the Court's decision to deny his
Rule 60(b) Motion, arguing that he was denied due
process. ECF No. 33.
Supreme Court held in Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537
U.S. 322 (2003):
[A] state prisoner seeking a writ of habeas corpus has no
absolute entitlement to appeal a district court's denial
of his petition. 28 U.S.C. § 2253. Before an appeal may
be entertained, a prisoner who was denied habeas relief in
the district court must first seek and obtain a [certificate
of appealability]. . . . [U]ntil a [certificate of
appealability] has been issued federal courts of appeals lack
jurisdiction to rule on the merits of appeals from habeas
Id. at 335-36. A certificate of appealability is
also a prerequisite for a habeas petitioner's appeal of
the denial of a Rule 60(b) motion. United States
v. Hardin, 481 F.3d 924, 926 (6th Cir. 2007).
certificate of appealability shall issue “if the
applicant has made a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). If
the district court denied the habeas petition on the merits,
then the applicant must show that “reasonable jurists
could debate whether” it “should have been
resolved in a different manner or that the issues presented
were adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed
further.” Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484
(2000) (internal quotation marks omitted). If the district
court denied the petition on procedural grounds without
reaching the petitioner's underlying constitutional
claim, a certificate of appealability should issue when the
applicant shows that jurists of reason would find debatable
(1) whether the petition states a valid claim of the denial
of a constitutional right and (2) whether the district court
was correct in its procedural ruling. Id.
case, the Court denied Petitioner's claims on both
substantive and procedural grounds. The Court determined that
Petitioner was time-barred from bringing a claim under Rule
60(b)(1), 60(b)(2), and 60(b)(3), and that he had not
established grounds for relief under Rule 60(b)(4),
60(b)(5), or 60(b)(6). ECF No. 31.
application for a certificate of appealability largely
reiterates arguments made in his previous filings, and he has
not “made a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right” or demonstrated that reasonable
jurists could debate whether his claim should have been
resolved differently. There is no debate that his Rule
60(b)(4), (5), and (6) claims were properly denied. There is
no evidence that the Court's judgment was void,
warranting relief under Rule 60(b)(4), that the judgment has
been satisfied, released or discharged to justify relief
under Rule 60(b)(5), or some other basis for relief under
Rule 60(b)(6). Nor has Petitioner demonstrated
reasonable debate over the resolution of his Rule 60(b)(1),
(2), or (3) claims. Even if Petitioner could show a valid
claim of the denial of a constitutional right, there is no
dispute that Petitioner's claims for relief under
Rules 60(b)(1), (2), or (3) were
these reasons, the Court denies Petitioner' application
for a certificate of appealability.
Motion to Appeal in forma ...