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Reyes v. Warden Madison Correctional Institution

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

March 28, 2018

WALTER E. REYES, Petitioner,



         This action is before the Court upon objections filed by Petitioner Walter R. Reyes (“Petitioner”) asserting error in the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation (“R&R”). (Doc. #30). Petitioner makes no objection to the recommendations that his motions for Summary Judgment (Doc. #23) and for the Entry of Default (Doc. #27) be denied. Accordingly, the Court will adopt the R&R as to both motions. Petitioner's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. # 23) and his Motion for the Entry of Default (Doc. # 27) are DENIED.


         Petitioner does not object to the factual background and procedural history presented in the R&R. In the absence of objection, the Court adopts the factual and procedural history in the Report as written.


         Motions made pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 are governed by the standard of review set forth in the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”). AEDPA prescribes a narrow habeas corpus remedy only where a State court adjudication has resulted in (1) “a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, ” or (2) a “decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). AEDPA further limits “clearly established Federal law” to those principles “determined by the Supreme Court of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (d)(1). For the purposes of habeas review after AEDPA, “clearly established Federal law” refers to the express holdings of the United States Supreme Court “as opposed to the dicta” of that Court's decisions at “the time of the relevant state-court decision.” Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 365 (2000).

         When evaluating a § 2254 petition, this Court notes that AEDPA and decisional law applying its restrictions have clearly stated that a district court may not “apply its own views of what the law should be” but must issue a writ only where “clearly established federal law” has been applied unreasonably, not merely erroneously or incorrectly. Bailey v. Mitchell, 271 F.3d 652, 656 (6th Cir. 2001) (emphasis added). The Supreme Court reiterates:

If this standard is difficult to meet, that is because it was meant to be. As amended by AEDPA, § 2254 (d) stops short of imposing a complete bar on federal-court relitigation of claims already rejected in state proceedings. It preserves authority to issue the writ in cases where there is no possibility fairminded jurists could disagree that the state court's decision conflicts with [the United States Supreme Court's] precedents. It goes no further. Section 2254(d) reflects the view that habeas corpus is a ‘guard against extreme malfunctions in the state criminal justice systems, ' not a substitute for ordinary error correction through appeal.

Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 102 (2011) (citations omitted). The Sixth Circuit explains:

A state court decision is ‘contrary to' clearly established Federal law ‘if the state court arrives at a conclusion opposite to that reached by [U.S. Supreme Court] on a question of law, ' or ‘if the state court confronts facts that are materially indistinguishable from a relevant [U.S.] Supreme Court precedent' and arrives at a different result. A state court decision is an ‘unreasonable application of' clearly established Federal law ‘if the state court correctly identifies the correct governing legal rule from [U.S. Supreme Court's] cases but unreasonably applies it to the facts of the particular state prisoner's case. An ‘unreasonable application' can also occur where ‘the state court either unreasonably extends a legal principle from [the U.S. Supreme Court's] precedent to a new context where it should not apply or unreasonably refuses to extend that principle to a new context where it should apply.

Ruimveld v. Birkett, 404 F.3d 1006, 1010 (6th Cir. 2005) (internal citations omitted).

         Where, as here, a party files written objections to the report and recommendation issued by the magistrate judge, this Court “shall make” a de novo “determination of those portions of the record or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1). Only those portions of a report and recommendation to which the parties have made an objection are subject to review. Absent an objection, this Court may adopt the magistrate's report without review. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 145 (1985). With regard to those portions of the Report and Recommendation under review, this Court “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636 (b)(1).

         The Magistrate Judge Act (28 U.S.C. § 636 et seq.) “does not allow parties to raise at the district court stage new arguments or issues that were not presented to the magistrate.” Murr v. United States, 200 F.3d 895, 907 n. 1 (6th Cir. 2000); see also Clark v. U.S., 764 F.3d 653 (6th Cir. 2014) and Enyart v. Coleman, 29 F.Supp.3d 1059 (N.D. Ohio 2014). Thus, this Court's review is predicated on a proper objection to the Magistrate's evaluation of the issues presented to the Magistrate. Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 72 (b)(3) (“The district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to.”) It is incumbent upon the party seeking relief to file objections “which shall specifically identify the portions of the proposed findings, recommendations, or report to which objection is made and the basis for such objections.” Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 72 (b)(3). “An ‘objection' that does nothing more than state a disagreement with a magistrate's suggested resolution or simply summarizes what has been presented before, is not an ‘objection' as that term is used in this context.” Aldrich v. Bock, 327 F.Supp.2d 743, 747 (E.D. Mich. 2004) (citing U.S. v. Walters, 638 F.2d. 947, 949-50 (6th Cir. 1981)).

         III. ...

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