Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Fears v. Jenkins

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio

March 29, 2018

ANGELO FEARS, Petitioner,
v.
CHARLOTTE JENKINS, Warden, Respondent.

          Michael R. Merz, Magistrate Judge.

          ORDER

          Hon. Michael R. Barrett United States District Judge.

         This case is before the Court on the Magistrate Judge's Order (Doc. 6) transferring this case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit as a second-or-successive habeas application.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Petitioner was convicted in 1997 for aggravated murder, and the death sentence was imposed by the Court of Common Pleas of Hamilton County, Ohio. (Doc. 1; PageID# 6). As the Petition (Doc. 1) acknowledges, Fears previously attacked this judgment in a habeas corpus petition filed in this Court under Case No. 1:01-cv-183. The foregoing Petition was dismissed with prejudice on July 15, 2008. Fears v. Bagley, 462 Fed.Appx. 565, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 3295 (6th Cir. Feb. 16, 2012), cert denied, 133 S.Ct. 426 (2012). The mandate issued in that case on October 11, 2012, returning jurisdiction to this Court. Thus, the state court judgment remains final and unmodified.

         On January 11, 2017, Fears filed the Petition that is currently before the Court. The Petition asserts grounds based on Hurst v. Florida, 136 S.Ct. 616 (2016) (Doc. 1). The magistrate judge concluded that Fears' petition was second or successive, and issued an order transferring the case to the Sixth Circuit. (Doc. 6) The Parties filed objections and objection responses (Doc. 9; Doc. 19) to the magistrate judge's transfer order, and the undersigned recommitted the matter to the magistrate judge for further analysis. (Doc. 25) The magistrate judge filed a supplemental memorandum opinion (Doc. 27) on March 30, 2017. The Parties then submitted his supplemental objections and objection responses (Doc. 29; Doc. 30) to the supplemental memorandum opinion.

         In each opinion, the magistrate judge recommended that this case be transferred to the Sixth Circuit as a second-or-successive habeas petition.

         II. ANALYSIS

         First, Fears argues that the magistrate judge lacked authority to transfer his Petition to the Sixth Circuit, reasoning that a transfer order is “dispositive.” Second, Fears argues that the Petition filed on January 11, 2017 is not second-or-successive, and thus not subject to the transfer requirement. The Court will address each objection in turn.

         A. Transfer Authority of the Magistrate Judge

         The question of whether a transfer order is dispositive has been the subject of many recent objections to opinions of magistrate judges in the Southern District of Ohio, in which habeas petitioners argue that magistrate judges lack the authority to transfer second or successive petitions to the Sixth Circuit. However, the question need not be resolved in this case. The Court agrees with the magistrate judge (Doc. 27; PageID# 182) that, regardless of whether the transfer order is dispositive, Petitioner's objections involve questions of law that are subject to de novo review. See also Tibbetts v. Warden, 1:14-cv-602, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83416, at *4 (S.D. Ohio May 30, 2017) (Dlott, J.); Campbell v. Jenkins, No. 2:15-cv-1702, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130803, at *9 (S.D. Ohio Aug. 16, 2017) (Rice, J.).

         Accordingly, the Court will undertake a de novo review of the remaining issues.

         B. The Transfer Requirement for Second or Successive Petitions

         Federal law generally gives habeas petitioners one chance to pursue their claims in federal court. In re Stansell, 828 F.3d 412, 413-414 (6th Cir. 2016). For petitions filed after the first one - called "second or successive" petitions, per the language of the statute - applicants must overcome strict limits before federal courts will permit them to seek habeas relief. Id. (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A)). “Indeed, district courts lack jurisdiction to deal with such cases without circuit court permission.” Tibbetts v. Warden, Chillicothe Corr. Inst., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51968, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.