United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division
John R. Collins, Petitioner,
Warden Tim Shoop, Respondent.
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
ZOUHARY U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
John Collins, a state prisoner, filed a Petition for Writ of
Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (Doc. 1). The
Warden filed a Motion to Dismiss the Petition as time barred,
procedurally defaulted, and/or for presenting non-cognizable
claims (Doc. 7). Respondent's Motion to Dismiss indicates
that Tim Shoop is now Warden at Chillicothe Correctional
Institution (Doc. 7 at 1). Accordingly, the case caption is
updated to read “John R. Collins v. Warden Tim
Shoop.” Collins responded to the Motion (Doc. 9).
The case was referred to Magistrate Judge Kathleen Burke for
a Report and Recommendation (R&R). The R&R (Doc. 10)
recommends this Court dismiss the Petition as untimely.
Collins timely objected to the R&R (Doc. 11). This Court
has reviewed de novo those portions of the R&R
challenged in the Objection. See 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1); Hill v. Duriron Co., 656 F.2d 1208 (6th
Collins does not meaningfully object to the procedural
history and facts set forth in the R&R (Doc. 10 at 2-9),
this Court incorporates them by reference and briefly sets
forth the timeline of his state appeals.
2014, a plea hearing was held in Collins' state court
criminal proceedings. At the conclusion of the hearing, the
trial court accepted Collins' plea, ordered a presentence
report, and referred him to Court Diagnostics for a
mitigation examination (Doc. 7-1 at 413). In September 2014,
Collins was sentenced to 170 months of imprisonment --
seventeen months for each of ten counts of pandering sexually
oriented matter involving a minor, to be served consecutively
(id. at 37-38).
state appellate court affirmed the judgments of the trial
court in May 2015 (id. at 148- 69), and the Ohio
Supreme Court denied Collins' motion for a delayed appeal
and dismissed the matter in September 2015 (id. at
200). Collins filed an Ohio Appellate Rule 26(B) application
to reopen his appeal, which was also denied in September 2015
(id. at 212-13). In April 2017, over a year and a
half later, Collins filed a “motion for appropriate
relief” with the state appellate court. The motion was
denied (id. at 219-21). Collins did not appeal the
decision to the Ohio Supreme Court.
October 2015 and January 2016, Collins filed various motions
for state post-conviction relief, but the motions were denied
in February 2016 (Doc. 10 at 7-8). Collins filed a motion for
“unaltered discovery documents” in April 2016,
which was denied in May 2016 (Doc. 7-1 at 365-75). In June
2017, Collins filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in
the Ohio Supreme Court (id. at 376-84). The petition
was dismissed in September 2017 (id. at 464).
October 31, 2017, Collins filed this Petition (Doc. 1).
district court shall not grant a habeas corpus petition with
respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in
the state courts unless the adjudication resulted in a
decision that (1) was contrary to, or involved an
unreasonable application of, clearly established federal law
as determined by the Supreme Court; or (2) was based on an
unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the
evidence presented to the state courts. 28 U.S.C. §
2254(d). To determine whether a state court decision is
contrary to or an unreasonable application of clearly
established Supreme Court precedent, courts look only to the
holdings of Supreme Court decisions as of the time of the
relevant state court decision. Lockyer v. Andrade,
538 U.S. 63, 71-72 (2003). A state court's factual
findings are presumed correct unless rebutted by clear and
convincing evidence. See 28 U.S.C. §
2254(e)(1); Moore v. Mitchell, 708 F.3d 760, 774-75
(6th Cir. 2013).
initial matter, Collins makes several conclusory criticisms
of, and general objections to, the R&R as a whole.
However, he does not offer any specific factual or legal
basis for many of these statements. The purpose of written
objections is “to provide the district court with the
opportunity to consider the specific contentions of the
parties” and to “focus attention on those
issues-factual and legal-that are at the heart of the
parties' dispute.” Kelly v. Withrow, 25
F.3d 363, 365 (6th Cir. 1994) (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted). “A general objection to the entirety
of the magistrate's report has the same effects as would
a failure to object. The district court's attention is
not focused on any specific issues for review, thereby making
the initial reference to the magistrate useless.”
Howard v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs.,
932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991). “[V]ague, general,
or conclusory objections” do not trigger this
Court's de novo review. See Cole v.
Yukins, 7 Fed.Appx. 354, 356 (6th Cir. 2001). This Court
will therefore address only Collins' specific objections.
R&R recommends dismissing the Petition as time barred
under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)(A). Collins does not raise
any specific objections to the conclusion that the Petition
is time barred absent tolling, or that statutory tolling is
insufficient to save the Petition (see Doc. 10 at
12-15). Instead, he contends that traditional equitable
tolling and actual innocence tolling apply (Doc. 11 at 2-7,
10-12). In the alternative, he argues the Antiterrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) “as written
and as applied in this case unconstitutionally restricts this
Court's ability to remedy federal Constitutional
violations” (id. at 10, 12-13). Collins
further argues that he never entered a guilty plea, and that
the state court and R&R findings that a guilty plea was
entered, and entered knowingly ...