United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
SOLOMON OLIVER, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the court is Pro Se Petitioner Douglas Roberts'
(“Petitioner” or “Roberts”) Petition
for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254
(“Petition”). (ECF No. 1.) For the reasons that
follow, the Petition is hereby denied.
states in the Petition that he pleaded guilty and was
sentenced in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas for
burglary, theft, grand theft, and escape in August 2014. He
filed a direct appeal, claiming that the trial court did not
satisfy the requirements of Ohio Revised Code §
2929.14(C)(4) when imposing consecutive sentences and denied
him the right of allocution. State v. Jenkins
(a.k.a. Douglas Roberts), No. 101899, 2015 WL 4133152, at *1
(Ohio Ct. App. July 9, 2015).
Eighth District Court of Appeals sustained Roberts'
appeal regarding the trial court's compliance with §
2929.14(C)(4), vacated Roberts' sentence, and remanded
the case to the trial court for resentencing. Id. at
*2. With respect to Roberts' claim that he was denied the
right to allocution, the court of appeals denied that
assignment of error, but noted that in any event, Roberts
would have an opportunity to address the trial court when he
was resentenced. Id. at *3.
remand, the trial court imposed consecutive sentences.
Roberts appealed, arguing among other assignments of error,
that the record did not support the trial court's Ohio
Revised Code § 2929.14(C)(4) finding that consecutive
service of his multiple sentences was proportionate to the
seriousness of his conduct and danger posed to the public.
The Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals found that, on
remand, the trial court complied with the requirements of
Ohio Revised Code § 2929.14(C)(4) and that the record
supported the sentence imposed, but remanded the case again
for the limited purpose of issuing a nun pro tunc entry to
correct a typographical error in the final sentencing entry.
State v. Roberts, 101 N.E.3d 1067, 1072-75 (Ohio Ct.
App. 2017). With respect to Roberts' remaining
assignments of error, the appellate court denied them as
barred by res judicata. Id. at 1070-71. The Ohio
Supreme Court declined Roberts' motion for a delayed
appeal. State v. Roberts, 97 N.E.3d 499 (Table)
Standard of Review
district courts are required to undertake a preliminary
review of habeas corpus petitions to determine whether it
“plainly appears from the petition and any attached
exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to
relief[.]” Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Habeas Corpus
under Section 2254; see also 28 U.S.C. § 2243. If the
district court determines that a petitioner is plainly not
entitled to relief, the petition must be summarily dismissed.
Id.; see also Allen v. Perini, 424 F.2d
134, 141 (6th Cir. 1970) (Under § 2243, the district
court “has a duty to screen out a habeas corpus
petition which should be dismissed for lack of merit on its
face.”). Like all pro se pleadings, pro se habeas
petitions are entitled to liberal construction. Franklin
v. Rose, 756 F.2d 82, 85 (6th Cir. 1985) (citation
raises two grounds for relief. In the first, Roberts claims
that he was denied his right to allocution. (ECF No. 1 at 5.)
For the second, he claims that the trial court did not take
into account the “necessary factors” in Ohio
Revised Code § 2929.14(C)(4) when imposing consecutive
sentences. (Id. at 7.)
evident from the face of the petition that Roberts is not
entitled to habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. As an
initial matter, Rule 2(c) of the Rules Governing Section 2254
Cases requires that the petition must “specify all of
the ground for relief available to the petitioner” and
set forth “supporting each of the grounds thus
specified.” Flood v. Phillips, 90 Fed.Appx.
108, 113 (6th Cir. 2004) (citation omitted). This pleading
rule is “more demanding” than the pleading
requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). Mayle v. Feliz,
545 U.S. 644, 655-56 (2005) (“A prime purpose of Rule
2(c)'s demand that habeas petitioners plead with
particularity is to assist the district court in determining
whether the State should be ordered to ‘show cause why
the writ should not be granted.'”). Notice pleading
is insufficient in the habeas context and the petitioner must
state facts that point to the real possibility of a
constitutional error. Blackledge v. Allison, 431
U.S. 63, 76 (1977) (citing Advisory Committee Note to Rule 4,
Rules Governing Habeas Corpus Cases).
does not identify the constitutional basis for either ground
for relief, or offer any facts in support thereof. Nor does
Petitioner state the relief requested, and the Petition is
unsigned. Roberts fails to satisfy the pleading requirements
of Rule 2(c), and the Petition is subject to dismissal for
this reason, alone. See Id. at 76.
for the purpose of this analysis that the habeas pleading
standard is satisfied, the Petition is denied. In order for a
claim to be cognizable for federal habeas review, Roberts
must be in custody in violation of the federal constitution
or federal laws, not state law. Swarthout v. Cooke,562 U.S. 216, 218 (2011) (“‘[F]ederal habeas
corpus relief does not lie for errors of ...