Paternoster-Cozart v. Clarke
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|Date Filed||#||Document Text|
|August 1, 2014
OPINION and FINAL ORDER. 1 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus is DISMISSED and DENIED. The Court GRANTS Respondent's 24 Motion to Dismiss, and DISMISSES Petitioner's procedurally defaulted § 2254 motion in its entirety. Alternativ ely, Petitioner's habeas motion is DENIED on the merits. Having conducted a "clear error" review of the Magistrate Judge's discussion and recommend findings, this Court finds no clear error in the conclusion reached by the Magistr ate Judge, and therefore ADOPTS the recommendation that Petitioner's second, third and fourth claims fail to demonstrate a constitutional violation. Because these three claims fail to establish a constitutional violation, they are insufficient t o demonstrate "prejudice" to excuse Petitioner's procedural default, and Respondent's motion to dismiss grounds two, three, and four of the amended habeas petition is therefore GRANTED and such claims are DISMISSED. Alternatively, even if this Court assumes that it is permitted to reach the merits of such claims, grounds two, three, and four are DENIED on the merits for the same reasons stated by the Magistrate Judge. The Magistrate Judge concluded that Petitioner's firs t claim was "exhausted," in that no further relief could be obtained through the state court habeas process, but also concluded that such claim was "procedurally defaulted" because it was dismissed by the Virginia Supreme Court pu rsuant to an adequate and independent state procedural rule. Neither party has objected to this preliminary procedural analysis, and this Court ADOPTS such analysis herein. As the Magistrate Judge's detailed analysis on "cause" plainly does not evince any clear error, such analysis is ADOPTED and INCORPORATED herein. The Court therefore GRANTS Respondent's motion to dismiss, and DISMISSES Petitioner's amended § 2254 petition in its entirety. Petitioner's claims are alternatively DENIED on the merits. Finding that Petitioner fails to make the requisite legal showing supporting the issuance of a certificate of appealability, this Court declines to issue such a certificate. Petitioner is ADVISED that because a certificate of appealability is denied by this Court, he may seek a certificate from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth District. The Clerk is DIRECTED to provide a copy of this Opinion and Final Order to Respondent, and to mail a copy to the Petitioner. Signed by District Judge Mark S. Davis on 7/31/2014. Copies mailed 8/1/2014.(jmey, )
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