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Junior v. Warden

United States District Court, S.D. New York

April 28, 2015

WARDEN, Respondent.


NELSON S. ROMN, District Judge.

Herbert Junior ("Petitioner"), currently an inmate at the Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Comstock, New York, proceedingpro se, seeks a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Now pending before the Court is a Report and Recommendation ("R & R") issued by Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b), recommending that the petition be denied. Petitioner has filed no objections to the R & R. For the following reasons, the Comt adopts the R & R, and the petition is DENIED.


Petitioner entered a plea of guilty to one count of murder in the second degree and one count of criminal possession ofa weapon in the third degree in New York County Cou1t, Sullivan County, on July 27, 2010. On September 21, 2010, he was sentenced to an indeterminate tenn of incarceration of 23 years to life, as a second felony offender. The Court presumes familiarity with the factual and procedural background ofthis case, including the underlying criminal proceedings and Petitioner's appellate challenges to his conviction. Further details can be found in the R & R, which this Court adopts.

Petitioner timely filed the instant Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus on or about December 23, 2013. He seeks habeas relief on the ground that his confession was not voluntarily given.


A. Habeas Petition Reviewing a State Court Decision

"Habeas review is an extraordinary remedy." Bousley v. United States, 523 U.S. 614, 621 (1998). When a claim has been adjudicated on the merits in a state court proceeding, a prisoner seeking habeas relief must establish that the state court's decision "was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States" or "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)(1), (d)(2); Cousin v. Bennett, 511 F.3d 334, 337 (2d Cir. 2008). A state court's findings of fact are presumed correct unless the petitioner rebuts the presumption with clear and convincing evidence. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1); see also Nelson v. Walker, 121 F.3d 828, 833 (2d Cir. 1997).

B. Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation

A magistrate judge may "hear a pretrial matter [that is] dispositive of a claim or defense" if so designated by a district court. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(1); accord 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). In such a case, the magistrate judge "must enter a recommended disposition, including, if appropriate, proposed findings of fact." Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(1); accord 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Where a magistrate judge issues a report and recommendation,

[w]ithin fourteen days after being served with a copy, any party may serve and file written objections to such proposed findings or recommendations as provided by rules of court. A judge of the court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made. A judge of the 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); accord Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2), (3). However, "[t]o accept the report and recommendation of a magistrate, to which no timely objection has been made, a district court need only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record.'" Wilds v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., 262 F.Supp.2d 163, 169 (S.D.N.Y. 2003) (emphasis added) (quoting Nelson v. Smith, 618 F.Supp. 1186, 1189 (S.D.N.Y. 1985); accord Feehan v. Feehan, No. 09 Civ. 7016 (DAB), 2011 WL 497776, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 10, 2011); see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 advisory committee note (1983 Addition, Subdivision (b)) ("When no timely objection is filed, the court need only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record in order to accept the recommendation.").


Here, the R & R was issued on March 5, 2015, and the deadline for filing objections was March 23. Since Petitioner failed to file any objections, the Court has reviewed Magistrate Judge Davison's R & R for clear error and found none. It is clear from the record that Petitioner's confession was found to be voluntary and admissible by the state courts and that Petitioner waived his right to appeal when he entered into the plea agreement. This waiver of appeal provides an independent and adequate state procedural bar to habeas relief.


For these reasons, the Court adopts Magistrate Judge Davison's R & R in its entirety. The petition for a writ of habeas corpus is therefore denied. The Clerk of Court is directed to enter judgment accordingly and close this case.

As Petitioner has not made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right, a certificate of appealability will not issue. See 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2); Love v. 1\lfcCray, 413 F.3d 192, 195 (2d Cir. 2005); Lozada v. United States, 107 F.3d 1011, 1017 (2d Cir. 1997), abrogated on other grounds by United States v. Perez, 129 F.3d 225, 259-60 (2d Cir. 1997). The Court certifies pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) that any appeal from this order would not be taken in good faith, and therefore in form a pauperis status is denied for the purposes of an appeal. See Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 444-45 (1962).

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