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Jurisdiction: Texas Eastern District Court
Decision Date: 1/3/2014



                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Freeman v. Kroll Freeman v. Kroll (E. D. Tex., 2014)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        RONNIE D. FREEMAN
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        GENE KROLL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        CIVIL ACTION NO. 1: 13cv84

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS BEAUMONT DIVISION

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So ORDERED and SIGNED: January 3, 2014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        RONNIE D. FREEMAN v. GENE KROLL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        CIVIL ACTION NO. 1: 13cv84

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS BEAUMONT DIVISION

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So ORDERED and SIGNED: January 3, 2014

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ORDER OVERRULING OBJECTIONS AND ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Petitioner Ronnie D. Freeman, an inmate confined in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division, proceeding pro se, brought this petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The court referred this matter to the Honorable Zack Hawthorn, United States Magistrate Judge, at Beaumont, Texas, for consideration pursuant to applicable laws and orders of this court. The Magistrate Judge recommends the petition be dismissed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The court has received and considered the Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge filed pursuant to such order, along with the record and pleadings. Petitioner filed objections to the Report and Recommendation. This requires a de novo review of the objections in relation to the pleadings and the applicable law. See FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                After careful consideration, the court concludes petitioner's objections should be overruled. Petitioner complains that his disciplinary hearing occurred more than thirty (30) days after he was charged. Petitioner claims this is a violation of prison rules. Failure to follow institutional rules and regulations, standing alone, does not constitute a violation of petitioner's due process rights. See Murphy v. Collins, 26 F. 3d 541, 543 (5th Cir. 1994). "A prison official's failure to follow the

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Page 2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        prison's own policies, procedures or regulations does not constitute a violation of due process, if constitutional minima are nevertheless met. " Myers v. Klevenhagen, 97 F. 3d 91, 94 (5th Cir. 1996). As the Magistrate Judge correctly determined, the due process concerns were not implicated in this case. As the disciplinary conviction was supported by some evidence, this petition should be dismissed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Furthermore, petitioner is not entitled to the issuance of a certificate of appealability. An appeal from a judgment denying federal habeas corpus relief may not proceed unless a judge issues a certificate of appealability. See 28 U.S.C. § 2253; FED. R. APP. P. 22(b). The standard for granting a certificate of appealability, like that for granting a certificate of probable cause to appeal under prior law, requires the movant to make a substantial showing of the denial of a federal constitutional right. See Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473 483-84 (2000); Elizalde v. Dretke, 362 F. 3d 323, 328 (5th Cir. 2004); see also Barefoot v. Estelle, 463 U.S. 880, 893 (1982). In making that substantial showing, the movant need not establish that he should prevail on the merits. Rather, he must demonstrate that the issues are subject to debate among jurists of reason, that a court could resolve the issues in a different manner, or that the questions presented are worthy of encouragement to proceed further. See Slack, 529 U.S. at 483-84. Any doubt regarding whether to grant a certificate of appealability is resolved in favor of the movant, and the severity of the penalty may be considered in making this determination. See Miller v. Johnson, 200 F. 3d 274, 280-81 (5th Cir. ), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 849 (2000).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Here, petitioner has not shown that any of the issues raised by his claims are subject to debate among jurists of reason. The factual and legal questions advanced by the movant are not novel and have been consistently resolved adversely to his position. In addition, the questions presented are

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Page 3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        not worthy of encouragement to proceed further. Therefore, petitioner has failed to make a sufficient showing to merit the issuance of a certificate of appealability. Accordingly, a certificate of appealability shall not be issued.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Accordingly, petitioner's objections are OVERRULED. The findings of fact and conclusions of law of the Magistrate Judge are correct and the report of the Magistrate Judge is ADOPTED. A final judgment will be entered in this case in accordance with the Magistrate Judge's recommendations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ________________________        Ron Clark, United States District Judge

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