United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia, Martinsburg
ORDER ADOPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
M. GROH, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is a Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”) entered by United States Magistrate
Judge Robert W. Trumble on April 27, 2017. ECF No. 26.
Pursuant to Rule 2 of the Local Rules of Prisoner Litigation
Procedure, this action was referred to Magistrate Judge
Trumble for submission of an R&R. Therein, Magistrate
Judge Trumble recommends that this Court grant the
Respondent's Motion for Summary Judgement, deny the
Petitioner's Petition and dismiss the same with
prejudice. After receiving an extension of time, the
Petitioner filed objections to the R&R on June 19, 2017.
ECF No. 31. Accordingly, this matter is now ripe for
September 20, 2016, Michael Kandis (“Petitioner”)
filed a petition for habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254. ECF No. 1. In his petition, the Petitioner
advances three grounds for which he is being held in
violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States.
Specifically, the Petitioner avers that he was denied his
right to effective counsel, his right to a direct appeal and
due process. See ECF No. 1. On October 26, 2016, the
Respondent filed a motion for summary judgment. ECF No. 11.
Thereafter, Magistrate Judge Trumble entered a Roseboro
notice [ECF No. 13], and the Petitioner filed a response on
January 13, 2016. ECF No. 18.
April 27, 2017, Magistrate Judge Trumble entered his R&R.
ECF No. 26. Thereafter, the Petitioner filed a motion for an
extension of time to object [ECF No. 28], which was granted
[ECF No. 29], objections [ECF No. 31], a motion for
certificate of appealability [ECF No. 32], a response [ECF
No. 34] to the Respondent's motion to strike [ECF No. 33]
and a motion to supplement his objections [ECF No. 35].
reviewing the record, the Court finds that the facts as
explained in the R&R accurately and succinctly describe
the circumstances underlying the Petitioner's claims. For
ease of review, the Court incorporates those facts herein;
however, it will briefly outline the most relevant facts of
2013, the Petitioner pled guilty to three counts of robbery
in the second degree, which is a felony. As part of the
Petitioner's plea agreement, he waived “his right
to challenge the validity of [the] plea agreement by direct
appeal in state or federal court, to appeal any pre-trial or
post conviction rulings of the circuit court, to try and
modify the plea agreement any way, or to otherwise challenge
the validity of the plea agreement in any legal proceeding of
any nature in any court.” ECF No. 11-2 at paragraph 9.
Petitioner's arguments are based upon his lawyer's
alleged ineffectiveness for supposedly failing to secure an
earlier plea offer, which in hindsight, would have resulted
in a shorter sentence. However, the earlier plea deal
guaranteed more time to be served than the fewest years
possible under the second plea offer. Further, counsel for
the Petitioner wrote him a letter advising him to accept the
earlier plea offer.
upholding the circuit court's denial of the
Petitioner's state habeas corpus petition, the West
Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals found, as the record
supports, that “the circuit court did not clearly err
in finding that there was no evidence to counter its
determination at the plea hearing that petitioner entered his
guilty pleas ‘knowingly, intelligently, and of his own
free will.'” Kandis v. Ballard, No.
15-0431, 2016 WL 1549453, at *3 ( W.Va. Apr. 15, 2016).
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(c), this Court is required to
make a de novo review of those portions of the
magistrate judge's findings to which objection is made.
However, the Court is not required to review, under a de
novo or any other standard, the factual or legal
conclusions of the magistrate judge as to those portions of
the findings or recommendation to which no objections are
addressed. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985).
Further, failure to file timely objections constitutes a
waiver of de novo review and the Petitioner's
right to appeal this Court's Order. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1); Snyder v. Ridenour, 889 F.2d 1363, 1366
(4th Cir.1989); United States v. Schronce, 727 F.2d
91, 94 (4th Cir.1984). Pursuant to this Court's local
rules, “written objections shall identify each portion
of the Magistrate's recommended disposition which is
being challenged and shall specify the basis for such
objection.” LR PL P 12.2.
only a general objection is made to a portion of a magistrate
judge's report-recommendation, the Court subjects that
portion of the report-recommendation to only a clear error
review.” Williams v. New York State Div. of
Parole, No. 9:10-CV-1533 (GTS/DEP), 2012 WL 2873569, at
*2 (N.D.N.Y. July 12, 2012). “Similarly, when an
objection merely reiterates the same arguments made by the
objecting party in its original papers submitted to the
magistrate judge, the Court subjects that portion of the
report-recommendation challenged by those arguments to only a
clear error review.” Taylor v. Astrue, 32
F.Supp.3d 253, 260-61 (N.D.N.Y. 2012). Courts have also held
that when a party's objection lacks adequate specificity,
the party waives that objection. See Mario v. P & C
Food Markets, Inc., 313 F.3d 758, 766 (2d Cir. 2002)
(finding that even though a party filed objections to the
magistrate judge's R&R, they were not specific enough
to preserve the claim for review). Bare statements
“devoid of any reference to specific findings or
recommendations . . . and unsupported by legal authority,
[are] not sufficient.” Mario 313 F.3d at 766.
Pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and this
Court's Local Rules, “referring the court to
previously filed papers or arguments does not constitute an
adequate objection.” Id.; See also
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); LR PL P 12. Finally, the Fourth Circuit
has long held, “[a]bsent objection, we do not believe
that any explanation need be given for adopting [an
R&R].” Camby v. Davis, 718 F.2d 198, 200
(4th Cir. 1983) (finding that without an objection, no
explanation whatsoever is required of the district court when
adopting an R&R).
review of all the filings in this matter, the Court finds
that the Petitioner has presented no new material facts or
arguments in his objections to the magistrate judge's
R&R. Rather, the objections reiterate the same arguments
the Petitioner made in his original filings, which were
considered by the magistrate judge when he issued the
R&R. Specifically, these arguments can be found in his
§ 2254 petition, response to the Respondent's motion
for summary judgment, reply to Respondent's motion to
strike and motion to hold an evidentiary hearing and appoint
counsel. Therefore, the Court finds that de novo