United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Central Division
Leonard T. Strand, Chief Judge
matter is before me on a Report and Recommendation (R&R)
(Doc. No. 24), filed by the Honorable C.J. Williams, United
States Chief Magistrate Judge, on June 22, 2016. The R&R
addresses an application for writ of habeas corpus under 28
U.S.C. § 2254 (Doc. No. 4), filed by McKinley Dudley,
Jr. (petitioner) on April 28, 2015. Judge Williams recommends
that I deny petitioner's application and decline to grant
a certificate of appealability. Id. Petitioner filed
timely, but unspecific, objections (Doc. No. 25) to the
R&R on July 6, 2016.
STANDARDS FOR REVIEW OF A REPORT AND
standard of review to be applied by the court to a report and
recommendation of a magistrate judge is established by
Within fourteen days after being served with a copy, any
party may serve and file written objections to such proposed
findings and 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. The
judge may also receive further evidence or recommit the
matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); see also Fed. R. Civ.
P. 72(b)(2)-(3) (providing procedure to file written
objections and making clear that, where a proper objection is
made, the district judge must determine de novo a magistrate
judge's recommendation on a dispositive motion). Thus,
when a party objects to any portion of an R&R, the
district judge must undertake a de novo review of the issue.
portions of a R&R to which no objections have been made
must be reviewed under at least a “clearly
erroneous” standard. See, e.g., Grinder v.
Gammon, 73 F.3d 793, 795 (8th Cir. 1996) (noting that,
when no objections are filed, “[the district judge]
would only have to review the findings of the magistrate
judge for clear error”). “A finding is
‘clearly erroneous' when although there is evidence
to support it, the reviewing court on the entire evidence is
left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has
been committed.” Anderson v. City of Bessemer
City, 470 U.S. 564, 573-74 (1985) (quoting United
States v. U.S. Gypsum Co., 333 U.S. 364, 395 (1948)).
However, a district judge may elect to review a R&R under
a more-exacting standard even if no objections are filed:
Any party that desires plenary consideration by the Article
III judge of any issue need only ask. Moreover, while the
statute does not require the judge to review an issue de novo
if no objections are filed, it does not preclude further
review by the district judge, sua sponte or at the request of
a party, under a de novo or any other standard.
Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985).
objects to the conclusion and recommendation that [his
application] be dismissed with prejudice [and] further
objects to the recommendation that the Court deny Petitioner
a Certificate of Appealability.” However, he does not
respond to the analysis in the R&R. Indeed,
petitioner's objections do not identify any particular
finding of fact or conclusion of law and attempt to explain
why it is incorrect. Because petitioner has not objected to
any specific portion of the R&R, it is appropriate for me
to review it under a clearly erroneous standard of review.
After conducting that review, I am not “‘left
with [a] definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been
committed, '” and find no reason to reject or
modify the R&R. Anderson, 470 U.S. at 573-74.
the record, which includes but is not limited to the
application for writ of habeas corpus (Doc. No. 4),
respondent's answer (Doc. No. 6), the relevant state
court documents (Doc. No. 7), petitioner's briefs (Doc.
Nos. 19, 20), respondent's brief (Doc. No. 18), the
R&R (Doc. No. 24) and the objections (Doc. No. 25), I
find that there is no basis to grant relief under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(d). See generally Harrington v. Richter,
562 U.S. 86, 101-03 (2011). The R&R contains a very
thorough and cogent analysis of the facts and applicable law.
Judge Williams' recommended disposition of the
application for writ of habeas corpus and issuance of a
certificate of appealability is fully supported by the
factual record and controlling legal authorities. Thus, I
will adopt the R&R without modification.