United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Northwestern Division
MADELINE HUGHES HAIKALA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
action, petitioner Bobby Miles seeks a writ of habeas corpus
to obtain his release from state custody. (Doc. 1). Mr. Miles
is serving a sentence relating to a conviction for
third-degree burglary. Mr. Miles was sentenced as a habitual
felon. Mr. Miles asked to proceed without paying a filing
fee. (Doc. 2). The magistrate judge assigned to this action
granted Mr. Miles's in forma pauperis request.
(Doc. 3, p. 1).
Mr. Miles acknowledged in his habeas petition in this case
that he previously filed two habeas petitions in this Court
relating to the same conviction (Doc. 1, p. 3), the
magistrate judge ordered Mr. Miles to explain why the Court
should not dismiss this action as successive under 28 U.S.C.
§ 2244. (Doc. 3, at 2). On April 16, 2018, the
magistrate judge recommended that the Court dismiss Mr.
Miles's action without prejudice as successive. (Doc. 5,
p. 1). The magistrate judge gave Mr. Miles's notice of
his right to object. (Doc. 5, p. 4).
Miles originally objected on April 23, 2018. (Doc. 6). On May
22, 2018, after the 14-day deadline for objections expired,
Mr. Miles filed an amended objection. (Doc. 7; see
also Doc. 5, p. 4). This Court has considered all of Mr.
Miles's objections, and the Court overrules them.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
district court “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole
or part, the findings or recommendations made by the
magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). When
a party objects to a report and recommendation, the district
court must “make a de novo determination of those
portions of the report or specified proposed findings or
recommendations to which objection is made.”
Id. The Court reviews for plain error proposed
factual findings to which no objection is made, and the Court
reviews propositions of law de novo. Garvey v.
Vaughn, 993 F.2d 776, 779 n.9 (11th Cir. 1993); see
also United States v. Slay, 714 F.2d 1093, 1095 (11th
Cir. 1983) (per curiam), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 1050
(1984) (“The failure to object to the magistrate's
findings of fact prohibits an attack on appeal of the factual
findings adopted by the district court except on grounds of
plain error or manifest injustice.”) (internal citation
omitted); Macort v. Prem, Inc., 208 Fed.Appx. 781,
784 (11th Cir. 2006).
petition for habeas corpus, Mr. Miles challenges his April 9,
1997 sentence enhancement connected to his March 21, 1997
conviction in the Colbert County Circuit Court for third
degree burglary. (Doc. 1, p. 2). Mr. Miles contends that the
state circuit court violated his constitutional rights by
illegally enhancing his sentence to 30 years. (Doc. 1, pp. 3,
magistrate judge summarized, the Alabama Court of Criminal
Appeals affirmed Mr. Miles's conviction on August 22,
1997. (Doc. 5, p. 1; see also Doc. 1, p. 2). Mr.
Miles also has filed at least one unsuccessful state Rule 32
petition. (Doc. 5, p. 1; see also Doc. 1, p. 3).
Additionally, Mr. Miles previously has filed two habeas
petitions in this Court. (Doc. 5, pp. 1-3; see also
Doc. 1, p. 3). The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the
court of appeals for this district, affirmed the merits-based
dismissal of Mr. Miles's first habeas petition, Miles
v. Mitchem, et al., No. 2:98-cv-00644-RBP-RRA (N.D. Ala.
Mar. 19, 1998). (Doc. 5, pp. 1-2; see also Doc. 1,
p. 3); Miles v. Mitchem, 251 F.3d 162 (11th Cir.
Court dismissed Mr. Miles's second habeas petition,
Miles v. Strickland, et al., No.
3:16-cv-01089-RDP-JHE (N.D. Ala. July 5, 2016), as successive
to his first petition. (Doc. 5, p. 2; see also Doc.
1, p. 3). The Eleventh Circuit refused Mr. Miles's
request for permission from the court of appeals to pursue a
second habeas petition in this district court.
original and amended objections, Mr. Miles makes clear that
he challenges the legality of the state court's sentence
enhancement of his sentence for third degree burglary, not
the conviction for third-degree burglary. (Doc. 6, p. 1; Doc.
7, p. 1). That distinction does not affect the Court's
assessment of whether Mr. Miles's current action is a
second or successive petition. When two petitions
“contest the same custody imposed by the same judgment
of a state court, ” the latter is a second or
successive petition. Burton v. Stewart, 549 U.S.
147, 152 (2007) (holding a petitioner's later petition
challenging his sentence was “second or
successive” to his first petition challenging his
conviction, where both petitions addressed custody pursuant
to the same judgment).
Miles's present petition challenges “the same
custody imposed by the same judgment” which he has
attacked in his previous federal habeas petitions. Therefore,
the magistrate judge correctly determined that Mr.
Miles's petition is successive under Burton.
Mr. Miles has not obtained an order from the Eleventh Circuit
permitting him to bring this successive petition, the
magistrate judge did not err when he concluded that this
Court lacks jurisdiction over this petition. See 28
U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A). Without jurisdiction over Mr.
Miles's petition, the Court may not address the remainder
of Mr. Miles's objections. See Univ. of S. Ala. v.
Am. Tobacco Co., 168 F.3d 405, 410 (11th Cir. 1999)
(“Without jurisdiction the court cannot proceed at all
in any cause.”).