United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
ROBERT S. SCRUGGS PETITIONER
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI RESPONDENT
M. BROWN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court are three post-judgment motions filed by Robert S.
Scruggs. Docs. #34, #37, #38.
about May 31, 2017, Robert Scruggs, acting pro se, filed a
petition for a writ of habeas corpus in this Court. Doc. #1.
On September 18, 2018, the Court dismissed Scruggs'
petition and declined to issue a certificate of
appealability. Doc. #29.
about October 12, 2018, Scruggs filed a notice of appeal with
the Fifth Circuit, Doc. #33, and a motion for a certificate
of appealability, Doc. #34. On or about November 6, 2018,
Scruggs filed a motion to extend the deadline to file
financial documents in support of a motion to appeal in forma
pauperis. Doc. #37. At approximately the same time, Scruggs
filed an “Affidavit Accompanying Motion for Permission
to Appeal in Forma Pauperis, ” Doc. #38, which this
Court construes as a motion for leave to appeal in forma
pauperis; and a certificate of institution account
information, Doc. #40.
seeks a fifteen-day extension of the deadline to submit the
financial documents in support of his motion to proceed in
forma pauperis on appeal. Doc. #37. As grounds for this
relief, Scruggs represents that he is “at the mercy of
Mississippi Department of Correction[s], and the policy is
seven days to request assistance [for] mailing financial
authorization forms seven or more days to get them back,
seven more days before ILAP mail ….”
Id. at 2. Upon consideration, the Court concludes
that Scruggs has stated adequate grounds for the requested
extension. Accordingly, Scruggs' motion for extension is
granted and his financial documents filed in support of his
motion to appeal in forma pauperis are deemed timely filed.
for Certificate of Appealability
Court must “issue or deny a certificate of
appealability when it enters a final order adverse to the
applicant.” Rule 11 of the Rules Governing Section 2254
Proceedings for the United States District Courts. A
certificate of appealability (“COA”) will issue
“only if the applicant has made a substantial showing
of the denial of a constitutional right.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 2253(c)(2). To warrant a COA for a case rejected on
their merits, a movant “must demonstrate that
reasonable jurists would find the district court's
assessment of the constitutional claims debatable or
wrong.” Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484
(2000). On a claim rejected on procedural grounds, a movant
must demonstrate “that jurists of reason would find it
debatable whether the petition states a valid claim of the
denial of a constitutional right and that jurists of reason
would find it debatable whether the district court was
correct in its procedural ruling.” Id.
Court has previously concluded that, for the reasons stated
in its September 18 order, Scruggs cannot satisfy the
Slack criteria for obtaining a certificate of
appealability. Doc. #29 at 5-6. His ...