United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
HORNSBY MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
MAURICE HICKS, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is a Magistrate Appeal (Record Document 43) filed
by Petitioner LaBarrie Dekedric Watson
(“Watson”). Watson is appealing Magistrate Judge
Hornsby's order denying his “Motion for Bail
Pending Habeas Review” (Record Document 42), a request
to be released on bail pending a decision on his 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254 habeas corpus petition (Record Document 1). For
the reasons contained in the instant Memorandum Ruling,
Watson's appeal (Record Document 43) is
DENIED and Magistrate Hornsby's ruling
(Record Document 42) is AFFIRMED.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
March 16, 2012, Watson was convicted of attempted manufacture
of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine
in violation of La. R.S. 40:967(A). See Record
Document 40; see State v. Watson, 135 So.3d 693, 696
(La.App. 2 Cir. 2013). Watson appears to have exhausted all
state direct appeal and post-conviction relief rights. He
timely filed the instant 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition
within the one-year time limit for the filing of such
petitions. See Record Document 32-1 at 5 n.4
(Goodwin concedes the petition is timely). Watson has
subsequently been granted leave to file an amended §
2254 petition, and he did so on August 18, 2016. See
Record Document 29. Goodwin responded to Watson's
petition on August 24, 2016. See Record Document 32.
Watson filed a reply on September 6, 2016, and he filed a
supplemental reply with leave of the Court on September 27,
2016. See Record Documents 33, 34, and 35.
January 27, 2017, Watson filed the instant “Motion for
Bail Pending Habeas Review, ” seeking to be released on
bail pending a decision on his § 2254 petition and
seeking a certificate of appealability on the Magistrate
Judge's ruling. See Record Documents 40 and 41.
On January 30, 2017, he filed four pages of exhibits to
accompany the Motion. See Record Document 41. On
January 31, 2017, Magistrate Judge Hornsby denied the Motion.
See Record Document 43. On February 13, 2017, Watson
appealed Magistrate Judge Hornsby's decision to this
Court. See Record Document 43. The deadline for
Goodwin to respond to the appeal passed on March 1, 2017.
See Record Document 44.
party may appeal a magistrate judge's ruling on a
non-dispositive matter to a district court judge under Rule
72(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rule
74.1. The decision by Magistrate Hornsby to deny Watson's
Motion for Bail is a non-dispositive matter. In reviewing a
non-dispositive pretrial matter, the Court must determine
whether the Magistrate's order was clearly erroneous or
contrary to law. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a).
federal court has the authority to release a post-conviction
habeas corpus petitioner on bail pending a decision on the
merits of the habeas corpus petition. See Aronson v.
May, 85 S.Ct. 3 (1964). However, bail for such a
petitioner may only be granted in the rare case in which: (1)
the petition presents substantial constitutional questions
regarding the validity of the underlying conviction and (2)
“there is some circumstance making this application
[for bail] exceptional and deserving of special treatment in
the interests of justice.” Id.
argues that several of the ineffective assistance of counsel
arguments raised in his § 2254 petition raise a serious
constitutional question as to the validity of his sentence.
See Record Document 40 at 3-9. He also argues that
his case presents extraordinary circumstances that would
justify his release pending a decision on the § 2254
petition. See id. at 10-12. In denying the Motion
for Bail, Magistrate Judge Hornsby implicitly rejected both
of these arguments; thus, the Court must determine whether
the denial was clearly erroneous or contrary to law.
See Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a).
Whether Watson's Petition Presents Substantial
Constitutional Questions Regarding the Validity of the
arguments fail to demonstrate that Magistrate Judge
Hornsby's denial of Watson's Motion for Bail was
either clearly erroneous or contrary to law under the
extremely high standard for obtaining post-conviction bail
pending a decision on a § 2254 petition. First, after
reviewing Watson's arguments and Goodwin's response,
it appears that Watson's arguments are no different than
many of the ineffective assistance of counsel arguments the
Court addresses on a regular basis in dealing with habeas
corpus motions. See Record Document 40. The standard
for establishing that counsel was ineffective under the Sixth
Amendment and Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S.
668, 687(1984) is an extremely high ...