United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
S. VANCE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court are Jody Butler's petition for a writ of
habeas corpus, and his objections to the Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendationthat the petition be
dismissed with prejudice. The Court, having reviewed de
novo the petition, the state's response,
record, the applicable law, the Magistrate Judge's Report
and Recommendation, and the petitioner's objections,
hereby approves the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation and adopts it as its opinion.
is a prisoner at the Louisiana State
Penitentiary. On February 11, 2011, he was sentenced to
life imprisonment as a habitual offender after a jury found
him guilty of marijuana possession and cocaine
possession. The Louisiana Court of Appeal for the
Fourth Circuit initially reversed Butler's conviction on
Fourth Amendment grounds, but his conviction was ultimately
upheld by the Louisiana Supreme Court. State v.
Butler, 117 So.3d 87 (La. 2013).
objections, Butler argues that his constitutional rights to
due process and equal protection were violated because the
Louisiana Supreme Court allowed the state to raise a new
basis for probable cause for the first time on appeal,
allegedly in violation of state rules of criminal
procedure.But federal courts may not grant habeas
relief based on violations of state law, and “a mere
error of state law is not a denial of due process.”
Swarthout v. Cooke, 562 U.S. 216, 222 (2011)
(citation and quotation marks omitted). As the Magistrate
Judge explained, Butler's substantive Fourth Amendment
challenge is barred by the Supreme Court's decision in
Stone v. Powell, 428 U.S. 465, 481 (1976); see
also Moreno v. Dretke, 450 F.3d 158, 167 (5th Cir. 2006)
(explaining that state court “errors in adjudicating
Fourth Amendment claims are not an exception to
Stone's bar”). Butler's objections are
therefore without merit.
of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Proceedings provides that
“[t]he district court must issue or deny a certificate
of appealability when it enters a final order adverse to the
applicant. Before entering the final order, the court may
direct the parties to submit arguments on whether a
certificate should issue.” Rules Governing Section 2254
Proceedings, Rule 11(a). A court may issue a certificate of
appealability only if the petitioner makes “a
substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional
right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2); Rules Governing
Section 2254 Proceedings, Rule 11(a) (noting that §
2253(c)(2) supplies the controlling standard). The
“controlling standard” for a certificate of
appealability requires the petitioner to show “that
reasonable jurists could debate whether (or, for that matter,
agree that) the petition should have been resolved in a
different manner or that the issues presented [are]
‘adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed
further.'” Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S.
322, 336 (2003).
reasons articulated in this order, Butler has not made a
substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.
The Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation clearly
and correctly disposes of each of petitioner's claims.
ORDERED that the petition for habeas corpus is
DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. The Court will not issue a
certificate of appealability.
 R. Doc. 3.
 R. Doc. 14.
 R. Doc. 13.
 R. Doc. 12.