United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
July 13, 2004.
BRIAN KNADE, Plaintiff,
JERRY BOHLER, Warden, Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES KOCORAS, District Judge
This matter comes before the court on Brian Knade's ("Knade")
application for a certificate of appealability pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2253(c). For the reasons set forth below, the
application is denied.
Brian Knade is currently incarcerated at the Illinois River
Correctional Center in Canton, Illinois. On June 16, 2004, we
dismissed Knade's petition for a writ of habeas corpus as
time-barred under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)'s one-year limitations
period. Knade now wishes to appeal that decision, but appellate
proceedings cannot commence without a certificate of
appealability either from this court or from a circuit judge of
the Court of Appeals. 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c); Fed.R.App.Proc.
A court may issue a certificate of appealability for a decision
dismissing a 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition for writ of habeas corpus
"only if the applicant has made a substantial showing of the
denial of a constitutional right." 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). In
order to make this showing, the applicant must demonstrate "that
reasonable jurists could debate whether the challenges in his
habeas petition should have been resolved differently or that his
petition adequately shows a sufficient chance of the denial of a
constitutional right that he deserves encouragement to proceed
further." Rutledge v. U.S., 230 F.3d 1041, 1047 (7th Cir.
2000). However, when a district court denies a habeas petition on
procedural grounds, without reaching the prisoner's underlying
constitutional claim, the court will not issue a certificate of
appealability unless the petitioner demonstrates both "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." Slack v.
McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). Because each of these
requirements is a component of a threshold inquiry, a court can
dispose of an application if it determines that there is no
reasonable debate as to either the constitutional or procedural
question. Id. at 485. Knade's only argument contending that his petition should not have
been dismissed as time-barred is that as a layman with little
knowledge of the law he should not be held to the same standards as
an attorney. We considered this issue in our June 16, 2004, dismissal
of Knade's habeas petition, holding this justification insufficient
to excuse Knade's tardy filing. Because we do not believe that a
reasonable jurist would disagree with this procedural ruling, we need
not reach Knade's allegations of constitutional violations and find
that his present application does not merit certification to the
appellate court under the Slack standard.
For the reasons set forth above, Knade's application for a
certificate of appealability is denied.
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