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Udoh v. Knutson

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

August 28, 2019

EMEM UFOT UDOH, Petitioner,
NATE KNUTSON, Respondent.

          Emem Ufot Udoh, pro se.




         The above-entitled matter comes before the Court upon the Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge Hildy Bowbeer dated May 31, 2019. In response to the Report and Recommendation, Petitioner Emem Ufot Udoh has filed a Motion for Extension of Time [Docket No. 6], a Motion for Injunctive Relief [Docket No. 13], a Motion to Amend [Docket No. 20], a Motion for Extension of Time [Docket No. 26] and an Application to Proceed in District Court without Prepaying Fees or Costs [Docket No. 27].


         Pursuant to statute, the Court has conducted a de novo review upon the record. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Local Rule 72.2(b). Based upon that review, the Court adopts the Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge Bowbeer dated May 31, 2019.


         Petitioner's Motion for Extension of Time [Docket No. 6] requests a 60-day extension until August 20, 2019, to respond to the Report and Recommendation on the grounds that Petitioner needs time to review the entire record filed in Docket No. 1 and to conduct legal research. He also argues that he will begin a state court trial on August 21, 2019 and will be occupied preparing for that trial.

         The Court denies Petitioner's motion because he has failed to show good cause for a 60-day extension. Petitioner seeks time to review the record, yet he cites to the record that he, himself, submitted to the Court as exhibits to his own Petition and presumably reviewed before filing this case. Additionally, Petitioner's assertion that he is too busy preparing for his state court case and needs additional time for legal research is belied by the fact that, on the same day Petitioner filed the request for an extension, he also filed a 20-page Motion for Injunctive Relief that cites to a wide variety of caselaw. One week later, Petitioner filed a Motion to Amend his Petition that was responsive to the Report and Recommendation. Additionally, granting a 60-day extension would prejudice Respondent by requiring Respondent to respond to Petitioner's later-filed injunctive motion in a lawsuit that should be dismissed. Petitioner cannot hold dismissal in abeyance by filing a motion for an extension and then proceed litigating and filing motions to which Respondent must respond. Finally, the Court has considered all of the many filings that Petitioner has made through August 21, 2019, so Petitioner has reaped the benefit that the grant of his request for an extension would have provided.


         In Petitioner's Motion for Injunctive Relief, he seeks “an Order directing the Clerk of the Minnesota Appellate Court to allow the filing of Petitioner's Notice of Appeal to permit” his post-conviction appeal; staying state court proceedings and immigration court proceedings until this Court decides Petitioner's actual innocence claims in his current Petition; and ordering Petitioner's immediate release pending resolution by this Court of his Petition. Because this Court adopts the Report and Recommendation and dismisses Petitioner's Petition, Petitioner's motion for injunctive relief is denied as moot. Additionally, because the Court has dismissed Petitioner's claims, the requests to stay state and immigration proceedings and release Petitioner pending this Court's decision on those claims are moot.

         Petitioner's request that the Court order the Minnesota Court of Appeals to allow him to file a notice of appeal is also dismissed as moot because there is no open case upon which a motion for injunction can be based. To the extent that the argument that the Minnesota Court of Appeals should be ordered to accept Petitioner's filings is related to Petitioner's later-filed request to amend, it has no legal basis. According to the documentation submitted by Petitioner, the Minnesota Court of Appeals dismissed Petitioner's appeal as premature. When Petitioner later attempted to file a motion in that dismissed case, the Court of Appeals returned the filing because it does not accept filings in closed cases. The Court of Appeals informed Petitioner that, if he had an appealable order within the previous 60 days, he could file a new notice of appeal. The Court of Appeals also explained that, if Petitioner wished to seek review of the Court of Appeals order, he needed to file a petition for review with the Minnesota Supreme Court. Petitioner's claim that the Minnesota Court of Appeals' refusal to accept his filing violates his due process rights fails because the evidence submitted by Petitioner shows that he had the option of filing a petition for review of the Minnesota Court of Appeals decision with the Minnesota Supreme Court or filing a new notice of appeal with the Minnesota Court of Appeals. He fails to show that Minnesota's post-conviction proceedings fail to comport with due process. Nor has he shown that Respondent has denied him meaningful access to the courts to challenge the alleged violations of his constitutional rights. See Hartsfield v. Nichols, 511 F.3d 826, 831 (8th Cir. 2008) (“To prove a violation of the right of meaningful access to the courts, a prisoner must establish the state has not provided an opportunity to litigate a claim challenging the prisoner's sentence or conditions of confinement in a court of law, which resulted in actual injury, that is, the hindrance of a nonfrivolous and arguably meritorious underlying legal claim.”) (citation omitted). Petitioner has not alleged any way in which his due process rights were violated.


         On June 20, Petitioner filed a motion entitled “Motion to Amend the 28 U.S.C. § 2241 Actual Innocence Petition.” [Docket No. 20] Despite the title, the body of the motion requests a 60-day extension of time for an unspecified filing. The accompanying memorandum discusses a motion to amend. [Docket Nos. 20, 22] Therefore, ...

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