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Hudson v. Gammon

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
Jan 30, 1995
46 F.3d 785 (8th Cir. 1995)

Summary

holding a litigant's "pro se objections sufficiently directed the district court to the alleged errors"

Summary of this case from Vandergraaf v. Saul

Opinion

No. 94-2828.

Submitted January 9, 1995.

Decided January 30, 1995.

Jane C. Hogan, St. Louis, MO, argued, for appellant.

Michael J. Spillane, Asst. Atty. Gen., Jefferson City, MO, argued, for appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

Before LOKEN, Circuit Judge, GODBOLD, Senior Circuit Judge, and MORRIS SHEPPARD ARNOLD, Circuit Judge.

The HONORABLE JOHN C. GODBOLD, Senior United States Circuit Judge for the 11th Circuit, sitting by designation.


Missouri inmate John Hudson appeals the district court's denial of his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition. We reverse and remand.

Following a jury trial, Hudson was convicted of four counts of first degree robbery. He filed this pro se habeas petition alleging various constitutional violations, including the denial of effective assistance of counsel and the denial of an impartial jury. After reviewing transcripts of the state court proceedings in which these issues were raised and without conducting an evidentiary hearing, the magistrate judge recommended denying relief. The district court overruled Hudson's objections, noting its belief that they were not specific enough to invoke de novo review, and denied the petition pursuant to the magistrate judge's recommendation. We do not reach the merits of the district court's decision because we believe there was procedural error.

A district court must make a de novo determination of those portions of a magistrate's report and recommendation to which objections are made. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Here, the district court relied on the exception recognized in some circuits that de novo review is not required "when a party makes general and conclusory objections that do not direct the court to a specific error in the magistrate judge's proposed findings and recommendations." Belk v. Purkett, 15 F.3d 803, 815 (8th Cir. 1994) (citations omitted). Although "[t]here is language in an Eighth Circuit case which indicates this Circuit's approval of such an exception . . . [t]he Eighth Circuit has . . . repeatedly emphasized the necessity of de novo review, and thus retention by the district court of substantial control over the ultimate disposition of matters referred to a magistrate." Id. (citations omitted).

Liberally construed, Hudson's pro se objections sufficiently directed the district court to the alleged errors. He attempted to bring his specific objections to the court's attention by reciting the portions of the report and recommendation to which he objected and setting forth, with supporting transcript citations, what he believed to be the correct facts or rulings. While "not as ideally precise as a pleading from a trained lawyer, [Hudson's] objections were certainly definite enough to require de novo review." Id.

The failure to perform de novo review when required is reversible error. See id. The State argues, however, that a remand for that purpose would be useless. It reasons that Hudson's claims required no independent fact finding as the district court was required to defer to the findings made in the state court proceedings on these issues. Although accorded deference, state court factual findings are subject to review by habeas courts to determine if they are "fairly supported by the record." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(8). A remand is thus required to allow the district court to make a de novo assessment, independent of the magistrate judge's conclusions, of whether these findings were so supported.

Accordingly, we reverse the judgment and remand this case so the district court may conduct the required de novo review.


Summaries of

Hudson v. Gammon

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
Jan 30, 1995
46 F.3d 785 (8th Cir. 1995)

holding a litigant's "pro se objections sufficiently directed the district court to the alleged errors"

Summary of this case from Vandergraaf v. Saul

holding a litigant's "pro se objections sufficiently directed the district court to the alleged errors"

Summary of this case from Austin v. Saul

holding a litigant's "pro se objections sufficiently directed the district court to the alleged errors"

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holding that a litigant's "pro se objections sufficiently directed the district court to the alleged errors"

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holding that a litigant's "pro se objections sufficiently directed the district court to the alleged errors"

Summary of this case from Vallecillo v. Saul

holding that a litigant's "pro se objections sufficiently directed the district court to the alleged errors"

Summary of this case from Buckley v. Saul

holding that a litigant's "pro se objections sufficiently directed the district court to the alleged errors"

Summary of this case from Whited v. Colvin

holding that a litigant's "pro se objections sufficiently directed the district court to the alleged errors"

Summary of this case from Carter v. Colvin

concluding that a pro se litigant's objections preserved error where they "sufficiently directed the district court to the alleged errors"

Summary of this case from Sprowson v. State

emphasizing the constitutional necessity of de novo review of timely and specific objections so the district court may retain substantial control over the ultimate disposition of the matters referred to a magistrate judge and failure to do so is reversible error

Summary of this case from Rush v. State Ark. DWS

declining to reach the merits because of failure to conduct de novo review

Summary of this case from U.S. v. Benitez

requiring de novo review only for the portions of the R&R to which objections are made

Summary of this case from Siruk v. Cofman

requiring de novo review only for the portions of the R&R to which objections are made

Summary of this case from Rader v. Ally Fin., Inc.

requiring de novo review only for the portions of the R&R to which objections are made

Summary of this case from Larson v. WCCO

requiring de novo review only for the portions of the R&R to which objections are made

Summary of this case from Sanders v. Loken

requiring a liberal construction of pro se objections

Summary of this case from Morrison v. Lingo

requiring de novo review only for the portions of the R&R to which objections are made

Summary of this case from Jackson v. Wells Fargo of Plaza Servs.

requiring de novo review only for the portions of the R&R to which objections are made

Summary of this case from Jackson v. Wells Fargo

declining to apply "the exception recognized in some circuits that de novo review is not required when a party makes general and conclusory objections," and again noting that "[t]he failure to perform de novo review when required is reversible error"

Summary of this case from United States v. Chapman

requiring de novo review when pro se plaintiff's objections "sufficiently directed the district court to the alleged errors" in the magistrate judge's R&R

Summary of this case from Baker v. CitiMortgage, Inc.

noting that § 636(b) should be "liberally construed" to require de novo review in a majority of instances in which a party objects to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation

Summary of this case from United States v. Malone

observing that the liberal-construction standard for pro se litigants applies to objections to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation

Summary of this case from Lindsey v. City of Minneapolis

suggesting that "general" objections by a pro se party may be sufficient to trigger de novo review

Summary of this case from Meyer v. Birkey

emphasizing the liberal construction standard for pro se litigants applies to objections to reports and recommendations

Summary of this case from Green v. Ramsey

suggesting that "general" objections by a pro se party may be sufficient to trigger de novo review

Summary of this case from Dunn v. Colvin
Case details for

Hudson v. Gammon

Case Details

Full title:JOHN HUDSON, APPELLANT, v. TONY GAMMON, APPELLEE

Court:United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

Date published: Jan 30, 1995

Citations

46 F.3d 785 (8th Cir. 1995)

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