United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
D. Crabtree United States District Judge
matter is before the court on a limited remand from the Tenth
Circuit in pro sedefendant Thomas Guy Caraway's case. On
May 8, 2019, the court issued an Order denying Mr.
Caraway's most recent motion: a “Motion to Dismiss
Void March 6, 2019, Memorandum and Order of Court or in
Alternative Motion for Reconsideration of Order.” Doc.
145. On May 29, 2019, the Tenth Circuit entered an Order
directing the court to “consider whether to issue a
[certificate of appealability] as to the Rule 60(b)
claims” Mr. Caraway asserted in his motion. Doc. 152 at
can issue a COA only if the party applying for it “has
‘made a substantial showing of the denial of a
constitutional right.'” Tennard v. Dretke,
542 U.S. 274, 282 (2004) (quoting 28 U.S.C. §
2253(c)(2)). To satisfy this standard, the Supreme Court has
determined, the applicant “‘must demonstrate that
reasonable jurists would find the district court's
assessment of the constitutional claims debatable or
wrong.'” Id. (quoting Slack v.
McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000)). The applicant must
show that those “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 were adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed
further.” Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322,
336 (2003) (internal quotations omitted). As the Tenth
Circuit explained in its limited remand Order, a certificate
of appealability is “required to appeal the denial of a
Rule 60(b) motion in a habeas case.” Doc. 152 at 2
(citing Spitznas v. Boone, 464 F.3d 1213, 1218 (10th
May 8, 2019, Order, this court concluded that Mr.
Caraway's motion had asserted two Rule 60(b) claims.
First, Mr. Caraway contended that the court could not enter
any orders “without first re-establishing [its]
jurisdiction . . . if it was ever in fact lawfully
established.” Doc. 145 at 7. He based this argument on
the court's July 30, 2007, administrative closure of the
case. And, second, Mr. Caraway generally asserted that the
court had failed to adhere to the “less stringent
standard” the Tenth Circuit directs the court to apply
when evaluating pro se filings. Id. at 2, 10, 11;
see also Hall, 935 F.2d at 1110; Clark, 468
F.3d at 713 n.1. The May 8, 2019, Order rejected both
arguments. An administrative closure has no bearing on
jurisdiction. Doc. 146 at 7. And, Mr. Caraway did not
identify any portions of the record supporting his claim that
the court had failed to apply the pro se standard.
Id. at 7-8.
court concludes that no reasonable jurist would find the
court's assessment of Mr. Caraway's Rule 60(b) claims
debatable or wrong. See Tennard, 542 U.S. at 282.
The court thus declines to issue a certificate of
appealability for Mr. Caraway's Rule 60(b) claims in his
“Motion to Dismiss Void March 6, 2019, Memorandum and
Order of Court or in Alternative Motion for Reconsideration
of Order” (Doc. 145).
IS THEREFORE ORDERED BY THE COURT THAT defendant
Thomas Guy Caraway is denied a certificate of appealability
for his claims under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) in
his “Motion to Dismiss Void March 6, 2019, Memorandum
and Order of Court or in Alternative Motion for
Reconsideration of Order” (Doc. 145).
IS SO ORDERED.
 As the court explained in its most
recent Order (Doc. 140), because Mr. Caraway proceeds pro se,
the court construes his filings liberally and holds them to
“a less stringent standard than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers.” Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d
1106, 1110 (10th Cir. 1991) (“[I]f the court can
reasonably read the pleadings to state a valid claim on which
the plaintiff could prevail, it should do so despite the
plaintiff's failure to cite proper legal authority, his
confusion of various legal theories, his poor syntax and
sentence construction, or his unfamiliarity with pleading
requirements.”); see also Clark v. Oklahoma,
468 F.3d 711, 713 n.1 (10th Cir. 2006). But the court does
not become an advocate for the pro se party. See
Hall, 935 F.2d at 1110. Likewise, Mr. Caraway's pro
se status does not excuse him from ...