United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Patricia T. Morris Mag. Judge.
OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF
HABEAS CORPUS 
E. LEVY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Leonardo Castro-Garay has filed a pro se petition
for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2254. Petitioner is incarcerated at the Macomb County
Correctional Facility in New Haven, Michigan. He challenges
his 2018 state-court convictions for two counts of armed
robbery. Because it is apparent from the face of the petition
that habeas relief is not warranted, the Court will dismiss
Court must undertake a preliminary review of a habeas
petition to determine whether “it plainly appears from
the face of the petition and any exhibits annexed to it that
the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district
court.” Rule 4, Rules Governing § 2254 Cases;
see also 28 U.S.C. § 2243. If, after
preliminary consideration, the Court determines that the
petitioner is not entitled to relief, the Court may summarily
dismiss the petition. Rule 4; Crump v. Lafler, 657
F.3d 393, 396 n.2 (6th Cir. 2011) (citing McFarland v.
Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994)). Rule 4 permits the
Court to dismiss a habeas petition sua
sponte-without a request from either party-if the
petition raises legally frivolous claims or contains factual
allegations that are palpably incredible or false. Carson
v. Burke, 178 F.3d 434, 436-37 (6th Cir. 1999).
pleaded guilty in Kent County Circuit Court to two counts of
armed robbery, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.529. Petitioner
entered his plea pursuant to a Cobbs evaluation that
his minimum sentence would not exceed eight years.
See Pet's Brief at 1; People v. Cobbs,
443 Mich. 276 (1993) (permitting a defendant to enter a
guilty plea in reliance on the trial court's initial
evaluation as to the appropriate sentence, subject to the
defendant's right to withdraw the plea if the sentence
imposed exceeds the preliminary evaluation). On January 30,
2018, the trial court sentenced Petitioner to two concurrent
terms of 8 to 50 years imprisonment. The Michigan Court of
Appeals and Michigan Supreme Court denied Petitioner's
applications for leave to appeal. People v.
Castro-Garay, No. 344141 (Mich. Ct. App. July 11, 2018);
People v. Castro-Garay, No. 158287, 920 N.W.2d 600
(Mich. Dec. 21, 2018). Petitioner then filed this habeas
corpus petition. He raises the same claim raised on direct
appeal in state court: the trial court denied Petitioner his
right to meaningful allocution by failing to ascertain
evidence of the causes of his criminal character or conduct.
Supreme Court has held that a trial court's failure to
ask a defendant whether “he has anything to say before
sentence is imposed is not of itself an error of the
character or magnitude cognizable under a writ of habeas
corpus.” Hill v. United States, 368 U.S. 424,
428 (1962); see also Goff v. Bagley, 601 F.3d 445,
464 (6th Cir. 2010) (holding there is no right to allocution
under the federal constitution but there may be an
ineffective assistance claim arising from the failure to
object to a defendant's denial of an opportunity to
allocute). And although Petitioner cites a right of
allocution pursuant to a Michigan statute, “federal
habeas corpus relief does not lie for errors of state
law.” Thomas v. Stephenson, 898 F.3d 693, 700
(6th Cir. 2018) (quoting Estelle v. McGuire, 502
U.S. 62, 67, 112 S.Ct. 475, 116 L.Ed.2d 385 (1991)). Rather,
federal courts are “limited to deciding whether a
conviction violated the Constitution, laws, or treaties of
the United States.” Estelle, 502 U.S. at 68.
there is no federal constitutional right to allocution at
sentencing, Petitioner cannot show that the error he cites
regarding the failure to ascertain evidence of his criminal
character or conduct denied him a right under federal law.
Therefore, Petitioner's claim that he was denied his
right to meaningful allocution is not a valid habeas claim.
Because the petition fails to allege a violation of the
Constitution, relief is denied.
reasons set forth above, the petition is DENIED.
reasonable jurists would not debate the Court's
assessment of Petitioner's claim, nor conclude that the
issues deserve encouragement to proceed further. The Court
therefore DENIES Petitioner a certificate of appealability
under 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). See Slack v.
McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000). Furthermore, the
Court denies Petitioner leave to proceed on appeal in
forma pauperis because any appeal would be frivolous.
See Fed. R. App. P. 24(a).