Hartwell v. Neven et al, No. 2:2007cv01371 - Document 30 (D. Nev. 2010)

Court Description: ORDER Denying 18 Amended Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY is GRANTED. Signed by Judge Robert C. Jones on 5/18/10. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - EDS)
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' r' ..- - .. . . -''' - r y. j .!. i s, kE( ) sgr,h.jyyr.g.l...,rjgF : yg/ . gyg , , 1- î -. àk yv k, u. -. ,q ..j . '- j - j ' ?? 24 ; l J .. 3 '' . . j . ! C' , : () . ,, J . . u.uuu. .. . . ... 4 5 6 7 UN ITED STA TES DISTRICT CO URT DISTRIC T O F NEVA DA 8 9 W ILLIE LA M A R H ARTW ELL, 10 Petitioner, CaseNo.2:07-CV-0l371-KJD-(LRL) l1 vs. O R DER 12 D .W .NEV EN,eta1., 13 l4 15 Respondents. Before the courtare theam ended petition fora writofhabeas corpuspursuantto 28 16 U.S.C.j2254 (#18),respondents'answer(//22),andpetitioncr'sreply.Thecourtfmdsthat l7 petitionerisnotentitled to relief and theeourtdeniestheamended petition (#18). 18 ThisactionaroseoutoftwojudgmentsofconvictionintheEighthJudicialDistrict Hartwell v. Neven et al 19 Courtofthe State ofN evada. In case no.C 181309,petitioneragreed to plead guilty to two counts Doc. 30 20 ofburglary while in possession ofa ftrearm ,one countofconspiracy to com m itrobbery,and tw o 2l countsofrobbery w ith the use ofadeadly weapon. Petitioneragreed to betreated asa habitual 22 criminal> and the prosecution agreed notto ask the courtto sentence petitionerto life im prisonm ent 23 withoutthepossibilityofparole.Ex.6(//10-2,p.37).:Thecourtimposedfiveconcurrentsentences 24 withmaximum termsoftwenty-tiveyearsandmininnum tcrmsoftenyears.Ex.10(#10-2,p.97). 25 ln case no.C183357,petitioneragreed to plead guilty to one countofburglal' y whilein possessïon 26 27 lpage num bers in parenthesesreferto the imagesofthe docum ents in the court'scomputer 28 docket. Dockets.Justia.com 1 ofa flrearm and one countofrobbery with the use ofa deadly w eapon. Petitioncragreed to be 2 treated asa habitualcrim inal,and the prosecution agreed notto ask the courtto sentence petitioner 3 tolifeimprisonmentwithoutthepossibilityofparole,Supp.Ex.5(//22-9).Thecourtimposedtwo 4 concurrentsentences with m aximum tenns oftw enty-five years and m inimum term soften years;the 5 sentencesin case no.C183357 l'un consecutive to the sentencesin case no.C 181309. Supp.Ex,9 6 (//22-15).Petitionerdidnotdirectlyappealthejudgmentsofconviction. 7 Petitioncrthen fled in the state courta post-conviction habeascorpuspetition that 8 challengedbothjudgmentsofconviction.Ex.11(#10-2,p.100), .Supp.Ex.10(//22-16).Thestate 9 districtcourtdenied thepetition.Ex.15 (//10-3,p.28). ,Supp.Ex.14 (//22-20). Petitionerappealed, 10 and the Nevada Suprem e Courtrem anded foran evidentiary hearing on w hetherpetitionerwas l1 deprivedofadirectappeal.Ex.17(//10-3,p.41). ,Supp.Ex.l6(//22-22).Thestatedistrictcourt 12 held the evidentiaty hearing,and then itdenied thepetition.Ex.20 (#10-3,p.70). ,Supp.Ex.20 13 (#22-28).Petitionerappealed,andtheNevadaSupremeCourtaflirmed.Ex.25(#10-3,p.106), . 14 Supp.Ex.25(//22-34). 15 Petitionerthen cornm enced two actionsin thiscourt,the currentaction and 2:07-CV- 16 01372-RCJ-(LRL).Thecourtdetenninedthatpetitionerhadnotexhaustedhisthirdgroundfor 17 reliefin each action,and petitionerdism issed thatground. The courtalso consolidated the two 18 actionsintothecurrentaction.Petitionertiledhisamendedpctition(#18),whichcontainsthetwo 19 rem aining grounds forrelief. 20 1tA federalcourtmay granta.state habeaspetitionerrelieffora claim thatwas 2l adjudicatedonthemcritsinstatecourtonlyifthatadjudication tresultedinadecisionthatwas 22 contl' ary to,orinvolved an unreasonableapplication ( :)4 clearlyestablished FederalIaw,as 23 detennined by the Suprem e Courtofthe U nited States,'''M itchellv.Esparza,540 U .S.12,15 24 (2003)(quoting28U.S.C.j2254(d)(1)),orifthestate-courtadjudicationçtresultedinadecision 25 thatw asbased on an unreasonable determination ofthe factsin lightofthe evidence presented in the 26 Statecourtproceeding,''28U.S.C.j2254(d)(2). 27 to''ourclearlyestablishgdlp. w ifitiçappliesarule A state court'sdecision isç'contrary . 28 facts thatarem aterially mdlstmguishable from a declslon ofthisCourtand thatcontradictsthegovlrntrlglaw setfol'thinourcysgs''orlfit'Yonfrcmtsasetof 2- - 1 2 nevertheless arrivesata resultdifferentfrom ourpreçedent.''A state court'sdecision isnot'çcontrary to ...clearlyestablishcdFederallaw''simplybecausethe courtdid notcite ouropm ions. W e have held thata state courtneed noteven be aware ofour precedents,tdsolprgasneitherthereasoningnortberesultofthestate-courtdecision 3 contradicts them .' 4 Id.at15-16.içunderj2254(*(1)'s'unreasonableapplication'clause .afederalhabeascourt 5 maynotissuethewritsimplybecausethatcourtconcludesin itsindependcntjudgmentthatthe 6 relevantstate-courtdccision applied clearly established federallaw erroneously or incorrectly. 7 Rather,thatapplicationmustbeobjectivelyunrcasonable.''Lockverv.Andrade,538U.S.63,75-76 8 (2003)(internalquotationsolnitted). 9 (T(Iherangeofreasopablejudgmentcandependinpartonthenatur:oftherclevant 10 ll 12 le f al ul eel c i fi c,rt ran ma aerrmor ow. Ap pl cla l o fit eru ma y. bel pa lal ie nj y cr or r cs ts op re i nc or eh ce t. Og te he rry ulb ee sn ar e ge ne ri a ,t a nn ds to he rh me al ne ing mustemergeinapplicationoverthecourse oftimq. Applying ageneralstandard to a specifccase can demand asubstantialelementofludgment. Asaresult,evaluating whetheqa rule application wasunreasonablerequlresconsidering the rule's specificlty. Them ore generalthe rule,the moreleew ay courtshave in reaching outcom es in case-by-case determinations. 13 14 Yarborouahv.Alvarado,541U .S.652,664 (2004). 15 W hcn itcomesto state-courtfactualfndings,rtheAntiterrorism andEffectiveDeath PenaltyAct)hastwoseparateprovisions.First,section2254(d)(2)authorizesfederal 16 courtsto granthabeasreliefin caseswhere the state-courtdecision ttw asbased on an 17 unreasonabledetqminationofthefactsinlightoftheevidencepresentedintheState courtprocyeding. Or,toputitconverscly,afederalcourtmaynotsecond-guessa 18 19 20 state courts fact-fmding processunless, atterreview ofthc state-courtrecord,it detenninesthatthestatecourtwasnotmçrely wrong,butactually unreasonable. Second,section2254(e)(1)providesthat'tadyterminationofafactualissuemadeby a State courtshallbepresumed to be correct,' and thatthispresumption of correctnessmay be rebutted only by çtclearand convincing evidence.'' 21 W e interpretthese provisionssensibly,faithfulto theirtextand consistentwith the maxim tbatw em ustconstrue statutozy languagc so asto avoid contradiction or redundancy. Thç ftrstprovision- the tçunreasonable detennination''clause- applies 22 mo dnily toss u t swh ejeatit onle chal eanygbe estbhaesest t t' nd ing based ents irt er le ya o the tl at tea ri eo cn or d. e Sr uc ti ha ler nge ml da oe nc to hu er c ls ait mi tha ts the 23 flnding isunsupportedbysuflicientevidence,thattheprocessemployed b thestate courtlsdefectlve,orthatno Endingwasmadeby thestatecourtatall. hatthe 'Ynreasonable determination''clause tcachesuslsthat,in conducting thiskind of intrinsic review ofa state court'sprocesses,w e mustbe particularly deferentialto our state-courtcolleagues. Forexample,in concluding thata state-courtfmding is unsupported by substantialevidenceinthestate-courtrecord,itisnotenough thatwe would reversc m sim ilarcircumstancesifthisw ere an appealfrom a districtcourt 24 25 26 27 28 decision. Rather,w e mustbe convinced thatan appellate panel,applying tbe nonnal standardsofappellate review , could notreasonably conclude thatthe fmding is supported by the record. Similarly,before we can determ inethatthe state-court factfmding process is defective in som e m aterialway,orpcrhapsnon-existent,w e - 3- l mustmorethanmerelydoubtwhethertheprocessoperated properly.Rather,we m ustbe satistied thatany appellate courtto whom the defectispointed outwould be 2 unreasonable in holding thatthe state coul-t'sfact-fmding process wasadequate. 3 Taylorv.Maddox,366F.3d992,999-1000(9thCir.2004). 4 tsltule7oftheRulesGoverningj2254casesallowsthedistrictcourttoexpandthe 5 record w ithoutholding an evidentiaryhearing.'' Cooper-sm ith v.Palm ateer,397 F.3d l236,1241 6 (9thCir.2005).Thcrequirementsofj2254(e)(2)applytoaRule7expansionoftherecord,even 7 withoutanevidential'yhearing.J. i StAnexceptiontothisgeneralrulecxistsifaPetitionerexercised 8 diligence in hiseffbrtsto develop the factualbasisofhisclaim sin state courtproceedings.'' 1d. 9 The petitionerbearsthe burden ofproving by a preponderance ofthe evidence thathe 10 isentitledto habeasrelief Davisv.W oodford,384 F.3d 628,638 (9th Cir.2004). 11 ln ground 1,petitioner claim sthatcounselfailed to consultw ith petitionerabouta 12 directappeal,thusdeprivingpetitionerofhisrightto adirectappeal.içl-l-lherightto counselisthe 13 rightto the eflbctive assistance ofcounsel.'' M cM alm v.Ricllardson,397 U.S.759,771& n.14 14 (1970).A petitionerclaimingineffectiveassistanceofcounselmustdemonstrate(1)thatthedefense 15 attorney'srepresentation tçfellbelow an objcctivestandard ofreasonablenessv''Strickland v. 16 W ashington,466U.S.668,688(1984),and(2)thattheattomey'sdefcientperformanceprejudiced 17 the defendantsucb thatSçthere isa reasonableprobability that,butforcounsel'sunprofessional 18 errors,theresultoftheproceedingwouldhavebeendifferent,''id.at694.t6gcqounselhasa 19 constitutionally imposed duty to consultw ith thedefendantaboutan appealwhen there isreason to 20 think either(1)thatarationaldefendantwould wantto appeal(forexample,becausethereare 21 nonfrivolousgroundsforappeal),or(2)thatthisparticulardefendantreasonablydcmonstratedto 22 counselthathewasinterestedinappealingx''Roev.Flores-ortena,528U.S.470,480(2000).On 23 thisissue,the N evada Suprem c Courtheld: 24 25 26 27 28 Hartw ellarguesthatthe districtcourten'ed in tinding thathiscounseldid notdeprive him ofhisdirectappeal.W edislgree.Therecord doesnotindicate thatHartwell eyerasked hiscounselto fileadlrectappeal.Hartwellj!expression of dlsappointm entthattwe ofhissentenceswele censecutlve rather than concurrent doesnotconstitute such arejpqst.Hartwell'jpleaqgrgelpent,which he acknowledged reading and slgnmg,advised h1m ofh1shm lted rights to appealaûera guilty plea. Further,counseltestitied atthe evidentiary hearing thathe did notsee anyappealableissuejinthe case.W ethereforeconcludethatthcdistrictcottrtdid noterrin denying thls claim . 4- - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Ex.25,pp.1-2(//22-34,pp.2-3).Thatalonewasareasonabledecision.Attheevidentiaryhearing, petitionertestified thathe told counselthathe wasdissatisfied w ith hissentences. Supp.Ex.18,p. 28(#28-2,p.2). Counseltestified thatpetitionerwasdissatissed withhissentences,butthat petititm er did notask counselte appeal,and counselsaw no issuesthathe could raise on an appeal from apleaofguilty.Supp.Ex.18,pp.15-16,21-22(//28-1,pp.16-17,22-23). Theissuewas crcdibility,thc state districtcourtdeterm ined thatpetitioncrw asm ore credîble,and petitionerhas notshown how the state districtcourt'sdetennination wasunreasonable in lightofthe evidence presented.28U.S.C.j2254(d)(2).lnlsghtofthatdetermination,tbeNevadaSupremeCourt 9 reasonablyapptiedRoe.28U.S.C.j2254(d)(1). l0 ll 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Furtherm ore,even ifthe statc courts'decisionswere urireasonable,Petitionerstillhas notshownhow hesuflbred prejudice. Atthetimethatpetitioner'sstatehabeascorpuspetition was pending,the rem edy forthe deprivation ofa directappealw as forthe petitioner,with the assistance ofcounsel,to file a habeascorpuspetition in state courtthatraisesthe issuesthatcould have been raised on directappeal. Lozadav.State,87iP.2d 944 (Nev.1994). Even though thestatedistrict courtdeterm ined thatpetitionerhad notbeen deprived ofa directappeal,itstillasked forbriefson the issuethatcould have been raised on directappcal: W hetherpetitioner's stipulation to treatment asa habitualoflbnderw asproper. The state districtcourtdeterm ined thatthatissue lacked m erit. Ex.20,p.3 (#l0-3,p.74).Petitionerraised thatissuein hisappealto theNevadaSupremeCourt. Ex.23,pp.7-10(#10-3,pp.89-92).TheNevadaSupremeCourtdetenninedthattheissuewas withoutmerit.Ex.25,pp.2-3(#10-3,pp.108-09).Thestatecourtsdideverythingthattheywould havedone had they determ ined thatpetitionerwasdeprived ofhisdirectappeal,and thuspetitioner suflbrednoprejudicefrom alackofadirectappeal.Ground 1iswithoutmerit. ln ground 2,petitionerclaim sthatthe stipulation to be treated asa habitualcrim inal wasim proper and thatitviolatesthe dueprocessclausc ofthe Fourteenth Am endm ent. On this 25 issue,theN evada Suprem e Courtheld: 26 27 28 Hartwellalso arxucsthattllc dijtrictcourterred in fmding thatheprpperlystipulated t: thepriorconvlctionsgivmgrlseto histreatmentasahabitualeqmunal W e dlsagree In Hod esv.State,wcheld thltadefendantcould recelvghabitualcriminal . . . treatm entbase on a stlpu atlon to orw alverofproofofpriorconvlctions,butnot - 5- 1 2 3 4 5 based on a stipulation m erely to hisstatus asa habitualoflknderJ Asin Hodges,itis clearinthiscasethatHartwellstipulated to orFaived proofofhispriorconvlctions, . notthatheonlystipulatedtp hisstatusasahabltualf)flbnder.Althoughthe convictiqnswerenotlistedm thepleaagreementorm theattached amqnded inform atlon,the plea agreem entstlpulated to treatm entasa habitualcrlminaland set forththepossiblesentences.BeforeHartwellenteredhisgujltyplea,thqpartiesset f hroen thnt er co dtrhte ex e iveatheidsto yhaobi ft ejcle eglottrla o ns, hyl udemg Sstate's ro er qt ui me te ha tr Ha we llt sp tls pul tor th ua ry Trnp lna et al tme nt baq d ot nhe hi 6 sçveppnorfelonies.''Beforeaccepting Hartwell'sgpilt)tpleaythepartlesadvised the dljtpctcourtin Hartwell'spresencethatthenegotiatlon mcluded largehabitual crlnunaltreatm ent. W ' hile canvassing Hartw ell,the dlstlictcoul' testablished that 7 Ha H ndjesrest odwi the a nge oaftp is hme tsihnt eewa asceienkg. Bqfo resnetnas tenaci nîi ,tual yr rt twe p'el ll lu wa ro yed thr the St er jn n ot icen of nts tof pums hme ha 8 crlmmal?whlch llsted six priorfelomes.Atsentenciny,thedistrictcoprtnotedthat Hartwelldisputed oneofthoscsi5 feloniej,buttherelsno indication m therecord thatHartwe11disputed theremainmg convytions On the basisofthesefacts we 9 concludethat$edistrictcourtdidnoterrm fmdigthatHartwellstipulatedlothese livepriorconvlctions. 10 11 Ex.25,pp.2-3(//10-3,pp.108-09)(citingHtldaesv.State,78P.3d67(Ncv.2903:.TlleSuprezne 12 Courtofthe U nited Stateshasnotclearly established how priorconvictionsmustbe proven to 13 supportafmdingofhabitualcriminality.SeeDretkev.Haley,541U.S.386,395-96(2004). 14 Consequently,the Nevada Supreme Court'sholding cannotbe contrary to,oran unreasonable 15 application of,clearly established federallaw as detennined by the Suprem e Courtofthe United 16 States. Carey v.M usladin,549U.S.70,77 (2006). ,28 U.S.C.j 2254(d)(1).Thiscourtcannot 17 grantreliefon ground 2. 18 IT IS TH EREFORE ORDERED thatthe amended petition fora w ritofhabeas 19 corpuspursuantto28U.S.C.j2254(//18)isDENIED. 20 /// 2l /// 22 /// 23 /// 24 /// 25 /// 26 /// 27 IT IS FURTH ER OR DERED thata certïficate ofappealability isG R AN TED on the 28 follow ing issues: - 6- 1. W hetherthis courtwascorrectin itsruling thatpetitionerwasnotdeprived of a directappeal' ,and 2. W hetherthiscourtwascorrectin itsrpling thattheNevadaSupremeCourt's rtzling on the stlpulation to receive habitualcrlminaltreatmentw asnotcontrary to,or an unreasonableapplicatit?n otlclearly established federallaw asdcfmed by the Suprem e Courtofthe U mted States. D atcd; 05-18-2010 R BE C.J U nited States strictJudge 22 24 25 26 28