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Plaster v. Yordy

United States District Court, D. Idaho

December 21, 2016

JONATHON G. PLASTER, JR., Petitioner,
v.
ISCI WARDEN KEITH YORDY, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          HON. CANDY W. DALE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is Petitioner Jonathon G. Plaster, Jr.'s Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. (Dkt. 1.) Respondent has filed a Motion for Summary Dismissal, arguing that all of Petitioner's claims are procedurally defaulted and/or noncognizable. (Dkt. 11.) The Motion is now ripe for adjudication. The Court takes judicial notice of the records from Petitioner's state court proceedings, which have been lodged by Respondent. (Dkt. 10.) See Fed. R. Evid. 201(b); Dawson v Mahoney, 451 F.3d 550, 551 (9th Cir. 2006).

         The parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a United States Magistrate Judge to conduct all proceedings in this case in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). (Dkt. 8.) Having carefully reviewed the record, including the state court record, the Court finds that the parties have adequately presented the facts and legal arguments in the briefs and record and that oral argument is unnecessary. See D. Idaho L. Civ. R. 7.1(d). Accordingly, the Court enters the following Order granting the Motion and dismissing this case with prejudice.

         BACKGROUND

         In 2005, Petitioner was charged, in the Fifth Judicial District Court in Cassia County, Idaho, with two counts of lewd conduct with a child under the age of sixteen, in violation of Idaho Code § 18-1508, and one count of sexual abuse of a child under the age of sixteen years, in violation of Idaho Code § 18-1506. (State's Lodging B-5 at 1.) Pursuant to a binding plea agreement, Petitioner entered a conditional Alford[1] plea, to a single count of lewd conduct. Even though the plea agreement called for a specific sentence of thirty years in prison with seven years fixed, the trial court ordered a psychosexual evaluation prior to sentencing. (Id. at 1-2; State's Lodging A-5, Plea Agreement, at 2.)

         During the psychosexual evaluation, Petitioner was advised by the examiner “that he had the right to remain silent, that anything he said could and would be used against him, that he had the right to have an attorney present during the assessment, and that he had the right to stop answering questions at any time.” (State's Lodging B-5 at 2.) Petitioner waived those rights. During the evaluation, Petitioner “admitted to sex crimes . . . in addition to those acts charged in the original information.” (Id.)

         Petitioner later filed a motion to withdraw his plea in the 2005 case. The trial court granted Petitioner's motion, rendering the plea agreement void.

         Then, in 2008, before trial on the 2005 charges, the State charged Petitioner with eight counts of lewd conduct and two counts of sexual abuse, based primarily on Petitioner's statements during the psychosexual evaluation conducted by order of the court in the 2005 case. (Id.) The State later amended the 2008 information to allege seven counts of lewd conduct and one count of sexual abuse.

         Prior to trial, the prosecution filed a motion in limine regarding the admissibility of the statements Petitioner made in the course of the psychosexual evaluation. (Id.) The trial court ruled that the statements were admissible in the 2008 case, and that case was consolidated with the 2005 case for purposes of trial.

         Petitioner and the State again reached a plea agreement. Petitioner entered a conditional Alford plea to seven counts of lewd conduct and one count of sexual abuse, as alleged in the amended information in the 2008 case, reserving the right to appeal only the trial court's ruling on the motion in limine. (Id.) The 2005 case was dismissed. (State's Lodging A-4 at 27-28.) Petitioner was sentenced to a total of forty years in prison with twenty years fixed. (Id. at 33.)

         On direct appeal, Petitioner challenged the trial court's ruling on the admissibility of Petitioner's statements during the psychosexual evaluation in the 2008 case, arguing that the admission of those statements was fundamentally unfair. His entire argument was as follows:

Mindful of the fact that [Petitioner's] participation in the psychosexual evaluation in the [2005 case] was not required as part of the plea agreement with the State and would not factor into his sentence in any way, and mindful of the fact that [Petitioner] moved to withdraw his plea and, thereby, knowingly withdrew from his plea agreement with the State, [Petitioner] nevertheless contends that, because the admissions made during the psychosexual evaluation were made in reliance on the original plea agreement, it was fundamentally unfair for the district court to have ruled that the State could use those admissions against him even after the plea agreement had been vacated.

(State's Lodging B-2 at 11.) Petitioner cited two federal criminal cases in support of his argument: United States v. Escamilla, 975 F.2d 568 (9th Cir. 1992), and United States v. Ventura-Cruel, 356 F.3d 55 (1st Cir. 2003).

         The Idaho Court of Appeals affirmed Petitioner's convictions, holding that it was not fundamentally unfair to allow the statements made during Petitioner's previous psychosexual evaluation to be used against Petitioner in the later prosecution. The court relied on the following facts: (1) Petitioner was advised of his rights prior to making the incriminating statements; (2) nothing in the plea agreement induced Petitioner to make such statements; (3) Petitioner-not the State-voluntarily withdrew from the plea agreement; and (4) the statements were voluntary. (State's Lodging B-5 at 4.) The court also noted that Petitioner had not provided any “relevant authority” in support of his claim of fundamental unfairness. (Id.)

         Petitioner filed a petition for review with the Idaho Supreme Court, relying on the briefs reviewed by the Idaho Court of Appeals. (State's Lodging B-6.) The Idaho Supreme Court denied the petition for review without comment. (State's Lodging B-7.)

         Petitioner later filed a pro se petition for state post-conviction relief, in which he specified that he was not seeking counsel to represent him. (State's Lodging C-1 at 25.) Petitioner alleged ineffective assistance of counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, and judicial misconduct. (Id. at 23.) The state district court dismissed the petition, and Petitioner appealed.

         On appeal from the dismissal of the postconviction petition, Petitioner-now represented by counsel-raised a single issue: whether the court improperly dismissed the petition without granting Petitioner's requests for discovery.[2] (State's Lodging D-1.) Petitioner cited the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments when asserting that the denial of discovery violated Petitioner's “right to access . . . the courts and his right to due process.” (Id. at 1.) He argued that the state district court abused its discretion by denying the discovery requests and, in turn, dismissing the petition. The Idaho Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the post-conviction petition, and the Idaho Supreme Court denied review. (State's Lodging D-4, D-5, D-7.)

         Shortly thereafter, Petitioner filed a pro se successive post-conviction petition in the state district court. (State's Lodging E-1 at 7-55.) The court dismissed the petition, and Petitioner appealed. (Id. at 109-19.) The Idaho Court of Appeals affirmed. (State's Lodging F-6.) Petitioner did not file a petition for review with the Idaho Supreme Court, and the Idaho Court of Appeals issued the remittitur. (State's Lodging F-7.)

         In the instant federal habeas corpus petition, Petitioner asserts the following claims[3]:

Claim 1: Violation of the Fourth Amendment based on an officer's entrance into Petitioner's home without consent and without presenting a warrant.
Claim 2: Violation of the Fifth Amendment based on the alleged denial of a grand jury.
Claim 3: Violation of due process based on allegedly “vague allegations.”
Claim 4: Violation of the Fifth Amendment based on alleged “pre-indictment delay.”
Claim 5: Violations of the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments based on an excessive bond.
Claim 6: Equal Protection violation of equal protection based on the amount of the bond. Petitioner also cites the Fifth and Eighth Amendments in this claim.
Claim 7: “Vindictive/Malicious Prosecution” in violation of the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments.
Claim 8: Ineffective assistance of counsel in the 2005 case.
Claim 10[4]: Violations of “Due Process, Equal Protection, Ineffective Assistance, Cruel & Unusual” based on Petitioner's having to appear in court in restraints and jail clothes.
Claim 11: Violation of Petitioner's Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial. Petitioner also cites the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments in support of this claim.
Claim 12: “Deliberate Indifference, ” in violation of the Eighth Amendment, [5] based on Petitioner's allegedly inadequate health care while in custody and substandard conditions of confinement. Petitioner also cites the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments in support of this claim.
Claim 13: Cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, based on Petitioner's placement in segregation following a fight with another inmate in which Petitioner was “defending himself.” Petitioner also cites ...

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