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Ellis v. Little

United States District Court, D. Idaho

January 27, 2017

JERRY LEONARD ELLIS, Petitioner,
v.
STEVEN LITTLE, Warden, Southern Idaho Correctional Institution, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          B. Lynn Winmill Chief Judge.

         Pending before the Court is Petitioner Jerry Leonard Ellis's Amended Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, which challenges two state court convictions of felony driving under the influence (“DUI”).[1] (Dkt. 35-1 at 1.) Respondent has filed a Motion for Partial Summary Dismissal, which is now ripe for adjudication. (Dkt. 39.) Respondent argues that most of Petitioner's claims are procedurally defaulted, that some are untimely, and that some are noncognizable. Also pending are several other motions filed by the parties, including Petitioner's motions to expand the record and for an evidentiary hearing. (Dkt. 37, 42, 43, 47, 50.)

         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 dismissing Claims 1, 2, and 6 through 22 as procedurally defaulted.

         BACKGROUND

         The Court takes judicial notice of the records from Petitioner's state court proceedings, which have been lodged by Respondent. (Dkt. 16, 30.) See Fed. R. Evid. 201(b); Dawson v. Mahoney, 451 F.3d 550, 551 (9th Cir. 2006).

         In 2006, in the First Judicial District in Kootenai County, Idaho, Petitioner pleaded guilty to felony DUI (“first DUI case”). (State's Lodging A-1 at 78-79.) He received an indeterminate sentence of three and a half years. However, the trial court suspended the sentence and placed Petitioner on probation. (Id. at 90-94.)

         During the next two years, Petitioner committed multiple probation violations resulting in the revocation of his probation. However, the trial court retained jurisdiction and placed Petitioner on a rider. (Id. at 179-81.) After completion of the rider, Petitioner was again given probation. (Id. at 187-94.)

         In 2009, Petitioner was charged with another felony DUI (“second DUI case”), to which he pleaded guilty. (State's Lodging A-2 at 309-11.) Petitioner received a unified sentence of 10 years in prison with five years fixed, but the court retained jurisdiction and placed Petitioner on a rider. (Id. at 323-27.) The charge in the second DUI case resulted in a charge of probation violation in the first DUI case, and Petitioner was placed on a rider for that violation as well. (Id. at 320-22.) After completion of the riders, Petitioner was again released on probation. (Id. at 333-45.)

         In January 2011, Petitioner was charged with probation violations in both cases, but instead of revoking probation, the court increased the terms of probation and required that Petitioner complete the mental health drug court program. (Id. at 357-60, 409-14.)

         Apparently, Petitioner had still not learned his lesson. Not even a year later, he again violated the terms of his probation, this time by failing to comply with the rules of mental health court and by driving without a license. (Id. at 439-41.) Petitioner completed yet another rider and was placed back on probation in both cases. (Id. at 453-55, 463-68.)

         This ongoing cycle of probation, violation, and retained jurisdiction eventually came to an end. In 2013, Petitioner was again charged with violating probation in both cases. Petitioner, represented by a public defender, admitted one violation and disputed another. (Id. at 538.) The trial court denied Petitioner's request for a continuance so that he could retain private counsel. (Id. at 538-39.) After an evidentiary hearing on the contested violation, the trial court found the violation proven. Petitioner then asked to continue the disposition hearing so that he could call witnesses to testify on his behalf. (Id. at 539.) The court denied Petitioner's request-but accepted his offer of proof as true-and immediately proceeded to disposition. (Id. at 539-40.) The court revoked Petitioner's probation and imposed the underlying sentences. (Id. at 540-41.)

         Petitioner appealed the disposition in both cases, which had been consolidated. Petitioner argued that the trial court erred by (1) denying Petitioner's first request for a continuance so he could retain private counsel, and (2) denying Petitioner's second request for a continuance so he could present witnesses. (State's Lodging B-1.) The Idaho Court of Appeals affirmed, and the Idaho Supreme Court denied review. (State's Lodging B-5, B-8.)

         While his direct appeal was pending, Petitioner filed a petition for state post-conviction relief with respect to both DUI convictions. (State's Lodging C-1 at 3-252.) Petitioner was appointed counsel, who filed an amended petition. (Id. at 256-64.) The trial court summarily dismissed the petition, and Petitioner filed a notice of appeal. (Id. at 268-310, 312-13.) However, Petitioner-through post-conviction appellate counsel- voluntarily dismissed the appeal. (State's Lodging D-4.) Petitioner alleges that he did not consent to counsel's filing of the motion for voluntary dismissal.

         In his Amended Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Petitioner asserts the following claims:

Claim 1: Petitioner was denied his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures when his blood was drawn without a warrant.
Claim 2: Petitioner's privately retained attorney rendered ineffective assistance by (1) failing to investigate the legality of Petitioner's arrest, (2) providing false information and advice to Petitioner regarding the legality of the blood draw, (3) falsely informing Petitioner regarding the need for a warrant for the blood draw, (4) failing to hold a preliminary hearing on the suppression issue, (5) failing to file a motion to suppress, and (6) coercing Petitioner into an involuntary and unintelligent guilty plea.
Claim 3: Petitioner's Sixth Amendment right to retain counsel of his choice was violated when his request for a continuance was denied during his probation revocation proceeding.
Claim 4: Petitioner's due process rights were violated when the state trial court failed to notice Petitioner's disposition hearing in conjunction with his probation revocation proceeding, resulting in Petitioner not having an opportunity to prepare a full and proper defense.
Claim 5: Petitioner's due process rights were violated when the trial court denied Petitioner's request for a continuance of the revocation proceedings based on Petitioner's lack of notice.
Claim 6: Petitioner's due process rights were violated when the trial court denied a continuance for the purpose of obtaining a mental health evaluation of Petitioner.
Claim 7: Petitioner was denied adequate medical treatment while Petitioner was in mental health court, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, resulting in Petitioner' impulsive behavior and subsequent incarceration.
Claim 8: Petitioner's state postconviction petition was erroneously dismissed, resulting in manifest injustice.
Claim 9: Petitioner's public defender rendered ineffective assistance by (1) failing to adequately communicate with Petitioner, (2) failing to prepare a successful defense, (3) failing to interview witnesses, (4) failing to obtain expert testimony, (5) failing to prepare for the March 21, 2013 hearing, (6) failing to deny the allegations in that hearing, (7) failing to seek approval from the court to obtain a mental health evaluation, (8) failing to inform the court that Petitioner needed a continuance for private counsel to prepare a defense, (9) failing to explain the nature of the proceedings prior to the March 21, 2013 hearing, (10) failing to “inform Petitioner of the course of proceedings, ” (11) failing to object to due process violations during the March 2013 hearing, (12) acting under a conflict of interest, (13) failing to move to disqualify the judge, and (14) failing to obtain a continuance of the hearing.
Claim 10: Petitioner's Sixth Amendment rights were violated when the court ordered the public defender to represent Petitioner despite a conflict of interest based on the public defender having been hired as a prosecutor.
Claim 11: Petitioner's due process rights were violated when the district court judge failed to recuse himself on the grounds of judicial bias.
Claim 12: Petitioner's due process rights were violated when, during the March 2013 hearing, the court failed to inform him of his “necessary hearing rights” regarding the nature of pleas. This claim also appears to implicate Petitioner's Fifth Amendment right to be free from compelled self-incrimination.
Claim 13: Petitioner's due process rights were violated because his plea was involuntary and unintelligent.
Claim 14: Petitioner's due process rights were violated because he was suffering from mental health issues and “medication instability” when he participated in his probation revocation hearing.
Claim 15: Petitioner's due process rights were violated when he was prohibited from assert the defense of necessity during his March 2013 hearing.
Claim 16: Petitioner's right to due process was violated because his probation revocation proceeding, the disposition of his motion to transport, and his Rule 35 proceedings were arbitrary and capricious.
Claim 17: Petitioner's due process rights were violated when he was not allowed to obtain an updated mental health evaluation during his motion to transport and Rule 35 proceedings.
Claim 18: Petitioner's due process rights were violated when the district court refused to hear argument at ...

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