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Olsen v. Yordy

United States District Court, D. Idaho

January 31, 2017

JAMES D. OLSEN, Petitioner,
v.
KEITH YORDY, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          Honorable Ronald E. Bush Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge

         Petitioner James D. Olsen filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus challenging his state court conviction. (Dkt. 1.) Petitioner, the only party appearing in this case, has 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).[1] (Dkt. 4.) Upon initial review of this matter, the Court determined that the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus was subject to denial, but the Court provided Petitioner with an opportunity to respond. Petitioner filed a Response, which the Court has reviewed. (Dkt. 7.) The Response contains nothing that causes the Court to reconsider its initial decision that denial of the Petition is appropriate. Accordingly, for the following reasons, the Court will deny the Petition and dismiss this action with prejudice.

         REVIEW OF PETITION

         1. Standard of Law on Initial Review

         Federal habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 is available to petitioners who show that they are held in custody under a state court judgment and that such custody violates the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). The Court is required to review a habeas corpus petition upon receipt to determine whether it is subject to summary dismissal. See Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases. Summary dismissal is appropriate where “it plainly appears from the face of the petition and any attached exhibits that the petitioner is not entitled to relief in the district court.” Id.

         2. Background

         At issue is Petitioner's 2012 conviction for felony driving under the influence (DUI). Because Petitioner had been convicted of felony DUI charges in 2002 and 2007, Petitioner's 2012 charge was raised from a misdemeanor to a felony under the “charging enhancement” of the DUI statute, I.C. §18-8005(6) (if a person has had two or more prior DUI convictions within 10 years, subsequent DUI incidents within that time frame are charged as felonies).[2]

         Because all three DUIs were felonies, the State also charged Petitioner with being a persistent violator under the “sentencing enhancement” statute, I.C. §19-2514, which provides that, “[a]ny person convicted for the third time of the commission of a felony … shall be considered a persistent violator of law, and on such third conviction shall be sentenced to a term in the custody of the state board of correction which term shall be for not less than five (5) years and said term may extend to life.” Petitioner pleaded guilty to both charges. On July 13, 2012, he was sentenced to a prison term of five years fixed, with ten years indeterminate.

         On post-conviction review, Petitioner asserted that his conviction and sentence violate the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, because two enhancements were applied to the same wrongful act.

         The Idaho Court of Appeals rejected Petitioner's claim, determining that his conviction and sentence did not violate the Double Jeopardy Clause. (Dkt. 1-1.) The Idaho Supreme Court denied Petitioner's petition for review without a written decision. Hence, Petitioner's claim is properly exhausted. Petitioner has attached the Court of Appeals' opinion to his Petition for the Court's review. (Dkt. 1-1.)

         3. Discussion of Claim

         A. Standard of Law for Habeas Corpus Relief

         Where the petitioner files a federal habeas corpus action to challenge a state court judgment, Title 28 U.S.C.§ 2254(d), as amended by the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), applies. Title 28 U.S.C.§ 2254(d) limits relief to instances where the state court's adjudication of the petitioner's claim:

1. resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States; or
2. resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented ...

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