United States District Court, D. Idaho
MARK D. BEAVERS, Petitioner,
STEVE LITTLE, Respondent.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
J. Lodge United States District Judge
before the Court in Mark D. Beavers' habeas corpus matter
is Respondent Steve Little's Motion for Partial Summary
Dismissal. (Dkt. 13.) Respondent seeks summary dismissal on
procedural grounds of all claims except Claim 12. (Dkt. 13.)
Petitioner Mark D. Beavers has filed a Response (Dkt. 18),
and Respondent has filed a Reply. (Dkt. 20.)
Court takes judicial notice of the records from
Petitioner's state court proceedings, which have been
lodged by the parties. See Fed. R. Evid. 201(b);
Dawson v. Mahoney, 451 F.3d 550, 551 (9th Cir.
2006). 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.
separate criminal actions in the First Judicial District
Court in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Petitioner was convicted
of two counts of possession of marijuana, one count of
delivery of marijuana, and two counts of trafficking in
marijuana. The charges were tried in two different state jury
trials. Attorney Martin Neils, of the Kootenai County Public
Defender Office, represented Plaintiff at his first trial;
Attorney Staci Anderson represented Plaintiff at his second
consolidated direct appeal, all of Petitioner's
convictions were affirmed. (State's Lodging B-5.)
However, the sentences arising from the second criminal
action were vacated, because the sentence enhancement was
improperly determined. The Idaho Court of Appeals concluded
that the trial court should have ordered a jury trial on the
enhancement after it concluded that Petitioner's
admission of prior felony convictions was involuntary.
remand, a jury found facts necessary for the enhancements.
Petitioner was re-sentenced on those counts on December 20,
2011, and a judgment was entered. Petitioner obtained no
other relief on appeal of his sentences after remand.
(State's Lodging D-4.)
filed a post-conviction action asserting one prosecutorial
misconduct claim and thirteen ineffective assistance of trial
counsel claims. (State's Lodging E-1.) The state district
court appointed Attorney J. Lynn Brooks to represent
Petitioner. The State filed a motion for summary dismissal,
and Petitioner's counsel filed a responsive brief. The
Court held a telephonic oral argument hearing on the motion.
Petitioner was not present.
weeks after the hearing, Petitioner filed a motion for change
of counsel, asserting that his counsel was ineffective for
several reasons. The state court granted the State's
motion for summary dismissal without addressing
Petitioner's motion for change of counsel.
was represented by Attorney Jason Pintler of the State
Appellate Public Defender on appeal. The Idaho Court of
Appeals affirmed summary dismissal of the post-conviction
petition, and the Idaho Supreme Court denied review.
(State's Lodging F-4 to F-6.)
appears that Petitioner has satisfied most of his sentences,
except the enhanced trafficking sentence, which extends to
2022. He is currently on parole.
OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY DISMISSAL
petitioner's compliance with threshold procedural
requirements is at issue, a respondent may file a motion for
summary dismissal, rather than an answer. White v.
Lewis, 874 F.2d 599, 602 (9th Cir. 1989). Rule 4 of the
Rules Governing § 2254 Cases authorizes the Court to
summarily dismiss a petition for writ of habeas corpus when
“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.”
Standard of Law Governing Procedural
habeas petitioner must exhaust his remedies in the state
courts before a federal court can grant relief on
constitutional claims. O'Sullivan v. Boerckel,
526 U.S. 838, 842 (1999). This means that the petitioner must
invoke one complete round of the state's established
appellate review process, fairly presenting all
constitutional claims to the state courts so that they have a
full and fair opportunity to correct alleged constitutional
errors at each level of appellate review. Id. at
845. In a state that has the possibility of discretionary
review in the highest appellate court, like Idaho, the
petitioner must have fairly presented all his federal claims
at least in a petition seeking review before that court.
Id. at 847.
mere similarity between a federal claim and a state law
claim, without more, does not satisfy the requirement of fair
presentation. See Duncan v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364,
365-66 (1995). General references in state court to broad
constitutional principles, such as due process, equal
protection, or the right to a fair trial, without more, are
insufficient. See Hiivala v. Wood, 195 F.3d 1098,
1106 (9th Cir. 1999). In Duncan v. Henry, the United
States Supreme Court clarified that state appellate courts
must not be left to guess whether a petitioner is presenting
a constitutional issue:
If state courts are to be given the opportunity to correct
alleged violations of prisoners' federal rights, they
must surely be alerted to the fact that the prisoners are
asserting claims under the United States Constitution. If a
habeas petitioner wishes to claim that an evidentiary ruling
at a state court trial denied him the due process of law
guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, he must say so, not
only in federal court, but in state court.
513 U.S. at 356-66.
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has
recognized at least four different ways to properly present a
federal claim in state court. The first is to
“explicitly” reference specific provisions of the
federal Constitution or federal statutes. Lyons v.
Crawford, 232 F.3d 666, 669 (9th Cir. 2000), as
amended, 247 F.3d 904 (9th Cir. 2001). Proper exhaustion
in this manner “demands more than drive-by citation,
detached from any articulation of an underlying federal legal
theory.” Castillo v. McFadden, 399 F.3d 993,
1003 (9th Cir. 2005).
second way to properly present a federal issue in a state
court appellate brief is to cite to federal case law that
directly supports one's claim. The “citation of
irrelevant federal cases does not provide a state court with
a fair opportunity to apply controlling legal principles to
the facts bearing upon his constitutional claim.”
Castillo v. McFadden, 399 F.3d at 1001.
third way is to cite “state cases involving the legal
standard for a federal constitutional violation, ”
rather than to cite a specific constitutional provision.
Castillo v. McFadden, 399 F.3d at 999. To satisfy
the exhaustion requirement, the state cases cited must
“engage in a federal constitutional analysis.”
Fields v. Waddington, 401 F.3d 1018, 1021 (9th Cir.
fourth way to accomplish proper exhaustion is to
“refer to a state constitutional right when the
contours of the federal and state constitutional rights are
identical.” Sanders v. Ryder, 342 F.3d 991,
1000-01 (9th Cir. 2003). Where the state courts have held
that the right under the state constitution is coextensive
with the federal constitutional right, and have analyzed both
types of claims under federal standards, the federal aspect
of the claim is considered properly presented to the state
courts, so long as there is nothing in the briefing
suggesting that the petitioner meant to allege
“specifically, ” “consistently, ” and
“exclusively” a violation of his state
constitutional right. Sanders, 342 F.3d at 999
(citing Peterson v. Lampert, 319 F.3d 1153, 1157
(9th Cir. 2003) (en banc)).
habeas petitioner has not fairly presented a constitutional
claim to the highest state court, and it is clear that the
state court would now refuse to consider it because of the
state's procedural rules, the claim is said to be
procedurally defaulted. Gray, 518 U.S. at 161-62.
Procedurally defaulted claims include those within the
following circumstances: (1) when a petitioner has raised a
claim, but has failed to fully and fairly present it as a
federal claim to the Idaho courts (as discussed
directly above); (2) when a petitioner has completely failed
to raise a claim before the Idaho courts; and (3) when the
Idaho courts have rejected a claim on an adequate and
independent state procedural ground. Id.;
Baldwin v. Reese, 541 U.S. 27, 32 (2004);
Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 750 (1991).
Claims Presented to the Idaho Supreme Court
his three state court appeals, Petitioner presented only the
following five claims to the Idaho Supreme Court for review:
(1) the trial court erred in Petitioner's first and
second cases by refusing to allow Petitioner to present
evidence supporting a medical necessity defense and to
instruct the jury on that defense (State's Lodging B-7
(2) the trial court erred by enhancing Petitioner's
sentences in his second case based on a finding that he had
been previously convicted of certain drug offenses in the
first case (State's Lodging B-7 (direct appeal));
(3) the trial court's sentence upon re-sentencing was
excessive (State's Lodging D-1 (appeal after remand ...