United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
HONORABLE CANDY W. DALE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
before the Court is a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
filed by Idaho state prisoner Bradley Joseph Vanzant
(“Petitioner”), challenging Petitioner's Ada
County conviction for possession of a controlled substance.
(Dkt. 3.) Respondent has filed a Motion for Summary
Dismissal, arguing that Claim 1 is noncognizable and that
Petitioner's remaining claims are procedurally defaulted.
(Dkt. 13.) The Motion is now ripe for adjudication.
Court takes judicial notice of the records from
Petitioner's state court proceedings, which have been
lodged by Respondent. (Dkt. 12.) See Fed. R. Evid.
201(b); Dawson v Mahoney, 451 F.3d 550, 551 n.1 (9th
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. 10.) 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 Respondent's Motion and
dismissing this case with prejudice.
Fourth Judicial District Court in Ada County, Idaho,
Petitioner pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine,
in violation of Idaho Code § 37-2732(c). (State's
Lodging B-4 at 1.) He received a unified sentence of six
years in prison with three and one-half years fixed.
Petitioner filed an Idaho Criminal Rule 35 motion for
reduction of sentence, which was denied. (State's Lodging
filed a direct appeal, arguing that his sentence was
excessive under Idaho law and that the trial court abused its
discretion in denying his Rule 35 motion. (State's
Lodging B-1.) The Idaho Court of Appeals affirmed, and the
Idaho Supreme Court denied review. (State's Lodging B-4,
next filed a petition for state post-conviction relief,
arguing that his guilty plea was involuntary and that
Petitioner's trial counsel and direct appeal counsel
rendered ineffective assistance. (State's Lodging C-1 at
4-6.) The Ada County Public Defender's Office was
appointed to represent Petitioner in the post-conviction
proceedings. (Id. at 39.) The public defender's
office later withdrew, and new counsel appeared on behalf of
Petitioner. (Id. at 44.)
trial court held a hearing on the state's motion to
dismiss, concluding that the claims identified in the
state's motion were conclusory and not supported by
admissible evidence. (State's Lodging C-2 at 13.)
However, because two of Petitioner's claims had not been
cited by the state in its motion to dismiss, the court gave
Petitioner twenty days to “file additional affidavits
and/or briefs laying out specifics as to these two issues and
these two issues only.” (Id. at 14.)
post-conviction counsel did not submit additional evidence or
briefing. As a result, Petitioner filed a “Motion for
Conflict Free Counsel, ” asserting that his
post-conviction attorney would not adequately assist him.
(Id. at 84.) Petitioner sought new counsel, stating
“there is absolutely no type of attorney [c]lient
relationship between the Petitioner” and his attorney.
(Id.) The trial court denied Petitioner's motion
and dismissed the post-conviction petition. (Id. at
88-104 and 89 at n.2.)
through new counsel, appealed the dismissal of the petition,
arguing only that the post-conviction court erred by denying
Petitioner's motion for conflict-free counsel.
(State's Lodging D-1, D-3.) Petitioner did not appeal any
of the substantive claims raised in his post-conviction
conviction. The Idaho Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal
of the petition, and the Idaho Supreme Court denied review.
(State's Lodging D-4, D-7.)
instant federal habeas petition asserts the following claims:
(1) the state district court violated Petitioner's right
to due process by denying his motion for conflict-free
counsel, during post-conviction proceedings, without holding
a hearing; (2) Petitioner's guilty plea was involuntary
and resulted from ineffective assistance of trial counsel;
and (3) Petitioner's trial counsel rendered ineffective
assistance by failing (a) to call witnesses, (b) to challenge
the drug amount discrepancies, (c) to review audio and video
recordings of the arrest, and (d) to file a motion to
suppress. (Dkt. 3; see also Dkt. 7 at 2.)
Court previously reviewed the Petition and allowed Petitioner
to proceed on his claims to the extent those claims
“(1) are cognizable in a federal habeas corpus action,
(2) were timely filed in this Court, and (3) were either
properly exhausted in state court or subject to a ...