Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Martinez v. State

United States District Court, D. Idaho

July 29, 2019

LEVI MARTINEZ, Petitioner,
v.
STATE OF IDAHO, Respondent.

          INITIAL REVIEW ORDER

          Honorable Candy W. Dale United States Magistrate Judge

         Petitioner Levi Martinez has filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus challenging Petitioner's state court convictions. (Dkt. 3.) The Court now reviews the Petition to determine whether it is subject to summary dismissal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2243 and Rule 4 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases (“Habeas Rules”).

         REVIEW OF PETITION

         1. Standard of Law for Review of Petition

         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. Habeas Rule 4. 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

         In 1983, Petitioner was convicted of four unidentified criminal charges and sentenced to imprisonment for two consecutive 30-year terms, followed by a consecutive 15-year term, providing for a total fixed term of 15 years; Petitioner also received a concurrent term of 25 years. (Dkt. 3 at 1-2.) Petitioner pursued a direct appeal as well as state post-conviction remedies. (Id. at 2-4.)

         In the instant Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Petitioner brings four claims. He invokes the Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as federal sentencing statutes.

         3. Discussion

         The Petition appears to be subject to summary dismissal for the following reasons. Petitioner may respond to this Order within 28 days, setting forth any reason why he believes his Petition is not subject to dismissal.[1]

         A. Claims 1, 2, and 4 Are Noncognizable

         In Claims 1 and 4, Petitioner relies on an affidavit from the victim's mother, who allegedly has a power of attorney with respect to the victim. (Dkt. 3 at 6, 9.) The affidavit purports to “Drop All Charges” against Petitioner and to recant the affiant's testimony; the affidavit also requests that Petitioner be released. (Dkt. 3-1 at 1.)

         Although it is not entirely clear, Claims 1 and 4 appear to assert actual innocence. Such a claim is not cognizable-meaning that it is not a basis for relief and thus cannot be heard-on federal habeas review in a noncapital case. Herrera v. Collins, 506 U.S. 390, 404 (1993) (“[A] claim of ‘actual innocence' is not itself a constitutional claim, but instead a gateway through which a habeas petitioner must pass to have his otherwise barred constitutional claim considered on the merits.”); see also Cavanaugh v. Ellis, No. 1:13-CV-00295-CWD, 2014 WL 2208272, at *5 (D. Idaho May 28, 2014) (unpublished) (“[I]n a noncapital case, a claim of actual innocence is not cognizable on collateral review in a federal habeas corpus action.”). However, as explained below, actual innocence can be used to overcome a procedural bar, which would allow a separate, independent constitutional claim to be considered on the merits.

         Claim 2 alleges that Petitioner's sentences are improperly “multi-structured” and asserts a right to relief under statutes applicable to federal criminal proceedings. (Dkt. 3 at 7.) This claim is not cognizable because Petitioner is not in custody pursuant to a federal criminal judgment. Because Petitioner is ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.