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.

Padilla v. Blades

United States District Court, D. Idaho

November 14, 2019

TARANGO D. PADILLA, Petitioner,
v.
RANDY BLADES, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          B. LYNN WINMILL, U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         Earlier in this matter, the Court granted Respondent Randy Blades' Motion for Partial Summary Dismissal of Petitioner Tarango D. Padilla's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus. (Dkts. 8, 12.) Petitioner is challenging his state court grand theft and persistent violator convictions. Petitioner was permitted to proceed to the merits of a subclaim contained in Claim Two, alleging Sixth Amendment ineffective assistance of counsel. Respondent has filed a Response and Brief in Support of Dismissal as to the remaining claim. (Dkt. 13.) Petitioner has elected not to file a reply.

         The 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.

         REVIEW OF INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL CLAIM

         1. Standard of Law

         Title 28 U.S.C.§ 2254(d), as amended by the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), applies when a petitioner files a federal habeas corpus action to challenge a state court judgment. That section 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 in the state court proceeding.

28 U.S.C. § 2254(d).

         Where a petitioner contests the state court's legal conclusions, including application of the law to the facts, § 2254(d)(1) governs. That section consists of two alternative tests: the “contrary to” test and the “unreasonable application” test.

         Under the first test, a state court's decision is “contrary to” clearly established federal law “if the state court applies a rule different from the governing law set forth in [the Supreme Court's] cases, or if it decides a case differently than [the Supreme Court] [has] done on a set of materially indistinguishable facts.” Bell v. Cone, 535 U.S. 685, 694 (2002).

         Under the second test, to satisfy the “unreasonable application” clause of § 2254(d)(1) the petitioner must show that the state court-although it identified “the correct governing legal rule” from Supreme Court precedent-nonetheless “unreasonably applie[d] it to the facts of the particular state prisoner's case.” Williams (Terry) v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 407 (2000). “Section 2254(d)(1) provides a remedy for instances in which a state court unreasonably applies [Supreme Court] precedent; it does not require state courts to extend that precedent or license federal courts to treat the failure to do so as error.” White v. Woodall, 572 U.S 415, 426 (2014).

         When a petitioner contests the reasonableness of the state court's factual determinations based entirely on the state court record, a federal court must undertake a § 2254(d)(2) analysis. Taylor v. Maddox, 366 F.3d 992, 999 (9th Cir. 2004), abrogated on other grounds as recognized in Murray v. Schriro, 745 F.3d 984 (9th Cir. 2014). There are two general ways to challenge factual findings as unreasonable under § 2254(d)(2). “First, a petitioner may challenge the substance of the state court's findings and attempt to show that those findings were not supported by substantial evidence in the state court record. Second, a petitioner may challenge the fact-finding process itself on the ground that it was deficient in some material way.” Hibbler v. Benedetti, 693 F.3d 1140, 1146 (9th Cir. 2012) (internal citations omitted).

         If a federal district court concludes that the state reasonably found the facts and applied the correct federal legal precedent but nevertheless came to an incorrect conclusion, habeas corpus relief is not necessarily warranted. Rather, the federal district court also must conclude that the state court decision is objectively unreasonable. Lockyer v. Andrade, 538 U.S. 63, 75 (2003); Bell, 535 U.S. at 694. If fairminded jurists could disagree on the correctness of the state court's decision, then the decision is considered “objectively reasonable, ” and relief is not warranted under § 2254(d)(1). Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 101 (2011). Stated differently, if all fairminded jurists would agree that the state court decision is incorrect, that equates to a finding that the decision is “objectively unreasonable.” After any mandatory harmless error review, then habeas corpus relief can be granted. The Supreme Court emphasized that “even a strong case for relief does not mean the state court's contrary conclusion was unreasonable.” Id. (internal citation omitted).

         Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984) is the clearly-established law governing Sixth Amendment claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. Strickland dictates that, to succeed on an ineffective assistance claim, a petitioner must show that (1) counsel's performance was deficient in that it fell below an objective standard of reasonableness, and that (2) the petitioner was prejudiced by the deficient performance. Id. at 684.

         In assessing trial counsel's performance under Strickland's first prong, a reviewing court must view counsel's conduct at the time that the challenged act or omission occurred, making an effort to eliminate the distorting lens of hindsight. Id. at 689. The court must indulge in the strong presumption that counsel's conduct fell within the wide range of reasonable professional assistance. Id.

         In assessing prejudice under Strickland's second prong, a court must find that, under the particular circumstances of the case, there is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different. Id. at 684, 694. A reasonable probability is one sufficient to undermine confidence in the outcome. Id. at 694.

         A petitioner must establish both deficient performance and prejudice to prove an ineffective assistance of counsel claim. 466 U.S. at 697. On habeas review, the court may consider either prong of the Strickland test first, or it may ...


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.