United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
E. BUSH CHIEF U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
before the Court is a Petition an Amended Petition for Writ
of Habeas Corpus filed by Idaho state prisoner Timothy Andrew
Kellis, challenging his Latah County convictions on nine
counts of lewd conduct with a minor, one count of attempted
lewd conduct with a minor, and two counts of sexual abuse of
a child. See Dkt. 11. The Court previously granted
Respondent's motion for partial summary dismissal,
concluding that Claims 1 through 19 were procedurally
defaulted without legal excuse and that Claims 20 through 25
are not cognizable on federal habeas corpus review.
See Dkt. 39.
26, the only remaining claim in the Amended Petition, is now
fully briefed and ripe for adjudication. In that claim,
Kellis asserts that, in violation of due process, the trial
judge imposed a harsh sentence as punishment for Kellis's
assertion of innocence. Dkt. 11-3 at 22-30, Am. Pet. at
Court takes judicial notice of the records from Kellis's
state court proceedings, which have been lodged by
Respondent. See Dkt. 22; Fed.R.Evid. 201(b);
Dawson v. Mahoney, 451 F.3d 550, 551 n.1 (9th Cir.
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) and Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 73. See Dkt. 17. Having carefully
reviewed the record in this matter, including the state court
record, the Court concludes that oral argument is
unnecessary. See D. Idaho L. Civ. R. 7.1(d).
Accordingly, the Court will enter the following Order denying
habeas corpus relief.
a jury trial in the Second Judicial District Court in Latah
County, Idaho, Kellis was convicted of twelve criminal
charges arising from sexual misconduct “with four
teenage boys, much of which occurred at a Boy Scout Camp
where Kellis was a staff member.” State's Lodging
D-6 at 1. The Idaho Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions
and sentence, rejecting Kellis's claim that the trial
judge unconstitutionally punished him, for asserting his
innocence, by imposing a harsher sentence based on that
assertion. State v. Kellis, 229 P.3d 1174, 1178-79
(Idaho Ct. App. 2010).
raises the same claim in Claim 26-that his due process rights
were violated at sentencing because the trial judge used
Kellis's assertion of innocence as a basis for additional
punishment. Dkt. 11-3 at 22, Am. Pet. at 122. For the
following reasons, the Court disagrees.
Habeas Corpus Standards of Law
federal court may grant habeas corpus relief when it
determines that the petitioner “is in custody in
violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the
United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). If the state
court has adjudicated a claim on the merits, habeas relief is
further limited by § 2254(d), as amended by the
Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(“AEDPA”). Under AEDPA, federal habeas relief may
be granted only 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;
(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). “Deciding whether a state
court's decision involved an unreasonable application of
federal law or was based on an unreasonable determination of
fact requires the federal habeas court to train its attention
on the particular reasons- both legal and factual-why state
courts rejected a state prisoner's federal claims and to
give appropriate deference to that decision.”
Wilson v. Sellers, 138 S.Ct. 1188, 1191-92 (2018)
(internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
party 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.
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 identifying “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, 134 S.Ct.
1697, 1706 (2014) (emphasis omitted).
federal court cannot grant habeas relief simply because it
concludes in its independent judgment that the state
court's decision is incorrect or wrong; rather, the state
court's application of federal law must be objectively
unreasonable to warrant relief. Lockyer v. Andrade,
538 U.S. 63, 75 (2003); Bell, 535 U.S. at 694. If
there is any possibility that fair-minded jurists could
disagree on the correctness of the state court's
decision, then relief is not warranted under §
2254(d)(1). Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 102
(2011). The Supreme Court has emphasized that “even a
strong case for relief does not mean the state court's
contrary conclusion was unreasonable.” Id. To
be entitled to habeas relief under § 2254(d)(1),
“a state prisoner must show that the state court's
ruling on the claim being presented in federal court was so
lacking in justification that there was an error well
understood and comprehended in existing law beyond any
possibility for fairminded disagreement.” Id.
source of clearly established federal law must come only from
the holdings of the United States Supreme Court. Although
circuit precedent may be persuasive authority for determining
whether a state court decision is an unreasonable application
of Supreme Court precedent, Duhaime v. Ducharme, 200
F.3d 597, 600-01 (9th Cir. 2000), circuit law may not be used
“to refine or sharpen a general principle of Supreme
Court jurisprudence into a specific legal rule that th[e]
Court has not announced, ” Marshall v.
Rodgers, 569 U.S. 58, 64 (2013).
under § 2254(d)(1) is limited to the record that was
before the state court that adjudicated the claim on the
merits.” Cullen v. Pinholster, 563 U.S. 170,
180 (2011). Therefore, evidence that was not presented to the
state court cannot be introduced on federal habeas review if
a claim was adjudicated on the merits in state court and if
the underlying factual determinations of the state court were
reasonable. See Murray v. Schriro, 745 F.3d 984,
999-1000 (9th Cir. 2014) (“After Pinholster, a
federal habeas court may consider new evidence only on de
novo review, subject to the limitations of §
2254(e)(2).”); Hurles v. Ryan, 752 F.3d 768,
778 (9th Cir. 2014) (“If we determine, considering only
the evidence before the state court, that the adjudication ...