OPINION AND ORDER
MICHAEL H. WATSON, District Judge.
On May 15, 2017, the Magistrate Judge denied Petitioner's motions for the appointment of counsel, for the release of exculpatory evidence, and for an evidentiary hearing, ECF Nos. 9 & 13; granted Respondent's Motion to Strike Petitioner's Notice of Supplement to the Record, ECF No. 15, and recommended that Respondent's motion to dismiss, ECF No. 8, be granted and that the petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 therefore be dismissed. Order and R&R, ECF No. 17. Petitioner objects to the Magistrate Judge's Order and Report and Recommendation ("R&R"). Objection, ECF No. 18. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b), this Court has conducted a de novo review. For the reasons that follow, Petitioner's Objection is
The Order and R&R is
Petitioner challenges his May 2010 convictions, following a jury trial in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, on charges of abduction and domestic violence. He asserts that the trial court improperly denied his petition for post-conviction relief without conducting an evidentiary hearing (claim one); that the trial court abused its discretion and denied him access to the courts and due process by denying his post-conviction claims as barred under Ohio's doctrine of res judicata (claim two); that he was denied due process and equal protection by the Ohio Supreme Court's failure to provide him with a transcript of voir dire proceedings, and that the prosecutor and defense counsel during voir dire tainted the jury and caused juror bias (claim three); that he was denied a fair trial by the prosecutor's use of false and perjured testimony and that he was denied his right to a speedy trial (claim four); that he was denied access to the courts, equal protection of the law, and due process because of the Ohio Supreme Court's refusal to permit the filing of an untimely appeal in post-conviction proceedings (claim five); that he was denied the effective assistance of trial counsel based on his attorney's failure to conduct pre-trial consultation and investigation (claim six); that he was denied the right to a fair trial, due process, and equal protection of the law, and the right of confrontation, because of the alleged fraudulent concealment of exculpatory and impeachment evidence (claim seven); that the evidence is constitutionally insufficient to sustain his convictions on domestic violence and abduction (claims eight and nine); and that he was convicted in violation of the Fourth Amendment (claim ten). The Magistrate Judge recommended that Petitioner's speedy trial claim be dismissed as barred by the one-year statute of limitations provided for under 28 U.S.C. 2244(d); that claims one, two, three, five, and ten be dismissed as failing to provide a basis for relief; and that the remainder of Petitioner's claims be dismissed as procedurally defaulted.
Petitioner objects to all of these recommendations, as well as to the denial of his motions for the appointment of counsel, for the release of exculpatory evidence, for an evidentiary hearing, and to supplement the record. Petitioner alleges that his attorney, Michael A. Prisley, failed to visit or consult with him for an entire year, resulting in a sham trial. He also alleges that his appellate attorney, Michael McCarthy, refused to file a meritorious appellate brief or to obtain a copy of the transcript of voir dire proceedings, thereby denying Petitioner meaningful access to the courts in violation of due process and the equal protection clause. Petitioner also contends that he was denied the effective assistance of appellate counsel when his attorney waived oral argument. Moreover, according to Petitioner, police illegally entered his home and lied at trial, later provoking attacks by members of the CRIPS gang against the alleged victim, Karen Monroe, when she filed complaints against them. Petitioner maintains that he is the victim of selective prosecution, that police fabricated the charges against him, that the trial judge was biased, and that defense counsel conspired with the State. Petitioner refers to an August 29, 2011, motion that he filed in conjunction with his July 26, 2011, petition for post-conviction relief in regard to these allegations. Petitioner maintains that he has acted diligently in pursuing relief and he complains that prison officials have denied him access to the courts by delaying his mail and confiscating his legal materials when he was released from prison. He complains that the Ohio Supreme Court refused to accept his post-conviction appeal one day late as a result of prison officials' delay and his confusion regarding the date of the appellate court's decision. Petitioner also states that an action filed by him against prison officials is pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and that he has filed a protection order with the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. Petitioner specifically objects to the Magistrate Judge's recommendation of dismissal of his claims as procedurally defaulted. He submits that he is actually innocent of the charges against him; he argues that his April 23, 2008, letter to Karen Monroe shows that Monroe lied because of her mental conditions and out of fear of police reprisals. He contends that the Magistrate Judge's recommendations constitute an abuse of discretion and are clearly erroneous.
As cause for his procedural defaults, Petitioner represents that he attempted to file a timely appeal of the appellate court's September 12, 2013, decision affirming the trial court's denial of his petition(s) for post-conviction relief. He has attached a document entitled "Personal A/C Withdrawal Check Out-Slip" dated October 25, 2013, for $1.92 to the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Ohio, see Objection ECF No. 18-1, PAGEID #1088, in support of his allegation that he timely submitted his appeal to prison officials on Friday, October 25, 2013, but that officials waited until Monday, October 28, 2013, to mail that appeal. In a letter dated October 29, 2013, the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Ohio advised Petitioner that the appeal was due no later than October 28, 2013, and that, because it was received on October 29, 2013, the Clerk would not file it. Id., PAGEID #1089. Petitioner apparently filed a motion for reconsideration; however, in a letter dated November 14, 2013, the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Ohio advised Petitioner that his motion for reconsideration had not been filed because it was not submitted within the mandatory forty-five-day time limit for the filing of an appeal. Id., PAGEID #1090.
Petitioner has also attached a copy of another motion that he attempted to file in the Ohio Supreme Court, namely, Appellant's Motion to Take Judicial Notice and Order to File Notice of Appeal and Jurisdictional Memorandum. Id., PAGEID ##1091-94. In a letter dated December 23, 2013, the Clerk of the Ohio Supreme Court advised Petitioner that that filing was being returned to him and had not been filed because he had failed to comply with the Rules of Practice of the Supreme Court of Ohio:
Id., PAGEID #1095. Petitioner states that his failure to comply with the filing requirements and time limits for the filing of the appeal was merely a mistake. Petitioner has also attached what he submits is a fraudulent affidavit from his former attorney, Michael Prisley, dated April 29, 2011, see id., PAGEID ##1096-97, and documents related to his inmate visitation records, see id., PAGEID ##1098-1105.
The Court has carefully reviewed the entire record but concludes that the record fails to reflect a basis for relief. Petitioner procedurally defaulted claims three, four, six, seven, eight, and nine by failing to raise the issues presented in those claims in his direct appeal. Petitioner did claim on direct appeal that he had been denied the effective assistance of trial counsel because his attorney failed to consult with him:
State v. Boddie, No. 10AP-687, 2011 WL 2586717, at *3 (Ohio App. 10th Dist. June 30, 2011). However, Petitioner procedurally defaulted this claim by failing to timely appeal the appellate court's decision to the Ohio Supreme Court. That appeal was due forty-five days after the appellate court's June 30, 2011, decision denying Petitioner's direct appeal. Ohio Supreme Court Rule of Practice 7.01(A)(1)(a)(i); see also Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 8-1, PAGEID #575. The Ohio Supreme Court denied Petitioner's motion for a delayed appeal and dismissed the appeal. State v. Boddie, 146 Ohio St.3d 1414 (2016). Petitioner has failed to establish that this extended delay in filing was due to the fault of prison officials.
Moreover, although Petitioner now argues that he properly raised in post-conviction proceedings what he characterizes as off-the-record claims of denial of the effective assistance of trial counsel and other issues, the state appellate court affirmed the trial court's dismissal of such claims as barred under Ohio's doctrine of res judicata:
State v. Boddie, Nos. 12AP-811, 12AP-812, 2013 WL 4973012, at *3-4 (Ohio App. 10th Dist. Sept. 12, 2013). Under these circumstances, this Court agrees with the Magistrate Judge that Petitioner has procedurally defaulted these claims on the basis of res judicata.
Moreover, even assuming that he did not procedurally default these claims, the record establishes that Petitioner procedurally defaulted his off-the-record claims by failing to file a timely appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court in post-conviction proceedings and by failing to comply with the Rules of the Ohio Supreme Court that require that a date-stamped copy of the judgment entry being appealed be attached to the notice of appeal. This Court has previously enforced a procedural default under these same circumstances. See Mason v. Warden, Noble Correctional Inst., No. 2:14-cv-0075, 2014 WL 293843, at *3 (S.D. Ohio Jan. 27, 2014) (finding that Supreme Court Rule of Practice 7.02(D)(1) constitutes an adequate and independent state ground upon which to foreclose federal habeas corpus review) (citing Blackburn v. Wolfe, 2009 WL 1117351 (S.D. Ohio April 24, 2009)). "[N]either the petitioner's pro se status nor his claim of ignorance of the law" constitutes cause for such procedural default. Id. Therefore, this Court need not address Petitioner's allegation that his untimely filing was due to the fault of prison officials in not promptly mailing his post-conviction appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court.
Additionally, despite Petitioner's argument to the contrary, the record fails to reflect that he is actually innocent of the charges against him so as to permit a merits review of these claims. See Souter v. Jones, 395 F.3d 577, 589-90 (6
For the foregoing reasons and for the reasons detailed in the Magistrate Judge's Order and R&R, Petitioner's Objection, ECF No. 18, is
The Order and R&R, ECF No. 17, is
This action is hereby
Pursuant to Rule 11 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts, the Court now considers whether to issue a certificate of appealability. "In contrast to an ordinary civil litigant, a state prisoner who seeks a writ of habeas corpus in federal court holds no automatic right to appeal from an adverse decision by a district court." Jordan v. Fisher, 135 S.Ct. 2647, 2650 (2015); 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(1) (requiring a habeas petitioner to obtain a certificate of appealability in order to appeal). When a claim has been denied on the merits, a certificate of appealability may issue only if the petitioner "has made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right." 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). To make a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right, a petitioner must show "that reasonable jurists could debate whether (or, for that matter, agree that) the petition should have been resolved in a different manner or that the issues presented were `adequate to deserve encouragement to proceed further.'" Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 484 (2000) (quoting Barefoot v. Estelle, 463 U.S. 880, 893 n. 4 (1983)).
When a claim has been denied on procedural grounds, a certificate of appealability may issue if the petitioner establishes that jurists of reason would find it debatable whether the petition states a valid claim of the denial of a constitutional right, and that jurists of reason would find it debatable whether the district court was correct in its procedural ruling. Id.
Upon review of the record, this Court is not persuaded that reasonable jurists could debate whether petitioner's claims should have been resolved differently or that jurists of reasons would find it debatable whether this Court was correct in its procedural rulings. Therefore, the Court
The Clerk is
See also Lee v. Davis, No. 07-13782-BC, 2010 WL 3070060, at *2-3 (E.D. Mich. Aug. 3, 2010) (Petitioner failed to establish cause for his untimely filing based on inaction of prison officials, where he delivered his documents to the prison mail room only two days before the filing deadline, and presented no evidence indicating that the prison mail room did not act promptly in mailing the materials).