The Respondent appealed an order of the district court
requiring him to reimburse Mr. Copeland for deposition expenses incurred in his
pending 2254 petition. First, the Court found it had jursidiction under the
collateral order doctrine. Then the Court finds that a district court cannot
order reimburse of an indigent habeas petition for disposition expense when the
state did not request the deposition as it has no jurisdiction to do so. The
district court’s use of Fed. Rules of C.P 15(d) was invalid as they do not
apply 2254 habeas proceedings, as only Federal Rules of Civil Pro. apply. (Even
though they do apply in 2255 petition by statute) The Court suggested that the
expense were reimbursable under the CJA.
After entering into a plea
agreement with Cuero charging him with one California strike, one day prior to sentencing,
the DA filed an amended complaint alleging an additional prior strike,
increasing his possible sentence from 14 years 4 months to 64 years to life. This
was a violation of the plea agreement [“Cuero performed his part of the bargain
only to have the state renege on its.”] and the remedy provide, i.e. withdrawal
of his guilty plea and entering into a new plea agreement for 25 years to life
was not sufficient to provide Cuero with his benefit of the original bargain.
The state court violated clearly established Supreme Court law by denying Cuero
the benefit of his bargain and the Court reversed the denial of his petition.
[The majority describe Judge O’Scannlain’s dissenting arguments as “Absurd.”)
UPDATED: Rehearing was denied with a dissenting opinion. See here.
Robertson challenges his convictions for DUI and
possession of a billy club. Robertson was granted a COA on his claim that the
trial court erred in admitted his statements, in violation of his Miranda rights, regarding the billy club
they found in the trunk of his car. Robertson claims he invoked his rights
after being requested to take a chemical test by stating “I want my attorney.”
Later another officer asked him if the billy club in the car was his.
Therefore, he argues that any subsequent questioning violated Edwards. The Court upheld the denial of
the claim as the state court could have reasonably concluded that the request
to submit to chemical testing did not constitute custodial interrogation.
Further since, the Supreme Court has never authorized an anticpatory invocation
of Miranda rights the state court did not unreasonable apply Supreme Court
precedent in including his statements did not trigger any rights under Edwards. Additionally, it would not be
unreasonable for a state court to find that his statement that he would not
submit to chemical testing with a lawyer does not mean that he also wanted a
lawyer for subsequent questioning. Other uncertified issues were also rejected.
Mahrt alleged that his Sixth Amendment right to
effective assistance of counsel was violated by his trial counsel’s failure to
move to suppress the firearms and ammunition found in his room. The State
argued that Mahrt’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim is not cognizable
on federal habeas review because it rest upon an alleged constitutional
violation that preceeded his guilty plea. Second, it argued that even if it was
cognizable, the state court’s rejection of the claim was not contrary to or an
unreasonable application of established law as determined by the Supreme Court.
The court held that his claim is not barred as the general rule has an
exception where a petition may challenge the voludntary and intelligent
character of the guilty plea based on pre-plea ineffective assistance of
counsel. The Court then denied the claim as the “state court could reasonably
have concluded that Mahrt’s counsel did not provide ineffective assistance in
failing to move to suppres the firearms and ammunition. While trial counsel
should have moved to suppress the evidence as “[t]here was at least a chance
tht such a motion would have succeeded” the court found that it would have been
reasonable for the state courts to conclude that a motion to suppress, if
brought, would likely have been denied. The state courts could reasonable have
concluded that the search was justified under the “emergency aid” exception to
the warrant requirement. The officer had reason to believe there may have been
a victim in the area and were not required to believe that she had left based
on Mahrt’s and another persons statements, therefore, they had reason to go
into the room to look for a victim.