288 F.3d 363 (8th Cir. 2002), 01-1174, Hubbeling v. U.S.

Docket Nº01-1174
Citation288 F.3d 363
Party NameHubbeling v. U.S.
Case DateMay 03, 2002
CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals, United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)

Page 363

288 F.3d 363 (8th Cir. 2002)

Russell HUBBELING, Petitioner--Appellant,

v.

UNITED STATES of America, Respondent--Appellee.

No. 01-1174.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

May 3, 2002

Submitted: Nov. 14, 2001.

Page 364

Al J. Arendt, Pierre, SD, argued, for petitioner-appellant.

Dennis Ray Holmes, Asst. U.S. Atty., Sioux Falls, SD, argued (Michelle G. Tapken, on the brief), for respondent-appellee.

Before LOKEN, LAY, and HEANEY, Circuit Judges.

LOKEN, Circuit Judge.

Russell Hubbeling and four codefendants were charged with twenty-three counts of aggravated sexual abuse of young girls in their extended family in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2241(c). After a lengthy trial, the jury convicted Hubbeling of sexually abusing his seven-year-old niece, T.R., and twenty-month-old niece, F.R. He was sentenced to thirty years in prison, and we affirmed the convictions on direct appeal. United States v. Rouse, 111 F.3d 561 (8th Cir. 1997), reconsidering 100 F.3d 560 (8th Cir. 1996). Hubbeling then filed a motion for post-conviction relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, asserting that he was denied effective assistance of counsel when his attorney (1) failed to make a timely motion or provide adequate foundation under Federal Rule of Evidence 412 for the admission of evidence concerning T.R.'s past sexual activity; (2) did not object when an FBI agent testified to what three young victims said during initial interviews; and (3) did not argue insufficiency of the evidence on appeal. The district court 1 denied the motion.

After Hubbeling filed a notice of appeal, we remanded to the district court to consider whether the issues raised in his § 2255 motion merited a certificate of appealability, which may issue only if the applicant makes "a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right." 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2); see Slack v. McDaniel, 529 U.S. 473, 483-84, 120 S.Ct. 1595, 146 L.Ed.2d 542 (2000). The district court granted a certificate, explaining:

The record in this case contains some evidence suggesting that Petitioner received ineffective assistance of counsel by failing to make a motion 15 days before trial regarding Rule 412 evidence in a child sexual abuse case and also by failing to introduce specific instances of prior sexual behavior by a victim to provide an explanation of an alternate source of injury to the victim.... Given these circumstances, the issue deserves further proceedings in the Eighth Circuit.

(Emphasis added). A certificate of appealability "shall indicate which specific issue or issues satisfy the showing required by paragraph (2)." § 2253(c)(3). Despite the unambiguous limitation in his certificate, Hubbeling has argued all three ineffective assistance theories on appeal. We limit our review to the Rule 412 evidence issue specified in the order granting a certificate. See Ramsey v. Bowersox, 149 F.3d 749, 759 (8th Cir. 1998),cert. denied,

Page 365

525 U.S. 1166, 119 S.Ct. 1083, 143 L.Ed.2d 85 (1999). 2 We affirm.

The Rule 412 Evidence Claim.

One of the victims was Hubbeling's seven-year-old niece, T.R. On the day before trial, defendants gave notice of their intent to introduce evidence that T.R. had engaged in prior sexual activity. The government objected that defendants had not complied with Rule 412 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. 3 Before trial began, the district court heard argument on this issue and ruled that the evidence defendants proposed to introduce fell within Rule 412, that some was inadmissible general reputation evidence, and that defendants had known about the possibly admissible Rule 412 evidence for almost three months and had failed to comply with the Rule by giving timely notice and a written offer of proof. Accordingly, the court granted the government's motion to exclude defendants' Rule 412 evidence at trial "on the basis of the record, as it currently exists."

On direct appeal, defendants challenged this preliminary ruling, arguing the district court abused its discretion because defendants effectively gave timely Rule 412 notice in another pretrial pleading. We agreed with the district court that defendants had failed to comply with Rule 412's procedural requirements and upheld the court's discretionary ruling. See 111 F.3d at 569. Accordingly, in this § 2255 proceeding, Hubbeling first argues that counsel's failure to comply with the procedural requirements of Rule 412 was ineffective assistance that prejudicially affected the trial. Post-conviction relief for ineffective assistance of trial counsel requires proof of prejudice, that is, "a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different." Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 694, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984). Like the district court, we reject Hubbeling's contention because counsel's procedural mistake caused no prejudice. As we will explain, the district court revisited the Rule 412 issue during trial and ultimately excluded defendants' proposed evidence for reasons other than their initial untimely Rule 412 notice.

Page 366

At the close of the pretrial argument on Rule 412 issues, the district court noted that the Rule provides for exceptions to its notice requirement and that some of the defendants' undisclosed evidence might be admissible under the Rule. Therefore, the court stated, its ruling "is without prejudice to a proper showing that the defense might make at some later point in the trial." Defendants returned the very next day with a renewed Rule 412 motion. This renewed effort is the focus of Hubbeling's alternative ineffective assistance argument: counsel was ineffective in failing to present evidence that an eleven-year-old boy, T.R.'s cousin M.R., had told a defense investigator that he had sex twice with T.R. This evidence would have been admissible under Rule 412(b)(1)(A), Hubbeling contends, because it was evidence of specific sexual activity by the victim offered to prove that a person other than the accused was the source of the victim's injury.

When defendants renewed their Rule 412 motion before the second day of trial, they submitted the written reports of M.R.'s interviews with FBI and defense investigators. Both reports said M.R. "admitted to having sex with" T.R. The defense investigator's interview notes stated, in pertinent part:

[M.R.] admitted to having sex with [T.R.]. He said he knows what sexual intercourse is and he calls it "boning" .... He said he and [T.R] had sex in the back room of the house on one occasion and out in the field on another occasion.

The district court heard lengthy arguments on the renewed motion. Defendants argued the evidence that M.R. had sex with T.R. would fall within the injury exception in Rule 412(b)(1)(A). The government responded (i) T.R. denied having sexual intercourse with M.R., (ii) the victims and other young children in the extended family used words like "sex" with great imprecision, and (iii) it was unlikely that any sexual activity between T.R. and an eleven-year-old boy could have been an alternate source of the considerable physical injuries to T.R.'s genitalia. After hearing these competing arguments, the district court took a cautious approach to the issue:

[W]ith regard to [T.R. and M.R.] ... I don't know if the Government is going to present that testimony [by the examining doctors] whether this injury came from this assault .... [T]he defense isn't charged with having to anticipate that. [O]nce the Government puts [evidence] in ... with regard to injury, then the defense could [argue] that...

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  • Feather v. United States, 112221 FED8, 20-3371
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • November 22, 2021
    ...a joint new trial motion in Rouse II, 410 F.3d at 1008. For an additional summary of this trial evidence, see Hubbeling v. United States, 288 F.3d 363, 367 (8th Cir. 2002), affirming the denial of co-defendant Russell Hubbeling's initial motion for § 2255 In support of his § 2255 motion, Fe......
  • Rouse v. United States, 091621 FED8, 20-2007
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • September 16, 2021
    ...ineffective assistance of counsel. The district court denied the motion on the merits; we affirmed. Hubbeling v. United States, 288 F.3d 363 (8th Cir. 2002). Jesse Rouse filed a § 2255 petition in 1998 alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. This petition was dismiss......
  • United States v. Landers, 120408 AREDC, 4:03cr00142 JMM
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 8th Circuit United States State District Court of Eastern District of Arkansas
    • December 4, 2008
    ...must make a "substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right." 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2); Hubbeling v. United States, 288 F.3d 363 (8th Cir. 2002). A "substantial showing" is one in which a petitioner demonstrates that his "issues are debatable among jurist......
  • Balvin v. Britten, 091613 NEDC, 8:12CV377
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 8th Circuit United States District Court of Nebraska
    • September 16, 2013
    ...unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different." Id. at 694; see also Hubbeling v. United States, 288 F.3d 363, 365 (8th Cir. 2002). A court need not address the reasonableness of the attorney's skills and diligence if the movant cannot prove prejudice un......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
30 cases
  • Feather v. United States, 112221 FED8, 20-3371
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • November 22, 2021
    ...a joint new trial motion in Rouse II, 410 F.3d at 1008. For an additional summary of this trial evidence, see Hubbeling v. United States, 288 F.3d 363, 367 (8th Cir. 2002), affirming the denial of co-defendant Russell Hubbeling's initial motion for § 2255 In support of his § 2255 motion, Fe......
  • Rouse v. United States, 091621 FED8, 20-2007
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • September 16, 2021
    ...ineffective assistance of counsel. The district court denied the motion on the merits; we affirmed. Hubbeling v. United States, 288 F.3d 363 (8th Cir. 2002). Jesse Rouse filed a § 2255 petition in 1998 alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. This petition was dismiss......
  • United States v. Landers, 120408 AREDC, 4:03cr00142 JMM
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 8th Circuit United States State District Court of Eastern District of Arkansas
    • December 4, 2008
    ...must make a "substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right." 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2); Hubbeling v. United States, 288 F.3d 363 (8th Cir. 2002). A "substantial showing" is one in which a petitioner demonstrates that his "issues are debatable among jurist......
  • Balvin v. Britten, 091613 NEDC, 8:12CV377
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 8th Circuit United States District Court of Nebraska
    • September 16, 2013
    ...unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different." Id. at 694; see also Hubbeling v. United States, 288 F.3d 363, 365 (8th Cir. 2002). A court need not address the reasonableness of the attorney's skills and diligence if the movant cannot prove prejudice un......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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