340 F.3d 433 (6th Cir. 2003), 01-2727, Maples v. Stegall

Docket Nº:01-2727
Citation:340 F.3d 433
Party Name:Maples v. Stegall
Case Date:August 19, 2003
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
 
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Page 433

340 F.3d 433 (6th Cir. 2003)

David MAPLES, Petitioner-Appellant,

v.

Jimmy STEGALL, Respondent-Appellee.

No. 01-2727.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

August 19, 2003

Submitted June 18, 2003.

Page 434

David A. Maples (briefed), Macomb Correctional Facility, New Haven, MI, pro se.

Brad H. Beaver (briefed), Office of the Attorney General, Corrections Division, Lansing, MI, William C. Campbell, Office of the Attorney General, Habeas Corpus Division, Lansing, MI, for Respondent-Appellee.

Before: BOGGS and GILMAN, Circuit Judges; MARBLEY, District Judge. [*]

GILMAN, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which MARBLEY, D.J., joined. BOGGS, J. (p. 441), delivered a separate opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.

OPINION

GILMAN, Circuit Judge.

David Maples pled guilty in Michigan state court to one count of distributing cocaine. He did so only after receiving assurances from his attorney that he would subsequently be able to appeal an alleged violation of his speedy-trial rights. That advice turned out to be erroneous. The Michigan Court of Appeals held on direct appeal that Maples's plea agreement clearly precluded him from subsequently raising this issue.

After the Michigan court system denied him any relief, either on direct appeal or in post-conviction proceedings, Maples filed a petition for habeas corpus in the district court below. He raised, among other alleged errors, an ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim. The district court denied the petition, but granted Maples a certificate of appealability solely with respect to the issue of ineffective assistance of counsel. For the reasons set forth below, we VACATE the judgment of the district court and REMAND the case with directions that the court assess the merits of Maples's speedy-trial argument as part of his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim.

I. BACKGROUND

Maples was charged in Michigan state court with delivery of more than 50 grams of cocaine and with being part of a conspiracy to so deliver, in violation of Michigan state law. He filed motions to dismiss the charges on the grounds that he was entrapped and that the state's 180-day speedy-trial rule was violated. The court denied both motions.

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On the day scheduled for trial, Maples entered into a plea agreement, pursuant to which he pled guilty to the delivery charge and the state moved to dismiss the conspiracy charge. At the plea colloquy, the following exchange transpired between Daniel Feinberg, Maples's trial counsel, James Sullivan, the Assistant District Attorney, and the court:

Feinberg: Also, your honor, I believe since it is a jurisdictional matter, this wouldn't affect [Maples's] rights preserved on appeal, 180 days and all that....

The Court: I am not going to make any comments on the 180-day rule. I can't remember whether it does or not. Do you recall?

Sullivan: I am sure ... I think he waived it.

The Court: I can't comment on that.... I cannot tell you. You are going to have to advise your client in that regard on that; whether it is waived or not. I cannot make any comments on that. Frankly, I don't recall.

Maples subsequently accepted the plea agreement. He did so because his counsel advised him that the plea agreement would not preclude him from arguing on appeal that his speedy-trial rights were violated.

Maples appealed his conviction to the Michigan Court of Appeals, claiming that the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss, which was based in part upon the alleged violation of his right to a speedy trial. In an unpublished per curiam opinion, the state appellate court affirmed the trial court's ruling. It held that "Defendant's unconditional guilty plea waives review of the claimed violation of the 180-day rule ... and his claimed violation of his constitutional and statutory right to a speedy trial...."

Proceeding pro se, Maples then filed an application for leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court. He raised the same claims that he had raised before the Court of Appeals, as well as a claim that his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective for failing to apprise Maples that he could not appeal the speedy-trial issue after accepting the guilty plea. The Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to appeal in a summary order.

Maples subsequently filed a motion for relief from judgment with the state trial court. He again raised the ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim, and again the trial court denied relief. Maples then sought leave to appeal the trial court's ruling to the Michigan Court of Appeals, which denied the application on October 21, 1999.

Fifty-one days later, on December 11, 1999, Maples completed his application for leave to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court. The application included a claim that his trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective. That day, Maples called the prison mailroom, per prison policy, to ascertain the cost of mailing his application. He was told to call back two days later.

On December 13, 1999, Maples was quoted the price to send his application. Although the record is unclear on this issue, it appears that Maples delivered his application to the prison mailroom either that day or the very next day, 53 or 54 days after the Michigan Court of Appeals denied leave to appeal.

The Michigan Supreme Court received Maples's application on December 17, 1999, 57 days after the Court of Appeals issued its ruling. This was untimely under Michigan law, which requires that such an application "be filed [no] more than 56 days after the Court of Appeals decision." MCR 7.302(C)(3). The Michigan Supreme Court therefore returned the application

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without filing it due to the procedural default.

Maples then filed a petition for habeas corpus in the district court below. Among other claims raised in support of collateral relief, Maples contended that his counsel was constitutionally ineffective for misadvising him about his ability to raise the speedy-trial issue after pleading guilty. The district court denied the petition, holding in pertinent part as follows:

Petitioner was represented by counsel at his plea, and he indicated that his plea was voluntary and intelligent. Although his attorney asserted that the plea did not waive Petitioner's right to raise his speedy trial claim on appeal, the trial court...

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