Adams v. Wise, C. A. 1:21-cv-01248-JMC-SVH

CourtU.S. District Court — District of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtShiva V. Hodges, United States Magistrate Judge.
PartiesDavid Adams, Petitioner, v. Samuel Wise, Respondent.
Docket NumberC. A. 1:21-cv-01248-JMC-SVH
Decision Date15 March 2022

David Adams, Petitioner,

Samuel Wise, Respondent.

C. A. No. 1:21-cv-01248-JMC-SVH

United States District Court, D. South Carolina

March 15, 2022


Shiva V. Hodges, United States Magistrate Judge.

David Adams (“Petitioner”) is an inmate at the Lee Correctional Institution of the South Carolina Department of Corrections. Petitioner filed this pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. This matter is before the court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Local Civ. Rule 73.02(B)(2)(c) (D.S.C.) for a Report and Recommendation on Respondent's return and motion for summary judgment. [ECF Nos. 14, 15]. Petitioner filed a response on November 22, 2021 [ECF No. 24], and Respondent filed a reply on November 29, 2021 [ECF No. 25].

Having carefully considered the parties' submissions and the record in this case, the undersigned recommends Respondent's motion for summary judgment be granted. I. Factual and Procedural Background

Petitioner was indicted by the Lexington County Grand Jury during the June 2014 term of court for criminal sexual conduct with a minor, second


degree (2014-GS-32-1759). [ECF No. 14-3 at 134-35]. Robert Madsen, Esq., (“plea counsel”) represented Petitioner during his guilty plea on May 4, 2015, before the Honorable W. Jeffrey Young, Circuit Court Judge. [ECF No. 14-1 at 21 et seq.]. Judge Young sentenced Petitioner to 18 years' imprisonment. [ECF No. 14-1 at 137].

Petitioner filed a notice of appeal, but his appeal was dismissed on July 9, 2015, when he failed to provide a sufficient explanation as required by SCACR 203(d)(1)(B)(iv). [ECF No. 14-2].

On September 15, 2015, Petitioner filed a pro se application for post-conviction relief (“PCR”) [ECF No. 14-1 at 3-9] in which he asserted:

(a) Ineffective Assistance of Counsel pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § 17-23-60 because counsel failed to conduct any meaningful pre-trial investigation
(b) Denied Due Process of Law in violation of 4th Amendment because no search warrant or consent form was provided in DNA blood testing; and
(c) Denied Due Process of Law for a Brady[1] violation because the State failed to provide the medical records of the victim in discovery

[ECF No. 14-1 at 5]. On December 11, 2017, Petitioner appeared for an evidentiary hearing before the Honorable J. Cordell Maddox, Jr., Circuit


Court Judge (“PCR Court”). [ECF No. 14-1 at 18 et seq.]. During the hearing, Petitioner was represented by David K. Allen, Esq., (“PCR counsel”). [ECF No. 14-1 at 18]. Because there was no transcript from Petitioner's guilty plea, the PCR court began with a reconstruction hearing in which both plea counsel and the prosecutor testified. [ECF No. 14-1 at 21-59]. After finding the record to be adequately reconstructed such that the PCR court could consider Petitioner's PCR claims, the court proceeded with the PCR evidentiary hearing. [ECF No. 14-1 at 60-117]. Petitioner and plea counsel testified. [ECF No. 14-1 at 60-116]. In an order filed April 6, 2018, the PCR Court denied and dismissed Petitioner's application (“PCR Order”). [ECF No. 14-1 at 125-33].

Petitioner appealed and, on November 5, 2018, LaNelle Cantey DuRant, appellate defender with the South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense, Division of Appellate Defense, filed a Johnson[2] petition for writ of certiorari raising the following issue: “Did the PCR court err in failing to find plea counsel ineffective for not insuring that Petitioner Adam's guilty plea was entered voluntarily and knowingly because plea counsel failed to adequately investigate possible defenses.” [ECF No. 14-3 at 3]. DuRant certified the petition was without merit and requested to be relieved as


counsel. Id. at 11. Petitioner filed a pro se brief on May 9, 2019. [ECF No. 14-4]. The South Carolina Supreme Court transferred the matter to the South Carolina Court of Appeals on May 9, 2019. [ECF No. 14-5]. The Court of Appeals denied the petition for writ of certiorari on August 13, 2020. [ECF No. 14-6]. The court also granted counsel's motion to be relieved as counsel. Id. Petitioner filed a pro se petition for rehearing on September 4, 2020. [ECF No. 14-7]. The petition for rehearing was denied on October 28, 2020. [ECF No. 14-8]. The remittitur issued on December 16, 2020, and was filed by the Lexington County Clerk of Court on December 23, 2020. [ECF No. 14-9]. II. Discussion

A. Federal Habeas Issues

Petitioner raises the following grounds for relief:

Ground One:Involuntary Guilty Plea (violating the Due Process of Law Clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution).
Supporting Facts:
1) Petitioner did not knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waive his constitutional rights to the privilege against compulsory self-incrimination, to a trial by jury, and to confront his accuser;
2) Petitioner did not knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily admit guilt to the charge of which he was sentenced for in indictment 2014-GS-3201759; and
3) Petitioner objected to charge in indictment # 2014-GS-3201759.
Ground Two:Ineffective Assistance of Counsel (violation of Petitioner's Rights to effective assistance of counsel by way of the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution).
Supporting Facts:
1) Counsel failed to conduct any meaningful investigation into the results of the wrong name on the DNA results; and 2) Counsel failed to do an adequate investigation into the illegal search and seizure of Petitioner's DNA.
Ground Three: Denial and violation of Petitioner's 4th Amendment and 14th Amendment Rights under the U.S. Constitution.
Supporting Facts:
1) No. search warrant and/or consent form was provided for Petitioner's DNA; and 2) Petitioner was coerced by lawful authority to provide DNA.
Ground Four:Petitioner was denied Due Process of law by State's failure to provide Brady material (violating the Due Process of Law Clause under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution).
Supporting Facts:
1) State failed to provide medical records of victim; and
2) State failed to provide additional statements given by victim.

[ECF No. 1 at 5, 7, 8, 10].

B. Standard for Summary Judgment

Summary judgment is appropriate “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will


properly preclude the entry of summary judgment.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). “[S]ummary judgment will not lie if the dispute about a material fact is ‘genuine,' that is, if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Id. At the summary judgment stage, the court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all justifiable inferences in its favor. Id. at 255. However, “[o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment. Factual disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary will not be counted.” Id. at 248.

The moving party has the burden of proving that summary judgment is appropriate. Once the moving party makes this showing, however, the opposing party may not rest upon mere allegations or denials, but rather must, by affidavits or other means permitted by the Rule, set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e).

C. Habeas Corpus Standard of Review

1. Generally

Because Petitioner filed his petition after the effective date of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-132, 110 Stat. 1214 (“AEDPA”), review of his claims is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), as amended. Lindh v. Murphy, 521 U.S. 320 (1997); Breard v.


Pruett, 134 F.3d 615 (4th Cir. 1998). Under the AEDPA, federal courts may not grant habeas corpus relief unless the underlying state adjudication: (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; or (2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented at the State court proceeding. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1)(2); see Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 398 (2000). “[A] federal habeas court may not issue the writ simply because that court concludes in its independent judgment that the relevant state-court decision applied clearly established federal law erroneously or incorrectly. Rather, that application must also be unreasonable.” Id. at 410. Moreover, state court factual determinations are presumed to be correct and the petitioner has the burden of rebutting this presumption by clear and convincing evidence. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1). 2. Procedural Bar Federal law establishes this court's jurisdiction over habeas corpus petitions. 28 U.S.C. § 2254. This statute permits relief when a person “is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States[, ]” and requires that a petitioner present his claim to the state's highest court with authority to decide the issue before the federal court will consider the claim. Id. The separate but related theories of exhaustion and


procedural bypass operate in a similar manner to require a habeas petitioner to first submit his claims for relief to the state courts. A habeas corpus petition filed in this court before the petitioner has appropriately exhausted available state-court remedies or has otherwise bypassed seeking relief in the state courts will be dismissed absent unusual circumstances detailed below.

a. Exhaustion

Section 2254...

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