Maynard v. Sec'y, Case No. 8:13-cv-1428-T-36EAJ

CourtUnited States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
Writing for the CourtCharlene Edwards Honeywell United States District Judge
PartiesJOHN LEWIS MAYNARD, Petitioner, v. SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent.
Docket NumberCase No. 8:13-cv-1428-T-36EAJ
Decision Date15 August 2016

JOHN LEWIS MAYNARD, Petitioner,
v.
SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent.
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Case No. 8:13-cv-1428-T-36EAJ

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA TAMPA DIVISION

August 15, 2016


ORDER

Petitioner John Lewis Maynard, an inmate in the Florida Department of Corrections proceeding pro se, initiated this action by filing a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (Dkt. 1). Maynard challenges his convictions entered by the Circuit Court for the Twelfth Judicial Circuit, Manatee County, in 2004. Respondent filed a response (Dkt. 20), which does not contest the timeliness of Maynard's petition. Maynard filed a reply (Dkt. 27) and a supplement to the reply (Dkt. 30). Upon review, the petition must be denied.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Maynard was charged with four counts of sexual battery by a person over 18 years of age upon a child less than 12 years of age (counts one through four), and two counts of

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lewd or lascivious molestation by a person over 18 years of age upon a child less than 12 years of age (counts five and six). (Dkt. 24, Ex. 1, pp. 26-29.) A jury found Maynard not guilty of counts one, two, five, and six. (Id., pp. 82-85.) On counts three and four, the jury convicted him of the lesser-included offense of attempt to commit sexual battery by a person over 18 years of age upon a child less than 12 years of age. (Id., pp. 83-84.) Maynard was sentenced to consecutive terms of twenty years in prison. (Id., pp. 95-102.) The state appellate court per curiam affirmed the judgments and sentences. (Dkt. 24, Ex. 4.)

Maynard filed a motion for postconviction relief under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850, as well as numerous supplements to the motion. (Dkt. 24, Ex. 6, pp. 52-160, 162-203; Ex. 6A, pp. 204-224.) After Maynard amended one of his claims, the state court entered an order denying the motion in part and granting an evidentiary hearing on a number of grounds. (Dkt. 24, Ex. 6A, pp. 230-46, 332-88; Exs. 6B, 6C.) The state court denied the motion following the evidentiary hearing. (Dkt. 24, Ex. 6D, pp. 739-873.) The state appellate court per curiam affirmed the rejection of Maynard's postconviction motion. (Dkt. 24, Ex. 10.)

STANDARD OF REVIEW

The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA") governs this proceeding. Wilcox v. Florida Dep't of Corr., 158 F.3d 1209, 1210 (11th Cir. 1998), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 840 (2000). Habeas relief can only be granted if a petitioner is in custody "in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). Section 2254(d), which sets forth a highly deferential standard for federal court review of a state court adjudication, states:

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An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings unless the adjudication of the claim-

(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 in the State court proceeding.

In Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 412-13 (2000), the Supreme Court interpreted this deferential standard:

In sum, § 2254(d)(1) places a new constraint on the power of a federal habeas court to grant a state prisoner's application for a writ of habeas corpus with respect to claims adjudicated on the merits in state court. Under § 2254(d)(1), the writ may issue only if one of the following two conditions is satisfied-the state-court adjudication resulted in a decision that (1) "was contrary to . . . clearly established Federal Law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States" or (2) "involved an unreasonable application of . . . clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States." Under the "contrary to" clause, a federal habeas court may grant the writ if the state court arrives at a conclusion opposite to that reached by this Court on a question of law or if the state court decides a case differently than this Court has on a set of materially indistinguishable facts. Under the "unreasonable application" clause, a federal habeas court may grant the writ if the state court identifies the correct governing legal principle from this Court's decisions but unreasonably applies that principle to the facts of the prisoner's case.

"The focus . . . is on whether the state court's application of clearly established federal law is objectively unreasonable . . . an unreasonable application is different from an incorrect one." Bell v. Cone, 535 U.S. 685, 694 (2002). "As a condition for obtaining habeas corpus from a federal court, a state prisoner must show that the state court's ruling on the claim being presented in federal court was so lacking in justification that there was an error well understood and comprehended in existing law beyond any possibility for fairminded

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disagreement." Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 103 (2011). Accord Brown v. Head, 272 F.3d 1308, 1313 (11th Cir. 2001) ("It is the objective reasonableness, not the correctness per se, of the state court decision that [the federal court is] to decide."). The phrase "clearly established Federal law" encompasses only the holdings of the United States Supreme Court "as of the time of the relevant state-court decision." Williams, 529 U.S. at 412.

The purpose of federal review is not to re-try the case. "The [AEDPA] modified a federal habeas court's role in reviewing state prisoner applications in order to prevent federal habeas 'retrials' and to ensure that state-court convictions are given effect to the extent possible under law." Cone, 535 U.S. at 693. In other words, "AEDPA prevents defendants-and federal courts-from using federal habeas corpus review as a vehicle to second-guess the reasonable decisions of state courts." Renico v. Lett, 559 U.S. 766, 779 (2010). See also Cullen v. Pinholster, 563 U.S. 170, 131 S. Ct. 1388, 1398 (2011) ("This is a 'difficult to meet,' . . . and 'highly deferential standard for evaluating state-court rulings, which demands that state-court decisions be given the benefit of the doubt' . . . ") (citations omitted).

In a per curiam decision without a written opinion, the state appellate court affirmed the rejection of Maynard's postconviction motion. This decision warrants deference under § 2254(d)(1) because "the summary nature of a state court's decision does not lessen the deference that it is due." Wright v. Moore, 278 F.3d 1245, 1254 (11th Cir.), reh'g and reh'g en banc denied, 278 F.3d 1245 (2002), cert. denied sub nom. Wright v. Crosby, 538 U.S. 906 (2003). See also Richter, 562 U.S. at 99 ("When a federal claim has been presented to a state court and the state court has denied relief, it may be presumed that the state

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court adjudicated the claim on the merits in the absence of any indication or state-law procedural principles to the contrary."). Review of the state court decision is limited to the record that was before the state court. Pinholster, 131 S. Ct. at 1398.

Maynard bears the burden of overcoming by clear and convincing evidence a state court factual determination. "[A] determination of a factual issue made by a State court shall be presumed to be correct. The applicant shall have the burden of rebutting the presumption of correctness by clear and convincing evidence." 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1).

EXHAUSTION OF STATE REMEDIES; PROCEDURAL DEFAULT

Before a district court can grant habeas relief to a state prisoner under § 2254, the petitioner must exhaust all state court remedies that are available for challenging his conviction, either on direct appeal or in a state postconviction motion. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A); O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 842 (1999) ("[T]he state prisoner must give the state courts an opportunity to act on his claims before he presents those claims to a federal court in a habeas petition."). See also Henderson v. Campbell, 353 F.3d 880, 891 (11th Cir. 2003) ("A state prisoner seeking federal habeas relief cannot raise a federal constitutional claim in federal court unless he first properly raised the issue in the state courts.") (citations omitted). A state prisoner "'must give the state courts one full opportunity to resolve any constitutional issues by invoking one complete round of the State's established appellate review process,' including review by the state's court of last resort, even if review in that court is discretionary." Pruitt v. Jones, 348 F.3d 1355, 1358-59 (11th Cir. 2003) (quoting O'Sullivan, 526 U.S. at 845).

To exhaust a claim, a petitioner must make the state court aware of both the legal and factual bases for his claim. See Snowden v. Singletary, 135 F.3d 732, 735 (11th Cir.

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1998) ("Exhaustion of state remedies requires that the state prisoner 'fairly presen[t] federal claims to the state courts in order to give the State the opportunity to pass on and correct alleged violations of its prisoners' federal rights.'") (quoting Duncan v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364, 365 (1995)). A federal habeas petitioner "shall not be deemed to have exhausted the remedies available in the courts of the State . . . if he has the right under the law of the State to raise, by any available procedure, the question presented." Pruitt, 348 F.3d at 1358. The prohibition against raising an unexhausted claim in federal court extends to both the broad legal theory of relief and the specific factual contention that supports relief. Kelley v. Sec'y, Dep't of Corr., 377 F.3d 1317, 1344 (11th Cir. 2004).

The requirement of exhausting state remedies as a prerequisite to federal review is satisfied if the petitioner "fairly presents" his claim in each appropriate...

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