Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Dennis v. Yates

January 12, 2010

ROBERT KEITH DENNIS, PETITIONER,
v.
JAMES YATES, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justin L. Quackenbush Senior United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION; ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS; ORDER DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

BEFORE THE COURT is Mr. Robert Dennis' pro se Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (Ct. Rec. 1) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, to which the Respondent has Responded in Opposition (Ct. Rec. 15) and Mr. Dennis has Replied by Traverse (Ct. Rec. 18). Mr. Dennis submits five grounds to justify habeas relief. First, that for the purposes of sentencing, he served two prior prison terms and not three; second, that the laboratory erred in handling physical evidence; third, that he received ineffective assistance of counsel; fourth, that the trial court applied the wrong standard of review; and fifth, that the laboratory fee assessed to him by the court was unconstitutional.

I. Introduction

A. Facts

In March of 2005, Petitioner, Robert Dennis ("Dennis") was found to be in possession of a stolen vehicle by police officers in Butte County, California, on the basis of an anonymous tip. Police found a small bag of methamphetamine in Mr. Dennis' pocket. Mr. Dennis was charged with possession of methamphetamine, receipt of stolen property, and unlawful taking of a vehicle (Case No. CM022680). After the denial of his suppression motions, Mr. Dennis plead no contest to methamphetamine possession and admitted to having served three prior prison terms and committing five prior felonies. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Mr. Dennis was placed on Proposition 36 probation.

In October of 2005, a probation violation petition was filed against Mr. Dennis, the basis of which was the termination, without the court's permission, of his involvement in a residential treatment program. Mr. Dennis admitted to the violation and his probation was reinstated.

In December of 2005, another probation violation petition was filed against Mr. Dennis, alleging failure to provide a urine sample, and a bench warrant was issued. Based on an anonymous tip, police found Mr. Dennis residing with his girlfriend in a stolen trailer, with a bag of methamphetamine, two hypodermic needles, and a spoon with residue in his possession. Mr. Dennis admitted to the violation of probation in Case No. CM022680, and he also pled no contest to vehicle theft in a case based on new charges stemming from this latest encounter with police (Case No. CM024364).

In February of 2006, Mr. Dennis' probation was terminated in Case No. CM022680, and he was sentenced to three years imprisonment. He was also sentenced to three concurrent years of imprisonment in Case No. CM024364. One year was added for each of his three previous prison terms, for an aggregate sentence of six years. Mr. Dennis is currently incarcerated in California state prison.

B. Procedural History

Mr. Dennis filed a notice of appeal with the California Court of Appeals, and the trial court subsequently recalled his sentence, opining that it had not sufficiently reviewed some of his motions, particularly a Faretta motion. Mr. Dennis' Faretta motion was granted, and he was allowed to make a number of additional motions. All of these motions were denied, and Mr. Dennis was re-sentenced to the original sentence and ordered to pay several court fees, including a $50 laboratory fee.

Mr. Dennis appealed this judgment. On October 11, 2007, the judgment was affirmed by the California Court of Appeals. On January 16, 2008, the California Supreme Court denied Mr. Dennis' Petition for Review. Mr. Dennis filed a Petition seeking habeas relief with this court on June 2, 2008. It is uncontested that the Petition was timely filed.

II. Standard of Review

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. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). Mr. Dennis' Petition is subject to review under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"), as his federal petition was filed in 2008. Woodford v. Garceau, 538 U.S. 202, 210 (2003)(holding that AEDPA ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.