United States District Court, S.D. California
EDWARD J. MOTTA, Petitioner,
JEFFREY BEARD, Respondent.
ORDER (1) ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION; (2)
DENYING PETITION; and (3) DENYING CERTIFICATE OF
Koger T. Benitez, United States District Judge
Edward Motta, a California prisoner proceeding pro se, filed
a Petition for Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C §
2254. (Docket No. 1.) The Magistrate Judge issued a thorough
and thoughtful Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”) recommending habeas relief be denied.
(Docket No. 25.) Petitioner filed Objections to the Report.
(Docket No. 28.) For the reasons stated below, the Report and
Recommendation is ADOPTED, and the Petition is DENIED.
was convicted of attempted murder, assault, making a criminal
threat, false imprisonment, resisting an officer, burglary,
and battery based on three incidents between Petitioner and
his then-girlfriend. He was sentenced to 75 years-to-life
plus 20 years in state prison.
appealed his conviction. The California Court of Appeal
affirmed. He then filed a petition for review in the Supreme
Court of California. That petition was denied.
R&R recommends that Petitioner’s claims be denied.
Petitioner makes four objections to the R&R. First, he
objects to the finding that he received constitutionally
effective representation. Second, he objects to the
Report’s finding that an evidentiary hearing was not
necessary. Third, Petitioner argues that the Magistrate Judge
failed to “independently review the record pursuant to
Federal Habeas Corpus Rule 11.” Fourth, he contends
that the Magistrate Judge erred in finding that the trial
court did not abuse its discretion in denying his mid-trial
request for self-representation.
Report and Recommendation
timely objection to a report and recommendation has been
filed, the district court reviews de novo those
portions of the report or specific proposed findings or
recommendations to which the petitioner objected. 28 U.S.C.
Petition for Habeas Corpus
Petition for Habeas Corpus filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
2254 is governed by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”); see Lindh v.
Murphy, 521 U.S. 320, 337 (1997). AEDPA states that a
habeas petition will not be granted with respect to any claim
adjudicated on the merits in state court proceedings unless
that adjudication either: (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). A federal court engages
in extraordinarily deferential review of the state
court’s determination, and only looks to see whether
the state court’s decision was objectively
unreasonable. See Yarbrough v. Gentry, 540 U.S. 1, 4
(2003); Medina v. Hornung, 386 F.3d 872, 877 (9th
Cir. 2004). When there is no reasoned decision from the
state’s highest court, the court “looks
through” to the underlying appellate court decision.
Ylst v. Nunnemaker, 501 U.S. 797, 801-06 (1991).
Supreme Court has stated that a federal habeas court
“may issue the writ under the ‘contrary to’
clause if the state court applies a rule different from the
governing law set forth in our cases, or if it decided a case
differently than we have done on a set of materially
indistinguishable facts.” Bell v. Cone, 535
U.S. 685, 694 (2002). Relief under the “unreasonable
application” prong is only granted where the governing
law was correctly identified, but was applied to the facts in
an “objectively unreasonable manner.”
Id. As to § 2254(d)(2), “factual
determinations by state courts are presumed correct absent
clear and convincing evidence to the contrary . . ., and a
decision adjudicated on the merits in a state court and based
on a factual determination will not be overruled on factual
grounds unless objectively unreasonable in light of the
evidence presented in the state-court proceeding.”
Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 340 (2003).
De Novo ...