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.

Johnson v. Price

United States District Court, N.D. California

April 4, 2018

RODWICK JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
JEROME PRICE, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

          JEFFREY S. WHITE, UNITED STATE DISTICT JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         Petitioner, a prisoner of the State of California, filed a pro se petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging the validity of his no contest plea and sentence in state court. Respondent filed an answer to the petition, to which Petitioner filed a traverse. For the reasons set forth below, the petition is DENIED.

         PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Petitioner pled guilty on June 28, 2007, to charges of kidnaping and robbery, and admitted to having a prior felony, using a gun during the robberies, and acting for the benefit of a gang. In exchange for Petitioner's guilty plea, the prosecutor dismissed 23 counts. The Monterey County Superior Court sentenced Petitioner to a term of 40 years in state prison. He did not appeal the judgment. Between 2008 and 2013, he filed requests in the state superior, appellate and supreme courts for transcripts of the plea and sentencing hearing. The superior court finally granted that request on January 18, 2012, but the transcripts were not sent to him until November 25, 2013. (ECF No. 1-7.) Petitioner also filed two federal habeas petitions in this Court concerning his transcripts, both of which were dismissed. (See Nos. C 10-3133 JSW, C 14-1592 JSW.)

         Between 2013 and 2015, Petitioner filed habeas petitions in the state superior court, appellate court, and supreme court, raising claims raised in the instant petition --- namely that the guilty plea was not knowing or voluntary because of his mental incompetence, that he was improperly denied a competency hearing, and that his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to investigate his competency; these petitions were all denied. (Resp. Exhs. A, H, -N.) On September 10, 2015, Petitioner filed the instant federal petition.[1]

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), a district court may grant a petition challenging a state conviction or sentence on the basis of a claim that was “adjudicated on the merits” in state court only if the state court's 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).

         “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 [the Supreme] Court on a question of law or if the state court decides a case differently than [the] Court has on a set of materially indistinguishable facts.” Williams (Terry) v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 412-13 (2000).

         “Under the ‘unreasonable application' clause, a federal habeas court may grant the writ if the state court identifies the correct governing legal principle from [the] Court's decisions but unreasonably applies that principle to the facts of the prisoner's case.” Id. at 413. “[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 411. A federal habeas court making the “unreasonable application” inquiry should ask whether the state court's application of clearly established federal law was “objectively unreasonable.” Id. at 409.

         In this case, the last reasoned opinion by the state courts on Petitioner's claims are the opinions of the Monterey County Superior Court denying Petitioner's habeas petitions in which he raised the two claims raised here. (ECF Nos. 1-5, 1-12.) Those, consequently, are the opinions reviewed here under the standard or review set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d). See Cannedy v. Adams, 706 F.3d 1148, 1158 (9th Cir.), amended, 733 F.3d 794 (9th Cir. 2013).

         DISCUSSION

         As grounds for federal habeas relief, Petitioner claims: (1) the state courts unreasonably applied the Supreme Court's holdings in failing to hold a competency hearing; and (2) the state courts unreasonably applied Strickland v. Washington in rejecting his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.

         I. Petitioner's Competency ...


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.