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Coleman v. Glebe

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

November 19, 2014

TRAVIS WILLIAM COLEMAN, Petitioner,
v.
PATRICK GLEBE, Respondent.

ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

JAMES L. ROBART, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter comes before the court on the Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge Mary Alice Theiler (R&R (Dkt. #21)), and Respondent Patrick Glebe's objections thereto (Obj. (Dkt. #22)). The court has carefully reviewed all of the foregoing, along with all other relevant documents, and the governing law. Being fully advised, the court ADOPTS the Report and Recommendation, DENIES Mr. Glebe's motion to dismiss Mr. Coleman's petition for habeas corpus (Mot. to Dismiss (Dkt. #15)), and DIRECTS Mr. Glebe to file an answer addressing the merits of Mr. Coleman's federal habeas claims within thirty (30) days of the date on which this order is filed. Finally, the court remands this matter to Magistrate Judge Theiler for consideration of the merits of Mr. Coleman's petition for habeas corpus and the issuance of a Report and Recommendation regarding the same.

I. BACKGROUND

Following his conviction on two counts of child molestation, Mr. Coleman was sentenced on March 28, 2008, to an indeterminate term of 78 months to life in total confinement. (Mot. to Dismiss (Dkt. #15) Ex. 1 at 1; id. Ex. 3 ("8/17/09 Wash.Ct.App. Op.") at 1-2.) Mr. Coleman appealed his conviction to the Washington Court of Appeals. ( See id. Ex. 4.)

On August 17, 2009, the Washington Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred in its procedures for sealing jury questionnaires and remanded the case for reconsideration of the sealing order, but otherwise affirmed the trial court. (8/17/09 Wash.Ct.App. Op. at 2-9.) The Court of Appeals concluded that there was "nothing to indicate that the questionnaires were not available for public inspection during the jury selection process, " and further concluded that the sealing order "had no effect on [Mr.] Coleman's public trial right." ( Id. at 9.) In rejecting reversal as a remedy, the Court of Appeals stated: "The error was not structural. [Mr.] Coleman does not suggest any possible prejudice to him resulting from the order. Reversal is therefore not the remedy." ( Id. ) Mr. Coleman did not pursue any further review by the Washington Supreme Court at that time, and the Court of Appeals issued its mandate on September 5, 2009. (Mot. to Dismiss Ex. 5.)

On November 24, 2009, the trial court held a hearing on the issue remanded by the Court of Appeals. ( See id. Ex. 6.) The trial court heard oral argument and took testimony. ( Id. ) Ultimately, the trial court modified its prior order sealing the jury questionnaires by redacting juror names and numbers from the questionnaires. ( Id. )

Mr. Coleman appealed the trial court's modified order. ( See id. Ex. 7.) Mr. Coleman argued in his second appeal that the record developed on remand undermined the factual premise that formed the basis for the Court of Appeals' first opinion. ( See id. ) He argued that the record developed on remand established that the jury questionnaires were not available to the public and that therefore his public trial right was violated. ( Id. ) Indeed, the Court of Appeals acknowledged that both parties to the second appeal were of "the view that [the evidence developed on remand] conclusively establishe[d that] the questionnaires were not available to the public during jury selection, and that this revelation ma[de] the reasoning behind [the first decision of the Court of Appeals] untenable'." ( Id. Ex. 8 ("4/4/11 Wash.Ct.App. Op.") at 5.) Despite the parties' position, the Court of Appeals ultimately held that Mr. "Coleman ha[d] not established that the questionnaires were truly unavailable to the public" and accordingly, the Court adhered to its original ruling in Mr. Coleman's initial appeal. ( See id. at 6.)

Mr. Coleman filed a petition for review in the Washington Supreme Court, but the Court denied his petition on June 5, 2013. ( See Mot. to Dismiss Ex. 9.) The Court of Appeals issued its mandate with respect to Mr. Coleman's second appeal on June 26, 2013. ( Id. Ex. 10.)

In January 2012, while his petition for review on his second appeal was pending in the Washington Supreme Court, Mr. Coleman filed a personal restraint petition in the Court of Appeals. ( Id. Ex. 11.) The Court of Appeals dismissed his petition on March 18, 2013. ( Id. Ex. 12.) The Commissioner for the Washington Supreme Court denied his petition for further review on November 22, 2013. ( See id. Ex. 13.) The Washington Supreme Court denied Mr. Coleman's subsequent motion to modify the Commissioner's ruling on February 14, 2014 ( id. Ex. 14), and the Court of Appeals issued a certificate of finality with respect to Mr. Coleman's personal restraint proceedings on February 21, 2014 ( id. Ex. 15).

Mr. Coleman filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in this court on January 10, 2014. ( See Dkt. #1.) Mr. Glebe filed a motion to dismiss the petition on grounds that the statute of limitations has expired. ( See Mot. to Dismiss.) Mr. Glebe asserted that Mr. Coleman's conviction became final and the one-year statute of limitations on his federal habeas corpus petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d) began to run on September 16, 2009 (which is thirty days after the Washington Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's judgment on August 17, 2009), and that the limitations period expired one year later on September 16, 2010. ( Id. at 6.) Accordingly, Mr. Glebe asserted that Mr. Coleman's January 10, 2010, federal habeas petition was untimely pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d). (Mot. to Dismiss at 6.)

Magistrate Judge Theiler issued a Report and Recommendation denying Mr. Glebe's motion to dismiss. ( See R&R.) Mr. Glebe timely filed an objection to the Report and Recommendation (Obj. (Dkt. #22)), and Mr. Coleman has filed a reply to Mr. Glebe's objection (Reply (Dkt. #25)). The court now reviews Magistrate Judge Theiler's Report and Recommendation pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b)(3) and Rule 8(b)(4) of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

A district court has jurisdiction to review a Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation on dispositive matters. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). "The district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to." Id. "A judge of the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The court reviews de novo those portions of the report and recommendation to which specific written objection is made. United States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121 (9th Cir. 2003) (en banc). "The statute makes it clear that the district judge must review the magistrate judge's findings and recommendations de novo if objection ...


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