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Nye v. Uttecht

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

August 23, 2019

MICAH A NYE, Petitioner,
v.
JEFFREY A UTTECHT Respondent.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          DAVID W. CHRISTEL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         The District Court has referred this action to United States Magistrate Judge David W. Christel. Petitioner Micah A. Nye filed his federal habeas Petition (“Petition”), pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, seeking relief from his state court convictions and sentence. See Dkt. 6. The Court concludes Petitioner failed to properly exhaust his state court remedies as to all grounds raised in the Petition. Because Petitioner's time for pursuing state remedies has expired, Petitioner has procedurally defaulted on all his claims. Therefore, the Court recommends the Petition be dismissed with prejudice.

         BACKGROUND

         Petitioner is in custody under a state court judgment and sentence imposed for his conviction by guilty plea for two counts of first-degree rape of a child. Dkt. 11, Exhibit 2. Petitioner was sentenced to an indeterminate life sentence with concurrent 160-month minimum terms. Dkt. 11, Exhibit 2, Exhibit 3. Petitioner did not file a direct appeal.

         On November 21, 2018, Petitioner filed a pro se motion for relief from judgment with the Clark County Superior Court. Dkt. 11, Exhibit 4. Petitioner alleged three grounds for relief: (1) the trial court violated his Sixth Amendment right to retained counsel of his choice; (2) the Department of Corrections (“DOC”) violated his right to due process to deliver the transcripts of the proceedings; and (3) the prosecutor used fraudulent and unreliable evidence to establish probable cause. Dkt. 11, Exhibit 4. Several weeks later, Petitioner filed a second motion for relief from judgment raising four additional grounds for relief: (1) his speedy trial rights were violated; (2) the arresting officers violated Petitioner's Miranda rights, Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and Fourteenth Amendment right to due process; (3) his offender score was calculated incorrectly; and (4) the evidence supporting the charges was insufficient. Dkt. 11, Exhibit 5.

         In two separate orders dated May 9 and 10, 2019, the superior court transferred Petitioner's motions for relief from judgment to the Washington Court of Appeals to be considered as a personal restraint petition (“PRP”). Dkt. 11, Exhibits 6 and 7. As of the date Respondent filed his Answer, Petitioner's PRP is pending in the Washington Court of Appeals under cause number 53550-5-II. Dkt. 11, Exhibit 8.

         On May 6, 2019, Petitioner filed this Petition pursuant to § 2254. Dkt. 6. Petitioner raises four grounds for relief all based on his claim he is unlawfully detained, and the State of Washington does not have jurisdictional authority to decide federal matters. Dkt. 6. On June 18, 2019, Respondent filed an Answer, wherein he asserts Petitioner has not properly exhausted his available state court remedies. Dkt. 10. Respondent maintains the Petition should be dismissed with prejudice as unexhausted and procedurally barred.[1] Dkt. 10. Petitioner filed a Traverse. Dkt. 12.

         DISCUSSION

         Respondent maintains Petitioner failed to exhaust the grounds raised in the Petition and is procedurally barred from federal review. Dkt. 10.

         1. Exhaustion of State Remedies

         “[A] state prisoner must normally exhaust available state judicial remedies before a federal court will entertain his petition for habeas corpus.” Picard v. Connor, 404 U.S. 270, 275 (1971). Petitioner's claims will be considered exhausted only after “the state courts [have been afforded] a meaningful opportunity to consider allegations of legal error without interference from the federal judiciary.” Vasquez v. Hillery, 474 U.S. 254, 257 (1986). “[S]tate prisoners 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.” O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 845 (1999).

         A federal habeas petitioner must provide the state courts with a fair opportunity to correct alleged violations of federal rights. Duncan v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364, 365 (1995); Middleton v. Cupp, 768 F.2d 1083, 1086 (9th Cir. 1985) (petitioner “fairly presented” the claim to the state supreme court even though the state court did not reach the argument on the merits). It is not enough if all the facts necessary to support the federal claim were before the state courts or if a somewhat similar state law claim was made. Duncan, 513 U.S. at 365-66 (citing Picard, 404 U.S. at 275; Anderson v. Harless, 459 U.S. 4 (1982)). Petitioner must include reference to a specific federal constitutional guarantee, as well as a statement of the facts entitling Petitioner to relief. Gray v. Netherland, 518 U.S. 152, 162-163 (1996); Insyxiengmay v. Morgan, 403 F.3d 657, 668 (9th Cir. 2005). Petitioner bears the burden of proving he has exhausted available state remedies and retains the burden to prove all facts relevant to the exhaustion requirement. See Rose v. Lundy, 455 U.S. 509, 520 (1982); 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A).

         In the Petition, Petitioner raises four grounds for relief asserting he is unlawfully detained, and the State of Washington does not have jurisdictional authority to decide federal matters. Dkt. 6. In Grounds One and Four, Petitioner alleges a violation of the Fifth Amendment based on a lack of a grand jury indictment. Dkt. 6 at 5, 10. In Ground Two, Petitioner contends his rights under Article IV and VI of the Constitution have been violated, and his arrest, conviction, and imprisonment are illegal. Dkt. 6 at 7. In Ground Three, Petitioner contends he has not been convicted of his crimes and as a result, he has been “enslaved” and placed into involuntary servitude in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment. Dkt. 6 at 8. In Ground Four, in addition to his Fifth Amendment claim, Petitioner also alleges violations of the Fourteenth Amendment, and he has been deprived of life, liberty, and property. Dkt. 6 at 10.

         Petitioner did not raise any of same grounds in the Petition as he raised in his PRP. Dkt. 11, Exhibits 4, 5, 6, and 7. Rather, in his PRP, Petitioner raised seven other grounds for relief challenging: (1) his Sixth Amendment right to counsel; (2) the DOC violated his due process rights by refusing to deliver transcripts of the proceedings; (3) the prosecutor used fraudulent and unreliable evidence; (4) his speedy trial rights were violated; (5) the arresting officers violated his Miranda rights, Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and Fourteenth Amendment right to due process; (6) ...


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