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Ward v. State

United States District Court, Eighth Circuit

October 16, 2013

David James Ward, Petitioner,
v.
State of Minnesota, Respondent.

David James Ward, Tucson, Arizona, pro se.

Jean E. Burdorf and Lee W. Barry, III, Hennepin County Attorney's Office, 300 South 6th Street, Suite C-2000, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55487, for Respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the undersigned United States District Court Judge for consideration of Petitioner David James Ward's Objections [Doc. No. 11] to United States Magistrate Judge Jeffrey J. Keyes' August 7, 2013, Report and Recommendation [Doc. No. 10]. The Magistrate Judge recommended that (1) Petitioner's Application for a Writ of Habeas Corpus [Doc. No. 1] be denied; (2) Petitioner's Application for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis [Doc. No. 3] be denied; (3) Petitioner's Motion Requesting Subpoena for Documents [Doc. No. 7] be denied; (4) this action be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction; and (5) Petitioner be denied a Certificate of Appealability. (Aug. 7, 2013, Report and Recommendation at 10 [Doc. No. 10].) For the reasons set forth below, the Court overrules Petitioner's objections and adopts the Report and Recommendation in its entirety.

II. BACKGROUND

The Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation thoroughly describes the factual and procedural background of Petitioner's case, and the Court incorporates it here by reference. In April 1983, Petitioner pled guilty to first degree criminal sexual conduct in Hennepin County District Court. In May 1983, he was sentenced to ninety-five months in state prison. Petitioner did not directly appeal his conviction and sentence, but he challenged his 1983 conviction and sentence in several Minnesota state court postconviction proceedings.

In 1996, Petitioner was indicted for kidnapping in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. United States v. Ward , 131 F.3d 335, 338 (3d Cir. 1997). Petitioner pled guilty to this offense, and he was sentenced to 720 months in federal prison. Petitioner's 1996 sentence in the federal case was enhanced based on his 1983 Minnesota state court conviction for criminal sexual conduct. Petitioner directly appealed his 1996 federal kidnapping conviction and sentence, and he challenged both in several federal post-conviction proceedings-all of which was unsuccessful. Petitioner is currently at the United States Penitentiary in Tucson, Arizona.

On July 26, 2013, Petitioner filed the instant § 2254 habeas corpus petition, seeking to overturn his 1983 Minnesota state court conviction. Petitioner seeks to "[v]acate the unconstitutional state court prior conviction that is currently be[ing] used to enhance petitioner's federal sentence." (Pet. at 16 [Doc. No. 1].) Petitioner challenged the 1983 state court conviction on the following grounds: (1) the state courts deprived him of his constitutional right to due process and equal protection; (2) the county prosecutor impeded his right of access to the courts; (3) the state trial court deprived him of his constitutional right to present evidence to support his defense; and (4) the state trial court erroneously denied his petition for post-conviction relief.

On August 7, 2013, the Magistrate Judge concluded that "none of Petitioner's current habeas corpus claims can be addressed on the merits, and this action must be summarily dismissed for lack of jurisdiction." (Aug. 7, 2013, Report and Recommendation at 4 [Doc. No. 10].) Specifically, the Magistrate Judge found that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this matter because: (1) Petitioner is not in custody for the 1983 conviction he seeks to collaterally attack in this Petition; (2) the collateral consequences, i.e., the enhancement of his 1996 sentence, alone, does not satisfy the in-custody jurisdictional requirement of the federal habeas corpus statute, and (3) any effort to attack his 1996 sentence is time-barred and/or in violation of the rules restricting successive post-conviction actions.

On August 19, 2013, Petitioner filed his objections to the August 7, 2013, Report and Recommendation. (Objection to the Report and Recommendation by the United States Magistrate Judge Jeffrey J. Keyes dated August 7, 2013 [Doc. No. 11].) Petitioner argues that this Court has jurisdiction over this case and ought to address the merits of his challenge to the 1983 state court conviction. (Id. at 2-4.) Petitioner also argues that the Magistrate Judge failed to consider Petitioner's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. (Id. at 5.)

III. DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

A party "may file and serve specific written objections to a magistrate judge's proposed findings and recommendations." D.Minn. LR 72.2(b)(1). The district court will review de novo those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which an objection is made, and it "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)(C); FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b)(3); D.Minn. LR 72.2(b)(3). ...


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