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Andersen v. State

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

January 26, 2015

Kenneth E. Andersen, Petitioner,
v.
State of Minnesota, Respondent.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

LEO I. BRISBOIS, Magistrate Judge.

This matter comes before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge upon Petitioner Kenneth E. Andersen's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 by a Person in State Custody, [Docket No. 1]; Respondent's Motion to Dismiss Habeas Corpus Petition, [Docket No. 8]; Petitioner's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Supplemental Claims, [Docket No. 13]; and Respondent's Motion to Dismiss Habeas Corpus Petition Supplemental Claims, [Docket No. 15]. The present case has been referred to the undersigned Magistrate Judge for report and recommendation, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local Rule 72.1. For reasons discussed herein, the Court recommends:

1. That Respondent's Motion to Dismiss Habeas Corpus Petition, [Docket No. 8], be GRANTED, and that Petitioner's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 by a Person in State Custody, [Docket No. 1], be DISMISSED with prejudice; and
2. That Respondent's Motion to Dismiss Habeas Corpus Petition Supplemental Claims, [Docket No. 15], be GRANTED, and that Petitioner's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Supplemental Claims, [Docket No. 13], be DISMISSED with prejudice as time-barred.

I. BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF FACTS

On March 19, 2014, Petitioner Kenneth E. Andersen ("Petitioner"), a Minnesota state prison inmate, filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 with the Court, challenging the Minnesota Supreme Court's denial of his petition for state post-conviction relief. (Petition [Docket No. 1]). On June 8, 2014, Petitioner filed a second Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, challenging the Minnesota Supreme Court's denial of his petition for state post-conviction relief on additional grounds. (Supplemental Petition [Docket No. 13]).

A. Petitioner's March 19, 2014 Petition

On June 12, 2008, the Becker County, Minnesota District Court sentenced Petitioner to life in prison without the possibility of release after a jury convicted Petitioner of first-degree premeditated murder. (Petition [Docket No. 1], at 1). Petitioner argues that the Minnesota Supreme Court's subsequent denial of his petition for state post-conviction relief without conducting an evidentiary hearing violated Minnesota state law and Petitioner's due process rights. (Id.) Petitioner argues that "[h]ad a hearing been ordered, Petitioner would have had Due Process to litigate the following alleged error[s]. The result of the case would have been different had a hearing been granted as that would have led to a new trial." (Id. at 2).

Petitioner's March 19, 2014 Petition alleges four claims, all of which Petitioner raised in the underlying state post-conviction proceedings and all of which "stem from the denial of Petitioner's statutory right to have a hearing in his State Court petition for postconviction relief":

1. The prosecutor withheld exculpatory police reports, in violation of Rule 33(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure;
2. Petitioner did not have the opportunity to cross-examine the creator of a "Winchester Arms" exhibit admitted during the ballistic expert's testimony, in violation of Petitioner's Sixth Amendment right to confrontation;
3. Jail personnel monitored and recorded Petitioner's confidential phone calls with a private investigator, in violation of Petitioner's Sixth Amendment right to confrontation; and
4. The Minnesota state courts summarily denied Petitioner's petition for state postconviction relief without an evidentiary hearing, in violation of Minnesota state law and Petitioner's due process rights.

(Id. at 2-3). Petitioner requests the Court remand the present issues to the Becker County District Court for an evidentiary hearing. (Id. at 4).

B. Petitioner's June 8, 2014 Petition

On June 8, 2014, without leave of the Court, Petitioner filed a second Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("Supplemental Petition"). (Supplemental Petition [Docket No. 13]). In his Supplemental Petition, Petitioner alleges two additional claims, both of which Petitioner raised in his state post-conviction proceedings: (1) that Petitioner's trial counsel was ineffective, and (2) that Petitioner's appellate counsel was ineffective. (Id.)

C. Timeline of Relevant State Court Proceedings

On June 12, 2008, the Becker County District Court sentenced Petitioner to life in prison without the possibly of release after a Becker County jury convicted Petitioner of first-degree premeditated murder, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.185(a)(1). (Exhibit A to Respondent's Appendix [Docket No. 10-1], at 1). Petitioner moved the district court for a new trial on June 18, 2008; the district court denied the motion on July 2, 2008. (Id. at 4). Petitioner commenced his direct appeal on September 5, 2008. (Id.) On June 30, 2010, the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed Petitioner's conviction.[1] State v. Andersen, 784 N.W.2d 320, 323 (Minn. 2010) ("Andersen I"). The Minnesota Supreme Court entered judgment affirming the Becker County District Court's conviction on August 19, 2010. (Exhibit B to Respondent's Appendix [Docket No. 10-2], at 1).

On December 10, 2010, Petitioner commenced post-conviction proceedings in Minnesota state court, arguing that he was entitled to a new trial because (1) newly discovered evidence was both material and exculpatory; (2) the trial court admitted into evidence recordings of phone calls Petitioner made while in jail awaiting trial in violation of Petitioner's constitutional right to counsel; (3) the trial court admitted into evidence testimony by firearm and palm print experts and an exhibit displaying several types of Winchester bullets in violation of Petitioner's Sixth Amendment right to confrontation; (4) the State committed misconduct during closing argument; (5) the State withheld certain evidence until after trial; (6) Petitioner's trial counsel was ineffective; and (7) Petitioner's appellate counsel was ineffective. Andersen v. State, 830 N.W.2d 1, 5-6 (Minn. 2013), reh'g denied (May 2, 2013) ("Andersen II"). On January 19, 2011, the post-conviction court issued an order denying the petition for post-conviction relief, holding that Petitioner's claims were either meritless on their face or procedurally barred by State v. Knaffla, 243 N.W.2d 737, 741 (Minn. 1976). Andersen II, 830 N.W.2d at 5-6.

On March 20, 2013, the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed the post-conviction court's holding, concluding that the post-conviction court did not err in summarily denying the petition for post-conviction relief without an evidentiary hearing. Id. The Minnesota Supreme Court entered judgment affirming the post-conviction court's denial of Petitioner's petition for postconviction relief on May 6, 2013. (Exhibit C to Respondent's Appendix [Docket No. 10-3], at 1).

Since May 6, 2013, the present record before the Court indicates that Petitioner filed two motions for discovery in the Becker County District Court, dated May 13, 2013 (granted on June 10, 2013), and August 12, 2013 (denied on September 6, 2013), respectively.

On March 19, 2014, Petitioner filed his first of two federal habeas petitions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.

II. RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS HABEAS CORPUS PETITION, [DOCKET NO. 8]

Pursuant to Rules 2 and 5 of the Rules Governing 28 U.S.C. § 2254 Cases, and 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d), Respondent moves the Court for an order dismissing Petitioner's March 19, 2014 Petition. (Motion to Dismiss [Docket No. 8]).

A. Standard of Review

"The Supreme Court, a Justice thereof, a circuit judge, or a district court shall entertain an application for a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court only on the ground that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 2254. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) instructs federal courts to engage in a "limited and deferential review of underlying state court decisions." Mark v. Ault, 498 F.3d 775, 782-83 (8th Cir. 2007). Under the AEDPA, a federal court may not grant relief to a petitioner with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in state court unless the state court's decision:

(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as ...

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