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Hudson v. Hammer

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

January 3, 2018

WILFRED CARL HUDSON, Petitioner,
v.
STEVE HAMMER, Warden, Defendant.

          Wilfred Carl Hudson, pro se petitioner.

          Lori H. Conroy, Assistant Clay County Attorney, for defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         Petitioner Wilfred Carl Hudson, presently incarcerated at the Stillwater Correctional Facility, filed this Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 against Warden Steve Hammer. Hammer filed a motion to dismiss, and the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) that Hudson's Petition be dismissed because his claims are procedurally barred. When Hudson failed to file objections within 14 days, the Court issued an Order adopting the R&R and dismissing the Petition. The Court subsequently stayed that Order to allow Hudson to file two motions, one for leave to appeal and one for a certificate of appealability. The Court will construe them as objections to the R&R, overrule the objections, deny the motions, and reaffirm its previous Order.

         BACKGROUND

         In 2013, Hudson was convicted on three counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct for crimes against his daughter. (Pet. at 1-2, Sept. 8, 2016, Docket No. 1.) He was sentenced to concurrent sentences of 360 months, 201 months, and 172 months. State v. Hudson, No. A13-1338, 2015 WL 4393325, at *1 (Minn.Ct.App. July 20, 2015), review denied (Oct. 20, 2015). On state post-conviction appeal, Hudson argued (as relevant here) that a detective impermissibly vouched for the credibility of the victim, and that testimony from a new witness was newly discovered evidence entitling him to a new trial. Id. at *4-5, 7. The Court of Appeals found that “the record reasonably supports the district court's credibility findings” and affirmed his sentence. Id. at *5, 7-8. The Minnesota Supreme Court denied review.

         Hudson then filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Pet.) Hudson asserts four grounds for relief in the Petition: first, that he was denied due process when the detective impermissibly vouched for the victim's credibility; second, that he was denied due process when the trial court refused him a new trial; third, that he was denied due process when the trial court impermissibly vouched for the victim's credibility; and fourth, that he was denied effective assistance of trial counsel. (Id. at 5-11.)

         Hammer filed a motion to dismiss Hudson's petition, arguing that Hudson was procedurally barred from raising the third and fourth arguments and that the first and second should be denied on the merits. (Mot. to Dismiss, Dec. 6, 2016, Docket No. 11.) Hudson filed a motion to grant his petition. (Mot. to Grant, Mar. 20, 2017, Docket No. 21.) The Magistrate Judge issued an R&R recommending that the Petition be dismissed because all four grounds are procedurally barred and that a certificate of appealability not issue. (R&R, July 25, 2017, Docket No. 27.) Because Hudson did not file objections within 14 days, the Court issued an Order adopting the R&R. (Order, Aug. 11, 2017, Docket No. 28.) The Court subsequently granted Hudson's motion for a time extension and stayed its Order due to a prison lockdown. (Order, Sept. 18, 2017, Docket No. 35.)

         Hudson has now filed Motions for Leave to Appeal and for a Certificate of Appealability. (Mot. Leave to Appeal (“Mot.”), Aug. 15, 2017, Docket No. 32; Mot. Certificate of Appealability (“2d Mot.”), Sept. 27, 2017, Docket No. 36.) In both, Hudson argues that evidence he received after his trial, direct appeal, and state post-conviction proceedings proves his innocence. (Mot. at 2-3; 2d Mot. at 2-3.) Specifically, Hudson received the victim's medical records on February 14, 2014, address verification forms on June 5, 2016, and supplemental police reports on January 31, 2017. (2d Mot. at 2-3.) Notably, Hudson does not allege that any evidence was received after March 20, 2017, when he filed the motion to grant his § 2254 petition. (See id.; Mot. to Grant.)

         DISCUSSION

         I. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Upon the filing of a report and recommendation by a magistrate judge, “a party may serve and file specific written objections to the proposed findings and recommendations.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2); accord D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(1). “The objections should specify the portions of the magistrate judge's report and recommendation to which objections are made and provide a basis for those objections.” Mayer v. Walvatne, No. 07-1958, 2008 WL 4527774, at *2 (D. Minn. Sept. 28, 2008). “The district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3); accord D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(3). “Objections which are not specific but merely summarize or repeat arguments presented to and considered by a magistrate judge are not entitled to de novo review, but rather are reviewed for clear error.” Montgomery v. Compass Airlines, LLC, 98 F.Supp.3d 1012, 1017 (D. Minn. 2015).

         II. HUDSON'S SUBMISSIONS

         With one exception, Hudson's filings do not contain specific objections meriting de novo review. Hudson's briefing in support of his motions merely reiterates the arguments he made in his submissions to the Magistrate Judge. (See Mem. Supp. Mot. Leave to Appeal (“Mem.”), Aug. 15, 2017, Docket No. 33.) Because these objections merely repeat prior arguments, they are not proper, and so the R&R is reviewed for clear error with regard to them. Hudson's pro se motions themselves, construed liberally, ...


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