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Wilson v. Schnell

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

April 1, 2019

Michelle Rae Wilson, Petitioner,
v.
Paul Schnell, Commissioner of Corrections, [1] Respondent.

          Michelle Rae Wilson, OID #231460, MCF Shakopee, pro se Petitioner.

          Peter R. Marker, Esq., Ramsey County Attorney's Office, counsel for Respondent.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          BECKY R. THORSON United States Magistrate Judge.

         In 2010, Petitioner Michelle Rae Wilson was sentenced to 350 months in prison after she was convicted of killing Carl Jackson, her ex-boyfriend. Petitioner requests relief from her prison sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. No. 1, Habeas Pet.) The Court issued an Order to Show Cause why the writ should not be granted on October 1, 2018. (Doc. No. 9.) A response was filed on October 31, 2018. (Doc. Nos. 10, 11.) On February 4, 2019, Petitioner moved for leave to supplement the record and file a reply brief. (Doc. No. 12.) The Court granted this motion, and Petitioner filed a reply and several exhibits on March 6, 2019. (Doc. Nos 15-17.)

         For the reasons stated below, and based on the files, records, and proceedings herein, this Court recommends that the petition be denied.

         BACKGROUND

         Petitioner was charged with two counts of second-degree murder in Ramsey County District Court. After a jury trial, Petitioner was found guilty on December 16, 2009, and sentenced on January 28, 2010.[2] Petitioner was represented by private counsel at trial.

         Petitioner filed a pro se appeal from her conviction on April 28, 2010. The Office of the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender (“OMAPD”) determined that Petitioner was ineligible for OMAPD representation. Petitioner challenged that determination at the Minnesota Supreme Court, which affirmed OMAPD's eligibility determination in an Order dated June 7, 2010. (Doc. No. 11-1 at 3-4.)[3] On June 18, 2010, the Minnesota Court of Appeals directed Petitioner to remedy several deficiencies in her appeal, including ordering the transcript and making financial arrangements with the court reporter. (Id. at 5-7.) On July 9, 2010, the Minnesota Court of Appeals dismissed the direct appeal because Petitioner failed to comply with the court's previous order to remedy deficiencies. (Id. at 8-9.) The Minnesota Supreme Court denied Petitioner's petition for review on September 29, 2010. (Id. at 10.)

         In April 2012, Petitioner filed a request to proceed in forma pauperis in relation to a yet-to-be-filed postconviction action in state court. (Id. at 12.) This request was denied on May 14, 2012. (Id. at 11.) The court wrote:

Defendant's request to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 563.01 was forwarded to this Court to decide. . . .
The defendant's continued request for the district court to grant her in forma pauperis status pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 563 is misplaced. This statute specifically governs civil actions, NOT criminal actions. . . .
Again, this Court has no knowledge of the reasons for the State Public Defender's initial denial of her application but the defendant must again submit her application. . . .
The defendant has requested that this Court's court reporter prepare a transcript of all proceedings before this Court. Since the defendant has not followed the proper rules to make this request, the court reporter does not have the authority to certify to the Minnesota Court of Appeals that she has made satisfactory financial arrangements.
In addition, the defendant's supplemental affidavit requests the Court appoint an attorney to represent her. Again, this Court has no authority to appoint the State Public Defender or a private attorney to represent her for postconviction relief proceedings.

(Id. at 12-14.)

         Petitioner filed a pro se petition for postconviction relief on July 16, 2012. (Id. at 15.) In a letter dated July 20, 2012, the Chief Appellate Public Defender informed the postconviction court that Petitioner was ineligible for representation from the OMAPD in the proceeding. (Id. at 54.) The court noted that Petitioner raised a “multitude of issues, ” and continued to “challenge the Court's denial of her request to require the State to pay the costs associated with the ...


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