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Maddox v. Thomas

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

April 2, 2019

MICKEY A. MADDOX, #A0723747, Petitioner,
v.
TODD THOMAS, Respondent.

          ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS WITH PREJUDICE AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

          DERRICK K. WATSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the court is Petitioner Mickey A. Maddox's Petition Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody (“Petition”). Maddox challenges his conviction and sentence in State v. Maddox, Cr. No. 09-1-0284 (Haw. 2d Cir.) (“2009 Case”).

         Respondent moved to dismiss the Petition on December 13, 2018. See ECF Nos. 9 and 11 (duplicate). Maddox filed his Response on January 7, 2019. ECF No. 19. The Court has carefully reviewed the record herein and the full record in Maddox v. Thomas, No. 1:18-cv-00133 DKW-RLP (D. Haw. 2018), through which Maddox originally challenged Cr. No. 09-1-0284. For the following reasons, the Petition is DISMISSED with prejudice, and any request for a certificate of appealability is DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On March 19, 2007, Maddox was indicted for attempted escape in the second degree and promoting prison contraband in the first degree[1] in State v. Maddox, Cr. No. 07-1-0139 (Haw. 2d Cir.) (“2007 Case”). On May 15, 2009, the circuit court orally dismissed the 2007 Case without prejudice for violation of Maddox's speedy trial rights under Hawaii Rules of Penal Procedure (HRPP) Rule 48.[2] The circuit court stated that it would dismiss the case with prejudice if the State failed to re-indict Maddox or hold a probable cause determination by June 9, 2009. See No. 1:18-cv-00133 DKW-RLP, ECF No. 1-23. Maddox says that he instructed his trial counsel to file a notice of appeal, but his attorney abandoned him after the circuit court orally dismissed the case. See Maddox, 141 Haw. at 199-201. Maddox filed two pro se notices of appeal, which the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) dismissed for lack of appellate jurisdiction because the circuit court had not yet filed a written order of dismissal terminating the 2007 Case. Id. at 200.

         On May 29, 2009, the State re-indicted Maddox in the 2009 Case on identical charges to those dismissed in the 2007 Case. The new indictment, however, stated that if Maddox was convicted, he may be subject to extended term sentences as a persistent and multiple offender.[3] See Resp't Ex. C, ECF No. 10-3.

         On January 7, 2010, the circuit court entered a written order formally terminating the 2007 Case without prejudice. Maddox says that he did not appeal this final determination because he never received notice of the order. He alleges that if he had been able to appeal, and was successful, he could not have been convicted in the 2009 Case.

         On June 28, 2010, Maddox pled no contest to both charges in the 2009 Case pursuant to a plea agreement in which he waived his right to appeal and agreed to dismiss all pending appeals and motions in exchange for a sentence of probation. On August 27, 2010, the circuit court sentenced Maddox to five years probation, [4]and judgment was entered on August 30, 2010.

         On February 19, 2013, after a bench warrant had been issued for revocation of probation and Maddox was extradited from California to Hawaii, he admitted to violating the terms and conditions of his probation in the 2009 Case. On April 25, 2013, the circuit court revoked Maddox's probation and resentenced him to concurrent five- and ten-year sentences for the two charges in the 2009 Case and entered a new judgment.

         The next day, April 26, 2013, Maddox filed an HRPP Rule 40 Petition for Post-Conviction Relief (“Rule 40 Petition”), in which he challenged, inter alia, the dismissal without prejudice of the 2007 Case (alleging abandonment by and ineffective assistance of counsel), and numerous other issues relating to both the 2007 Case and the 2009 Case. See Maddox v. State, 2PR131000004 (Haw. Cir. 2013) (also referred to as SPP No. 13-1-0004). The circuit court denied the Rule 40 Petition in its entirety, finding that all issues had been previously raised and ruled upon, and thus, were procedurally defaulted under HRPP Rule 40(a)(3).[5]Resp't Ex. P. The ICA affirmed the circuit court by summary disposition order on March 31, 2016. See Resp't Ex. R; Maddox v. State, 2016 WL 1600699 (Haw. App. 2016).

         On December 14, 2017, the Hawaii Supreme Court found that Maddox “raised colorable claims for post-conviction relief based upon grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel and abandonment of representation by defense counsel” in the 2007 Case. Maddox, 141 Haw. at 199. The supreme court vacated the ICA and circuit court's decisions and remanded the Rule 40 Petition to the circuit court with instructions to conduct an evidentiary hearing on Ground G only, regarding Maddox's claims that his trial counsel in the 2007 Case was ineffective for failing to file an appeal after Maddox requested that he do so and had abandoned Maddox during a critical stage of the case. Id. at 208. The Hawaii Supreme Court stated that, “these facts, if true, would entitle Maddox to proceed with his appeal [in the 2007 Case] at this juncture.” Id. In so holding, the supreme court expressly rejected Maddox's remaining claims, including all claims specifically pertaining to the 2009 Case, as either waived or without merit. See id., n.34 (discussing Maddox's thirteen remaining claims).

         On January 10, 2018, the Hawaii Supreme Court denied Maddox's request for reconsideration. Maddox is represented by counsel in the Rule 40 Petition, but to date, the circuit court has not issued an order regarding the Rule 40 Petition, and it remains pending. See Hawaii State Judiciary, http://hoohiki.courts.hawaii.gov. (2PR131000004 Maddox, last visited Mar. 27, 2019). Maddox is scheduled to be released on April 1, 2019. See https://www.vinelink.com/#/searchResults.

         On April 9, 2018, Maddox filed a federal habeas action challenging the judgments in the 2007 and 2009 Cases, raising seven grounds for relief. See Maddox v. Thomas, No. 1:18-cv-00133 DKW-RLP, Pet., ECF No. 1. After the court instructed Maddox to file a separate petition for each case, he filed the present Petition on June 29, 2018, and the Clerk of Court opened the present case. Pet., ECF No. 1.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), a petition for habeas corpus “shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings unless the adjudication of the claim” resulted in a decision that either “was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States, ” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1), or “was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding, ” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(2).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Respondent contends that Maddox's Rule 40 Petition remains pending in the circuit court and argues that the Petition must therefore be dismissed for lack of exhaustion because available state court remedies remain.

         Maddox argues that Respondent's characterization of his claims is incorrect, conceding only that Ground One presents “a new issue created by the State of Hawaii Supreme Court's December 14, 2017 ruling.” Pet., ECF No. 1, PageID #8. Maddox further asserts that Respondent fails to rebut his claims of constitutional error and urges the court to consider his claims and immediately release him.

         A. ...


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