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Rodgers v. Steele

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

February 2, 2017

CORNELIUS RODGERS, Petitioner,
v.
TROY STEELE, Respondent.

          OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HENRY EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Petitioner filed a pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 [Doc. 1] on October 7, 2013. On December 6, 2013, Defendant filed his Response To Order To Show Cause Why a Writ of Habeas Corpus Should Not be Granted [ Doc. 7]. Thereafter, on February 25, 2016, Petitioner filed MEMORANDUM AND NOTICE OF IMMINENT FILING [Doc. 21]. On September 15, 2016, this court denied the relief sought by Petitioner in his MEMORANDUM AND NOTICE OF IMMINENT FILING.

         Pursuant to Rule 8 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts, this Court has determined that there are no issues asserted that give rise to an evidentiary hearing and therefore one is not warranted, as will be discussed in further detail. For the reasons explained below, the Response to the Order to Show Cause Why Relief Should not be Granted is well taken and the petition will be denied.

         Procedural Background

         Petitioner was charged in State court with robbery in the first degree and armed criminal action. A jury found him guilty of both offenses. On October 20, 2009, the Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed his convictions on direct appeal.

         On February 8, 2010, Petitioner filed a pro se post-conviction motion. Thereafter, the motion court appointed counsel, and appointed counsel timely filed an amended post-conviction motion raising two claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel. After counsel filed the amended post-conviction motion, Petitioner filed a motion seeking: 1) to quash the amended post-conviction; 2) to discharge appointed counsel, and 3) to represent himself. The motion court entered an order granting his request to represent himself, but that order did not expressly address the request to strike the amended post-conviction motion filed by counsel.

         On January 18, 2011, the motion court entered an order addressing and denying the two claims from the amended post-conviction motion. On or about February 3, 2011, Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration.

         On June 23, 2011, Petitioner filed a motion for leave to file a late notice of appeal, and the Missouri Court of Appeals granted that motion. It was alleged in his post-conviction appeal that the motion court erred by failing to enter findings of facts on the claims in his pro se post-conviction motion. The Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed finding that the motion court had never granted the motion to quash the amended post-conviction motion and, therefore, under Missouri law, the only pending claims were the claims in the amended post-conviction motion.

         After Petitioner filed a motion for rehearing, the Missouri Court of Appeals denied that motion on December 13, 2012, and issued its mandate on January 4, 2013.

         Petitioner further alleges that he mailed his petition to this Court on October 4, 2013.

         Standard of Review

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (“AEDPA”) applies to all petitions for habeas relief filed by state prisoners after the statute's effective date of April 24, 1996. When reviewing a claim that has been decided on the merits by a state court, AEDPA limits the scope of judicial review in a habeas proceeding as follows:

         An application for writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a state court 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 -

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

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