United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
D. NOCE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
action is before the court on the motions to dismiss of
defendants Steven Pelton (Doc. 12) and defendant Joshua David
Hawley (Doc. 14). Plaintiff opposes both motions and seeks
leave in the alternative to amend his complaint. (Docs.
16-18). The parties have consented to the exercise of plenary
authority by the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
October 10, 2013, plaintiff Jeffrey Weinhaus was convicted by
a Franklin County Circuit Court jury of felony possession of
a controlled substance, misdemeanor possession of up to 35
grams of marijuana, first-degree assault of a law enforcement
officer, and armed criminal action. State v. Jeffrey R.
Weinhaus, 12AB-CR02409-01 (Oct. 10, 2013).
November 25, 2013, he was sentenced to 2 years for the felony
possession, 1 year for the misdemeanor possession, 30 years
for the first-degree assault, and 30 years for the armed
criminal action, with all sentences to be served
concurrently. State v. Jeffrey R. Weinhaus,
12AB-CR02409-01 (Nov. 25, 2013). He is presently incarcerated
in the Missouri Department of Corrections.
November 27, 2013, plaintiff appealed the conviction and
sentencing, which the Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed in
January 2015, issuing its mandate on May 4, 2015. State
v. Weinhaus, 459 S.W.3d 916 (Mo.Ct.App. 2015),
reh'g and/or transfer denied (Mar. 11, 2015),
transfer denied (Apr. 28, 2015), cert.
denied, 136 S.Ct. 125 (2015), reh'g denied,
136 S.Ct. 881 (2016).
11, 2015, after the denial of his direct appeal, plaintiff
filed a motion for post-conviction relief under Missouri
Supreme Court Rule 29.15, alleging several grounds of
ineffective assistance of counsel. Jeffrey R. Weinhaus v.
State of Missouri, 15AB-CC00117 (May 11, 2015). On
November 12, 2015, without a hearing, the Circuit Court
denied relief. Jeffrey R. Weinhaus v. State of
Missouri, 15AB-CC00117 (Nov. 12, 2015). Plaintiff timely
filed a notice of appeal. Jeffrey R. Weinhaus v. State of
Missouri, 15AB-CC00117 (Dec. 21, 2015).
appeal from the denial of post-conviction relief, plaintiff
argued that his counsel was ineffective for failing to call
several witnesses, including a crime scene expert, FBI agents
who were allegedly present at the scene of the crime, an
individual named Levi Weinhaus who could have testified about
plaintiff's gun-carrying habits, and a video expert.
Weinhaus v. State, 501 S.W.3d 523, 528-30
(Mo.Ct.App. 2016). On October 18, 2016, the Missouri Court of
Appeals affirmed the Circuit Court's denial, issuing its
mandate on November 9, 2016. Id.
10, 2017, plaintiff Weinhaus commenced this action to vacate
his state court convictions, alleging that his convictions
and sentences violate his constitutional rights. The relief
he seeks by this judicial action is stated generally thus:
103. Weinhaus brings this action for Declaratory Relief based
on the extensive, numerous and repeated violations of his
Constitutional Rights under the Constitution of the United
States of America, and as applicable under the Constitution
of the State of Missouri for the purpose of vacating his
conviction and regaining his freedom.
(Doc. 1, at ¶ 103). More specifically, plaintiff alleges
that the state court proceedings violated his rights under
the following laws: the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth,
Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the
United States, and, generally, the Constitution of Missouri.
For each of these specific claims, plaintiff seeks the
following relief in identical language:
137. Therefore, Plaintiff requests that this court exercise
its authority to order the state of Missouri to vacate the
judgment and conviction of Weinhaus on the grounds that the
conviction is a product of a violation of his rights under
the U.S. Constitution, and as applicable the Missouri State
Constitution, to order Weinhaus' immediate release, and
to grant any other relief that this court finds necessary and
appropriate in the interest of justice, including a retrial.
(Id. at ¶¶ 137, 149, 171, 175, 181, 213,
and 225). In his conclusion, plaintiff prays for the
following relief regarding the entire action:
Jeffrey Weinhaus, requests that this court grant the relief
requested, that he be set free of the confines and control of
the ERDCC and the State of Missouri, and that the trial and
conviction under which his incarceration is based be vacated
as a violation of his Rights under the Federal and State
Constitutions, that the State be barred from further
prosecution of Weinhaus on the grounds alleged in the
criminal complaint, and other relief that ...