United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
NANNETTE A. BAKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Petitioner Charles
Neubauer's (“Neubauer” or
“Petitioner”) pro se petition for writ
of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. 1).
Respondent filed a response to the Petition. (Doc. 9).
Neubauer filed a traverse. (Doc. 10). Also before the Court
is Petitioner's pro se Motion to Vacate and
Remand for New Trial (Doc. 25), which the Court is
interpreting as a request to rule on the pending habeas
petition. The parties have consented to the jurisdiction of
the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(c)(1). (Doc. 5). For the reasons set forth
below, Neubauer's petition for writ of habeas corpus will
is currently an inmate at the Missouri Eastern Correctional
Center in Pacific, Missouri. He was charged with two counts
of statutory sodomy in the first degree with a victim less
than fourteen years of age, and to one count of statutory
sodomy in the second degree. On October 2, 2012, Petitioner
pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court of Lincoln County,
Missouri, pursuant to a plea bargain, to these counts. The
plea agreement provided that the state would not recommend
sentences higher than fifteen years on counts one and two,
even though the offenses were potentially punishable under
Missouri law by life imprisonment, and no more than seven
years on count three, which was the statutory maximum
sentence. Petitioner admitted at his plea hearing that he had
deviate sexual intercourse with C.A.B. (“Victim”)
by placing Victim's penis in Petitioner's mouth, and
by placing Petitioner's penis in Victim's anus. The
court examined Neubauer, found that his plea was knowing and
voluntary, and subsequently sentenced him to concurrent
sentences of fifteen years on counts one and two, and seven
years on count three.
filed a pro se motion for post-conviction relief
pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 24.035, in which he
challenged only his guilty plea to the second-degree offense
for which he received the seven year sentence. (Doc. 9-2 at
56). On June 2, 2014, through counsel, Neubauer filed his
amended motion for post-conviction relief. Id.
Neubauer asserted that his guilty plea was not knowing and
voluntary because the court failed to require that a
sufficient factual basis existed to support his plea to the
charge of statutory sodomy in the second degree. Id.
at 64. That motion was subsequently denied. Id. at
71. Neubauer appealed to the Missouri Court of Appeals, (Doc.
9-3), which affirmed the motion court's ruling and denied
Neubauer's appeal. (Doc. 9-5).
subsequently filed a pro se petition for writ of
habeas corpus in this Court, raising seven claims: Ground
One, that his trial counsel was ineffective for
“misleading” Neubauer into pleading
guilty; Ground Two, that Lincoln County had no
jurisdiction and was not the proper venue; Ground Three, that
plea bargaining is inherently unconstitutional; Ground Four,
that Neubauer was “arrested, questioned, charged, and
jailed” based on the improperly inefficient and biased
performance of the police officers who investigated the
charges against him; Ground Five, that Neubauer perjured
himself when he pleaded guilty; Ground Six, that his plea
counsel violated attorney-client privilege by sharing some
unspecified confidential information with the court and
prosecutor when arguing for a lighter sentence; and Ground
Seven, that the prosecutor should be presumed to have been
vindictive toward Neubauer because he allegedly would have
pursued a life sentence had the case proceeded to trial.
Standard of Review
A. Standard for Reviewing Habeas Corpus Claims on the
federal judge may issue a writ of habeas corpus freeing a
state prisoner, if the prisoner is “in custody in
violation of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the
United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). However, the
judge may not issue the writ if an adequate and independent
state-law ground justified the prisoner's detention,
regardless of the federal claim. See Wainwright v.
Sykes, 433 U.S. 72, 81-88 (1977).
habeas review exists only “as ‘a guard against
extreme malfunctions in the state criminal justice systems,
not a substitute for ordinary error correction through
appeal.'” Woods v. Donald, 135 S.Ct. 1372,
1376 (2015) (per curiam) (quoting Harrington v.
Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 102-03 (2011)). Accordingly,
“[i]n the habeas setting, a federal court is bound by
the AEDPA [the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act]
to exercise only limited and deferential review of underlying
state court decisions.” Lomholt v. Iowa, 327
F.3d 748, 751 (8th Cir. 2003) (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2254).
Under the AEDPA, a federal court may not grant relief to a
state prisoner with respect to any claim that was adjudicated
on the merits in the state court proceedings unless the state
court's 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 Supreme Court of the United States; or (2)
resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable
determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented
in the State court proceeding.” 28 U.S.C. §
court decision is “contrary to” clearly
established Supreme Court precedent “if the state court
arrives at a conclusion opposite to that reached by [the
United States Supreme] Court on a question of law or if the
state court decides a case differently than [the United
States Supreme] Court has on a set of materially
indistinguishable facts.” Williams v. Taylor,
529 U.S. 362, 412-13 (2000). “[A] state court decision
involves an unreasonable determination of the facts in light
of the evidence presented in the state court proceedings only
if it is shown that the state court's presumptively
correct factual findings do not enjoy support in the
record.” Jones v. Luebbers, 359 F.3d 1005,
1011 (8th Cir. 2004) (citations and internal quotation marks
omitted); see also Rice v. Collins, 546 U.S. 333,
338-39 (2006) (noting that state court factual findings are
presumed correct unless the habeas petitioner rebuts them
through clear and convincing evidence) (citing 28 U.S.C.
preserve a claim for federal habeas review, a state prisoner
must present that claim to the state court and allow that
court the opportunity to address the claim. Moore-El v.
Luebbers, 446 F.3d 890, 896 (8th Cir. 2006) (citing
Coleman v. Thompson, 501 U.S. 722, 731-32 (1991)).
“Where a petitioner fails to follow applicable state
procedural rules, any claims not properly raised before the
state court are procedurally defaulted.” Id.
The federal habeas court will consider a procedurally
defaulted claim only “where the petitioner can
establish either cause for the default and actual prejudice,
or that the default will result in a fundamental miscarriage
of justice.” Id. (citing Sawyer v.
Whitley, 505 U.S. 333, 338-39 (1992) and Abdullah v.
Groose, 75 F.3d 408, 411 (8th Cir. 1996) (en banc)).
“The procedural default doctrine and its attendant
‘cause and prejudice' standard are ‘grounded
in concerns of comity and federalism,' Coleman,
501 U.S. at 730, and apply alike whether the default in
question occurred at trial, on appeal, or on state collateral
attack. Murray v. Carrier, 477 U.S. 478, 490-92
demonstrate cause, a petitioner must show that “some
objective factor external to the defense impeded [the
petitioner's] efforts to comply with the State's
procedural rule.” Id. at 488. To establish
prejudice, a petitioner must demonstrate that the claimed
errors “worked to his actual and substantial
disadvantage, infecting his entire trial with error of
constitutional dimensions.” United States v.
Frady, 456 U.S. 152, 170 (1982). Lastly, in order to
assert the fundamental miscarriage of justice exception, a
petitioner must “‘present new evidence that
affirmatively demonstrates that he is ...