Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Nickerson v. Nooth

United States District Court, D. Oregon

August 31, 2018

DALE RAY NICKERSON, Petitioner,
v.
MARK NOOTH, Superintendent, Snake River Correctional Institution, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Ann Aiken, United States District Judge.

         Petitioner, an inmate at Snake River Correctional Institution, filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, alleging that his guilty plea was not constitutionally valid and he received ineffective assistance of counsel when entering his plea. For the reasons discussed below, the petition is denied.

         BACKGROUND

         In May 2009, petitioner was charged with five counts of Sodomy in the First Degree, five counts of Rape in the First Degree, five Counts of Unlawful Penetration in the First Degree, and five counts of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree. Resp't Exs. 102. The charges arose from the sexual abuse of petitioner's 10-year-old step-daughter, and petitioner faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 300 months' imprisonment if convicted on any of the charges at trial. Resp'tEx. 102, Ex. 105 at 4.

         On January 12, 2010, petitioner pled guilty to three counts of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree pursuant to a plea agreement. As part of the agreement, the State dismissed the remaining counts and recommended a sentence of 200 months. Resp't Ex. 103 at 1-2.

         On March 30, 2010, the trial court sentenced petitioner to 200 months' imprisonment. Resp'tEx. 101.

         Petitioner initially appealed the trial court judgment but ultimately dismissed his appeal. Resp't Exs. 106-07.

         On April 30, 2012, petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief (PCR) in state court and alleged, among other claims, that trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to ensure that petitioner's plea was knowing and voluntary. Resp't Ex. 108 (fourth amended PCR petition). The PCR court denied relief, the Oregon Court of Appeal affirmed without opinion, and the Oregon Supreme Court denied review. Resp't Exs. 162-64, 166-68.

         On January 26, 2016, petitioner filed this federal habeas petition.

         DISCUSSION

         In his pro se petition, petitioner asserts forty-two grounds for relief, with several claims including numerous sub-parts. Pet. at 10-132 (ECF No. 2). In his counseled supporting brief, petitioner presents arguments on Grounds One, Two, and subparts Twenty-Three and Twenty-Four of Ground Eleven. Pet'r Brief at 1 (ECF No. 48).[1] Aside from these specific grounds, petitioner presents no argument to support the merits of his claims and fails to establish entitlement to habeas relief on Grounds Three through Ten; the remaining subparts of Ground Eleven; and Grounds Twelve through Forty-Two. Mayes v. Premo, 766 F.3d 949, 957 (9th Cir. 2014) (a habeas petitioner bears the burden of proving his claims).

         A. Grounds One and Two

         In Grounds One and Two, petitioner alleges that his trial counsel failed to ensure that he was competent at the time he entered his guilty plea, and, as a result, his plea was not knowing or voluntary. Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984) (ineffective assistance of counsel requires deficient performance by counsel and resulting prejudice). The PCR and appellate courts rejected these claims, and respondent maintains that the state court decisions are entitled to deference.

         A federal court may not grant a habeas petition regarding any claim "adjudicated on the merits" in state court, unless the state court ruling "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). A state court decision is "contrary to" established federal law if it fails to apply the correct Supreme Court authority, or if it reaches a different result in a case with facts "materially indistinguishable" from relevant Supreme Court precedent. Brown v. Payton, 544 U.S. 133, 141 (2005); Williams v. Taylor,529 U.S. 362, 405-06 (2000). A state court decision is an "unreasonable application" of clearly established federal law if the state court identifies the correct legal principle but applies it in an "objectively unreasonable manner." Woodford v. Visciotti,537 U.S. 19, 24-25 (2002) (per curiam); Williams, 529 U.S. at 407-08, 413; see also Early v. Packer,537 U.S. 3, 11 (2002) (per curiam) (state court decisions that are not "contrary to" Supreme ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.