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Medrano v. Ryan

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

August 21, 2013

Camillo Castillo Medrano, III, Petitioner,
v.
Arizona Attorney General Charles L. Ryan, Sheryl Watkins, Respondents.

ORDER

G. MURRAY SNOW, District Judge.

Pending before this Court is a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Petitioner Camillo Castillo Medrano III. (Doc. 1). Magistrate Judge Mark Aspey has issued a Report and Recommendation ("R&R") in which he recommended that the Court deny the petition with prejudice; Castillo has objected to the R&R. (Docs. 14, 15.) Because objections have been filed, the Court will review the petition de novo. See United States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121 (9th Cir. 2003) (en banc). For the following reasons, the Court accepts the R&R and denies the petition.

BACKGROUND

On June 19, 2006, a jury found Petitioner Camillo Castillo Medrano III guilty of three counts of sexual abuse, four counts of child molestation, and ten counts of sexual conduct with a minor, all felonies under state law, after an eight-day trial. (Doc. 13-1, Ex. PP.) The trial court sentenced Petitioner on August 30, 2006, to five years imprisonment for the three counts of sexual abuse, to seventeen years imprisonment for the four counts of molestation of a child, and to twenty years imprisonment for the ten counts of sexual conduct with a minor, all of the sentences to be served consecutively. ( Id., Exs. UU, VV.)

Petitioner timely appealed his conviction. On appeal, Petitioner argued that the trial court abused its discretion by denying his motion for a directed verdict one of the counts of child molestation. (Doc. 13-2, Ex. WW.) On December 11, 2007, the Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction. ( Id., Ex. YY.) Petitioner filed a petition for review with the Arizona Supreme Court on January 15, 2008, but the Court denied review on April 1, 2008. ( Id., Ex. ZZ; Doc. 13-3, Ex. AAA.) Petitioner's conviction became final on July 1, 2008, when the time expired for seeking certiorari in his direct appeal.

On June 18, 2008, Petitioner brought an action for post-conviction relief under Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 32. In his petition, he alleged newly-discovered evidence and ineffective assistance of counsel at trial and during his appeal. (Doc. 13-3, Ex. BBB.) Petitioner was appointed counsel to represent him in his Rule 32 action. ( Id., Ex. CCC.) On November 12, 2008, counsel filed a notice of completion of her post-conviction review in which she concluded that she was not able to find colorable claims to raise in a petition for post-conviction relief. ( Id., Ex. DDD.) On December 29, 2009, the Superior Court sua sponte dismissed the Rule 32 action because it did not receive from Petitioner a pro se petition or request for an extension of time to file a petition. ( Id., Ex. MMM.) Petitioner did not seek review by the Arizona Court of Appeals of the Superior Court's dismissal.

Petitioner brought this federal habeas action on November 28, 2012. In his petition, he argues for relief based on four grounds: (1) violation of his right to Due Process in connection with his criminal proceedings; (2) ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel; (3) violation of his right to a fair trial; and (4) ineffective assistance of counsel regarding the issue of his competence based on the failure to appoint an interpreter for him. (Doc. 1 at 6-9.) Respondents contend that Petitioner's claims are barred by the one-year statute of limitations under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA") and that his claims are procedurally barred because Petitioner did not exhaust relief available to him in the state courts. (Doc. 12 at 6-17.)

DISCUSSION

I. STANDARD OF REVIEW

This Court "may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). It is "clear that the district judge must review the magistrate judge's findings and recommendations de novo if objection is made, but not otherwise." United States v. Reyna-Tapia, 328 F.3d 1114, 1121 (9th Cir. 2003) (en banc) (emphasis in original); Schmidt v. Johnstone, 263 F.Supp.2d 1219, 1226 (D. Ariz. 2003) ("Following Reyna-Tapia, this Court concludes that de novo review of factual and legal issues is required if objections are made, but not otherwise.'"). District courts are not required to conduct "any review at all... of any issue that is not the subject of objection." Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 149 (1985); see also 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) ("[T]he court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the [R&R] to which objection is made.").

The writ of habeas corpus affords relief to persons in custody in violation of the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States. 28 U.S.C. § 2241(c)(3) (2006). The writ may be granted by "the Supreme Court, any justice thereof, the district courts and any circuit judge within their respective jurisdictions." Id. § 2241(a). Review of petitions for habeas corpus is governed by the AEDPA. Id. § 2244 et seq. (2006).

Under the AEDPA, the Court may not grant habeas relief unless it concludes that the state'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. § 2254(d)(1)-(2). Nor may the Court grant habeas relief under the AEDPA unless the petitioner has exhausted his claim in state court. 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A); see O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 839 (1999).

II. STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

Pursuant to AEDPA, petitions for habeas corpus must be filed within one year of the start of the limitations period. See Pace v. DiGuglielmo, 544 U.S. 408, 410 (2005) (AEDPA "establishes a 1-year statute of limitations for filing a federal habeas corpus petition") (citing 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d)(1)). The limitations period begins to run when the state conviction becomes final-either "upon the conclusion of direct review or the expiration of the time for seeking such review.'" White v. Klitzkie, 281 F.3d 920, 923 (9th Cir. 2002) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § ...


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