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Rienhardt v. Ryan

United States District Court, D. Arizona

March 23, 2016

Charles Bradley Rienhardt, Petitioner,
v.
Charles L. Ryan, et al., Respondents.

ORDER

DAVID C. BURY, District Judge.

Before the Court is Petitioner's motion to reconsider this Court's order denying his motion to amend his habeas corpus petition to include eighteen additional claims that were unexhausted when Petitioner filed his first amended habeas petition. (Doc. 238.)[1] Respondents filed a response, and Petitioner filed a reply. (Docs. 251, 267.) For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies Petitioner's motion for reconsideration.

I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On February 22, 1996, Petitioner was convicted of kidnapping, attempted transfer of a dangerous drug, and attempted arson, for which he was sentenced to a term of years, and first degree murder, for which he was sentenced to death. State v. Rienhardt, 190 Ariz. 579, 951 P.2d 454 (1997). The Arizona Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and sentences, and denied review of the trial court's post-conviction ruling. ( Id.; Doc. 238 Ex. A.)

Petitioner initiated habeas proceedings before this Court on May 30, 2003. (Doc. 1.) Petitioner filed his amended petition on March 5, 2004, followed by a notice of unexhausted claims on March 30, 2004. (Docs. 38, 42.) On September 28, 2005, this Court dismissed a number of Petitioner's habeas claims, concluding they were procedurally barred and denied evidentiary development as to each claim. (Doc. 80.)

On January 10, 2005, while the habeas petition was pending, Petitioner filed a second petition for post-conviction relief ("PCR") in state court. (Doc. 251, Ex. A.) On October 18, 2005, Petitioner filed a motion to amend his federal habeas petition to include eighteen claims that he asserted were pending before the state court in his second PCR. (Docs. 88, 89.) On March 30, 2006, while the motion to amend was pending in this Court, the state court denied the second PCR, finding each claim precluded. (Doc. 251, Ex. B.) On April 26, 2006, this Court denied Petitioner's motion to amend. (Doc. 96.).) On November 29, 2006, the Arizona Supreme Court denied review of Petitioner's petition for review from the state court's denial of the second PCR. (Doc. 251, Ex. F.) No motion for reconsideration of this Court's order denying amendment was filed until Petitioner filed the motion currently before the Court.

On November 4, 2009, after reviewing the merits of Petitioner's remaining claims, the Court concluded Petitioner was not entitled to relief and denied the petition. (Doc. 126, 129.) Petitioner filed a notice of appeal from the judgment and from several orders, including the order denying the motion to amend. (Doc. 134.)

On December 1, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted Petitioner's motion for a limited remand. (Doc. 145.) The Ninth Circuit directed this Court to reconsider a number of claims in light of Martinez v. Ryan, 132 S.Ct. 1309 (2012). (Doc. 145.) The Ninth Circuit also directed this Court to consider, in light of intervening law, whether expansion of the record and leave to amend the petition are warranted as to Petitioner's recently exhausted claims. ( Id. at 2.)

On December 23, 2014, the Court ordered Petitioner to file a supplemental brief addressing the issues identified in the remand order, including "whether expansion of the record and leave to amend the petition are warranted as to Petitioner's recently exhausted claims." (Doc. 147 at 1.) On October 14, 2015, Petitioner filed his supplemental brief on remand. (Doc. 218.) In his supplemental brief, Petitioner asserts that the Court treated the claims raised for the first time in the second amended petition as procedurally defaulted, and argues that the claims should be considered pursuant to Martinez. (Doc. 218 at 120.) Subsequently, on December 4, 2015, Petitioner filed a motion to reconsider this Court's order of April 26, 2006 (Doc. 96), denying Petitioner's motion to amend the habeas petition. (Doc. 238.)

II. DISCUSSION

Petitioner argues this Court should reconsider its order denying Petitioner's motion to amend, pursuant to Rule 15(a) and (c), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, in order to "permit a full and fair resolution of Petitioner's constitutional claims." (Doc. 238 at 4.) Petitioner asserts several reasons the Court should reconsider its order: (1) the purpose of the exhaustion doctrine has now been satisfied, (2) the Court ignored controlling Supreme Court authority in denying the motion to amend, (3) Respondents were unharmed by any delay in moving to amend with the now-exhausted claims, (4) no specific prejudice to Respondents was identified by either Respondents or the Court, (5) the claims can no longer be dismissed as futile because Martinez has changed the landscape for procedurally defaulted claims in federal court, (6) Petitioner did not unduly delay in bringing his motion to amend, and, (7) the new claims arise from the same core facts as the timely filed claims. ( Id. at 4-11.)

Respondents contend the motion should be denied because (1) Petitioner's motion is untimely, (2) Petitioner has not demonstrated sufficient grounds for reconsideration of the Court's previous motion, and (3) the factors of bad faith, undue delay and prejudice, and futility weight against amendment. (Doc. 251 at 3-11.)

A. Applicable Law

1. Motion to Reconsider


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