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Edgar v. Ryan

United States District Court, D. Arizona

April 5, 2018

Jonathan B Edgar, Petitioner,
Charles Ryan, et al., Respondents.



         On January 31, 2018, Magistrate Judge Bruce G. Macdonald issued a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) (Doc. 37) in which he recommended the Petitioner Jonathan B Edgar's Petition Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for a Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody (Doc. 1) be denied. The Court has reviewed and considered the pending petition (Doc.1), the Limited and Supplemental Answers (Docs. 18, 29), the Reply (Doc. 32) and Supplemental Reply (Doc. 32), the related exhibits, the Report and Recommendation (Doc. 37), Petitioner's Objection (Doc. 41), and Respondents' Response (Doc. 42). The Court will adopt the Magistrate Judge's R&R and deny Petitioner's § 2254 petition.

         • Standard of Review

         The standard of review that is applied to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation is dependent upon whether a party files objections - the Court need not review portions of a report to which a party does not object. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985). However, the Court must “determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to. The district judge may accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or return the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3); see also 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Nonetheless, “while the statute does not require the judge to review an issue de novo if no objections are filed, it does not preclude further review by the district judge, sua sponte or at the request of a party, under a de novo or any other standard.” Thomas, 474 U.S. at 154.

         • Factual and Procedural History

         Petitioner does not object to the factual or procedural history as stated by the Magistrate Judge, only to the conclusions that may be drawn from his synopsis. Therefore, the Court adopts the Magistrate Judge's recitation of the factual and procedural background.

         • Petitioner's Objections

         • Amended Complaint

         Petitioner first objects to the Magistrate Judge's denial of his motion to amend, claiming the act was an abuse of discretion. (Doc. 41 at 2.) When denying leave to amend, the Magistrate Judge explained that Petitioner had not clarified what claims he was attempting to add. (Doc. 35 at 2.) In fact, the motion is two sentences long and merely states that Petitioner “missed additional factual and legal arguments during the course of the proceedings.” (Doc. 34 at 1.) Furthermore, Petitioner did not follow Local Rules of Civil Procedure, and failed to attach his proposed amended petition indicating how it differed from the original. See LRCiv 15.1(a). Therefore the Magistrate Judge, in his discretion, had ample cause to deny the request to amend the petition. In addition, Petitioner could have filed a motion for reconsideration, wherein he could have explained why he failed to comply with the local rule, with a comporting amended petition attached. For example, Petitioner did indeed file objections to other determinations by the Magistrate Judge as well as objections at the state court level, but chose not to in this matter. (See Motion to Vacate Judgment, Doc. 19; Objection to Magistrate's Order, Doc. 27, Appeal of Extradition Fees, Exh. D, Doc. 41-1 at 24.)

         • Hybrid Representation

         Second, Petitioner claims the Magistrate Judge should have determined that the state court committed a due process violation when it erroneously revoked his probationary period which led to his incarceration. (Doc. 41 at 3-4.) Petitioner attempted to raise this issue pro se in state court, but the Rule 32 court did not address the issue. (Exh. J, Doc. 18-1 at 61; Exh. S, Doc. 29-1 at 4 n.3.) When he attempted to raise the issue to the Arizona Court of Appeals, the court stated:

To the extent counsel suggested in the Rule 32 petition below that Edgar “may have other issues he wishes to raise in a pro se Petition, ” we note that, not only is there no constitutional right to hybrid representation, State v. Murray, 184 Ariz. 9, 27, 906 P.2d 542, 560 (1995), but the trial court had informed Edgar more than once that it would not accept hybrid representation, and in fact, had asked counsel to “remind [Edgar] of the proper procedure.”

(Exh. S, Doc. 29-1 at 4 n.3.)

         This Court will not consider a question of federal law decided on adequate and independent state grounds. See Coleman v. Thompson,501 U.S. 722, 732 (1991). The state court precluded Petitioner's argument on state procedural grounds pertaining to hybrid representation. This constitutes a procedural bar to raising these claims in district court. Vasquez-Mendoza v. Ryan, CV-12-01189-PHX-PGR, 2015 WL 2213335, at *10 (D. Ariz. May 11, 2015) (citing Harris v. Reed,489 U.S. 255, 260 (1989) (“[Claims] were disposed of on the basis of the state rule precluding hybrid representation, and thus would be subject to a defense of procedural bar under an independent and adequate state ground.”); Sapp v. Ryan, No. CV-05-52-TUC-FRZ-DTF, 2009 WL 8406770, at *4 (D. Ariz. Oct. 20, 2009), report and ...

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