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Matthews v. Braun

United States District Court, D. North Dakota

April 16, 2019

Antonio Raheem Matthews, Petitioner,
v.
Colby Braun, Respondent.

          ORDER

          Clare R. Hochhalter United States Magistrate Judge.

         Petitioner Antonio Raheem Matthews is an inmate at the North Dakota State Penitentiary (“NDSP”) in Bismarck, North Dakota. He filed a “Petition Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a Person in State Custody.” (Doc. No. 2). The State of North Dakota (“State”) has filed a “Limited Motion to Dismiss Section 2254 Petition.” (Doc. No. 14). The parties have consented to the exercise of jurisdiction by the undersigned. For the reasons set forth below, the State's motion to dismiss is granted, and Matthew's petition is dismissed with prejudice.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Underlying State Conviction

         Matthews was charged in state district court with three counts of gross sexual imposition, two counts of robbery, one count of terrorizing and two counts of felonious restraint. (Doc. No. 15-1). On August 12, 2014, a jury found him guilty on all charges. Id. On October 15, 2014, Matthews was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. (Doc. No. 15-2). Matthews filed an appeal to the North Dakota Supreme Court. (Doc. No. 15-4). Matthews argued that the evidence presented to the state district court was insufficient to sustain his convictions. Id. On June 18, 2015, the North Dakota Supreme Court summarily affirmed Matthews' convictions. State v. Matthews, 2015 ND 119, 865 N.W.2d 124. There was no appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

         B. First Application for Postconviction Relief

         On July 16, 2015, Matthews filed an application for postconviction relief in state district court. (Doc. No. 15-5). Matthews claimed ineffective assistance of counsel at trial; illegal tactics used for identification, including failure to conduct a police lineup and police lifting up his shirt to look at his tattoos; and that there was an unconstitutional prosecutorial failure to disclose evidence favorable to the defendant. (Doc. No. 15-6).

         On January 22, 2016, the state district court denied the application for postconviction relief holding that, “Based upon these bare allegations, lacking specific supporting facts and complete absence of any legal authority, the court finds that Matthews failed to establish any basis for post-conviction relief.” Id. T h e N o r t h Dakota Supreme Court summarily affirmed the state district court's order on July 28, 2016. Matthews v. State, 2016 ND 123, 881 N.W.2d 565.

         C. Second Application for Postconviction Relief

         On October 17, 2016, Matthews filed an second application for postconviction relief. (Doc. No. 15-10). Matthews' claimed that evidence of a laptop was disclosed during trial, but not in discovery, and that fingerprint evidence of the laptop would have been exculpatory; ineffective assistance of counsel; and that he was not provided some witness and victim statements. Id.

         On October 31, 2016, the state district court summarily dismissed the second application. Id. The court concluded that Matthews' first two claims were barred by res judicata as they were addressed in his first petition for postconviction relief. Id. In regards to Matthews' claim that he was not provided some of the victim and witness statements, the court found that the claim “could have been raised prior to conviction and judgment, in his post-conviction appeal to the North Dakota Supreme Court, or in the first Petition.” Id. The court found that because Matthews failed to raise this claim at previous opportunities, that the claim was barred as misuse of process under N.D.C.C. § 29-32.1-12(2). Id. Matthews did not file an appeal in the second application. Id.

         D. Third Application for Postconviction Relief

         On October 20, 2016, Matthews filed a third application for postconviction relief. On March 24, 2017, the state district court summarily dismissed Matthews' third application as barred by res judicata and misuse of process. (Doc. No. 15-11). The court noted that Matthews' third application for postconviction relief was identical to his second application. (Doc. No. 15-12).

         E. Fourth Application for Postconviction Relief

         On November 20, 2017, Matthews filed a fourth application for postconviction relief. Matthews alleged prosecutorial misconduct, newly discovered evidence, that the state did not provide potentially exculpatory evidence to him, and that potentially exculpatory evidence was not examined for fingerprints (Doc. Nos. 15-12 and15-13). On January 22, 2018, Matthews' fourth application was summarily dismissed by the state district court. (Doc. No. 15-13). The state district court concluded that, “Matthews clearly continues to litigate the same issues, only using different terminology.” Id. at 7. Matthews appealed the state district court's denial of his fourth application for postconviction relief to the North Dakota Supreme Court. On August, 8, 2018, the North Dakota Supreme Court summarily affirmed the state district court holding that, “The district court did not err by summarily dismissing Matthews' application for post-conviction relief because it was untimely and because the issues in his applications were raised in prior applications or on direct appeal from convictions.” Matthews v. State, 2018 ND 149, 913 N.W.2d 771.

         F. Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus ...


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