United States District Court, D. North Dakota
R. Hochhalter United States Magistrate Judge.
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.
Underlying State Conviction
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
First Application for Postconviction Relief
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).
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.
Second Application for Postconviction Relief
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
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
Third Application for Postconviction Relief
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).
Fourth Application for Postconviction Relief
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.
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus ...