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Reedman v. Owens

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division

September 29, 2014

DAVID REEDMAN, Petitioner,
v.
BRIAN OWENS, Commissioner, Respondent.

OPINION AND ORDER

WILLIAM S. DUFFEY, Jr., District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Petitioner David Reedman's ("Petitioner") "Motion for Reconsideration[] or Certificate of Appealability" [134] (the "Motion") and "Amended Motion for Reconsideration or Certificate of Appealability" [135] (the "Amended Motion, " and, collectively, with the Motion, the "Motions").

I. BACKGROUND

In the "Background" section of its April 7, 2010, Order, [95] the Court set forth this case's extensive factual and procedural background, and set forth the asserted basis for Petitioner's twenty-two (22) grounds for federal habeas corpus relief. (April 7, 2010, Order, at 1-14). That background section is incorporated here by reference.

In its April 7, 2010, Order, the Court granted habeas corpus relief to the Petitioner, finding that the Georgia Appellate Court had unreasonably applied clearly established federal law in concluding that the state-court trial judge had not abused his discretion in declaring a mistrial at Petitioner's first trial, and that Petitioner was thus subjected to double jeopardy when he was retried and convicted of theft by receiving stolen property. ( Id. at 86-103). The Clerk entered judgment in this action on April 30, 2010 [96].

On May 6, 2010, Respondent moved [97], pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59, to alter or amend the judgment ("Motion to Amend Judgment"), in light of the intervening decision of the United States Supreme Court in Renico v. Lett , 559 U.S. 766 (May 3, 2010), which held, in a case concerning Double Jeopardy, that habeas relief was not warranted merely because a state court decision incorrectly applied clearly established federal law. Renico , 559 U.S. at 773. For habeas relief to be warranted, the state court's application must be "objectively unreasonable, " a higher threshold than de novo review. Id.

Petitioner opposed [99] Respondent's Motion to Amend Judgment, arguing it was untimely and, alternatively, that Renico was not an intervening change of law that justified reconsideration of the Court's April 7, 2010, Order.

On June 11, 2010, the Court granted [102] Respondent's Motion to Amend Judgment. The Court found the relevant date for calculating the timeliness of Respondent's Motion to Amend Judgment was the date judgment was entered (April 30, 2010) and not the date that its Order was entered (April 7, 2010), and that Respondent had filed his motion within the 28 days allowed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59(e). See F.R.C.P. 59(e) (motion must be filed within 28 days "after the entry of the judgment"). After discussing Renico, the Court held the Georgia Appellate Court, in concluding that the state trial court did not abuse its discretion in declaring a mistrial, did not unreasonably apply clearly established federal law as determined by the Supreme Court. (June 11, 2010, Order, at 16-17, 21).

Petitioner appealed, and the Court granted a certificate of appealability [106] regarding whether the application of Renico to the facts of Petitioner's case required a finding that the state court did not unreasonably apply clearly established federal law. On April 13, 2011, the Eleventh Circuit held that the Georgia Appellate Court did not unreasonably apply clearly established federal law, and affirmed the Court's June 11, 2010, Order. Reedman v. Comm'r, Georgia Dep't of Corr., 423 F.Appx. 851, 853 (11th Cir. 2011).

On November 1, 2013, Petitioner filed his Motion for Relief from Judgment [126] pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(4), (6). On December 20, 2013, Petitioner filed his Motion to Amend Motion for Relief from Judgment [129], and, on June 27, 2014, Petitioner filed his "Motion for Relief from Final Disposition on FRCP 60B Motion" [131]. Petitioner asserted the Georgia state courts did not adjudicate his federal Double Jeopardy claim, and that the Court improperly reviewed his Double Jeopardy claim under the deferential standard set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1), and should have instead applied a de novo standard of review.

On July 28, 2014, the Court denied [132] Petitioner's motions for reconsideration. The Court found that it applied the correct standard of review because, despite Petitioner's assertions to the contrary, the Georgia Appellate Court had previously adjudicated Petitioner's federal Double Jeopardy claim. (July 28, 2014, Order at 9). Where there is a state court decision on a petitioner's federal constitutional claim, the standard set forth in § 2254 (d)(1) applies. It is only where the state court does not address a federal constitutional claim that was properly presented to it, that a district court will decide the issue de novo . ( Id. at 8).

On August 15, 2014, Petitioner filed his Motion, and on September 2, 2014, Petitioner filed his Amended Motion, requesting that the Court reconsider its denial of his previous motions for reconsideration, or, in the alternative, requesting that the Court issue a certificate of appealability ("COA").

II. DISCUSSION

A. Motions for ...


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