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Sadat-Moussavi v. Emmons

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

February 28, 2018

MOHAMMAD SADAT-MOUSSAVI, GDC # 1000081800, Petitioner,
v.
SHAWN EMMONS, Warden, Respondent.

         PRISONER HABEAS CORPUS 28 U.S.C. § 2254

          FINAL REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          JOHN K. LARKINS III UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE KUDGE.

         Petitioner, Mohammad Sadat-Moussavi, confined in Wilcox State Prison in Abbeville, Georgia, submitted a habeas corpus petition under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 in order to challenge his convictions in the Fulton County Superior Court. [Doc. 1 at 1.] After the Federal District Court denied the Government's motion to dismiss [Doc. 20], the parties filed additional briefs and exhibits regarding the merits of the petition [Docs. 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28]. For the reasons given below, the undersigned recommends that the petition be denied and this action be dismissed.

         I. Background

         On August 21, 2009, a jury convicted Petitioner of aggravated assault, pointing a firearm at another, false imprisonment, terroristic threats, aggravated battery, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. See Sadat-Moussavi v. State, 313 Ga.App. 433, 433 (2011). [See also Doc. 1 at 1; Doc. 14-2 at 1.] Petitioner was sentenced to twenty-five years of imprisonment, suspended after ten years, followed by fifteen years of probation. [Doc. 1 at 1; Doc. 21 at 1.]

         On direct appeal, Petitioner claimed that “the trial court abused its discretion in failing to strike a prospective juror for cause.” Sadat-Moussavi, 313 Ga.App. at 433. [Doc. 14-2 at 1.] The Georgia Court of Appeals rejected that claim and affirmed Petitioner's convictions on December 27, 2011. Petitioner did not seek certiorari in the Georgia Supreme Court. [Doc. 1 at 2.]

         In his state habeas proceeding, which commenced on October 1, 2012, Petitioner presented the following grounds for relief:

1. The police, prosecution, and trial counsel “forged” evidence against Petitioner, in violation of his Fourteenth Amendment rights.
2. Trial counsel provided ineffective assistance because he “disregarded witnesses, left cross-examinations inconclusive (did not highlight witnesses' contradictions), raised no objections where they had merit, and turned all allegations into evidence through tacit agreement or silence.”
3. Appellate counsel provided ineffective assistance because he “disregarded witnesses, [the] disloyalty of trial counsel, and false prosecution witnesses . . . .”
4. Appellate counsel violated Petitioner's Fourteenth Amendment rights by conspiring with a judge to conceal “the misconduct of all those involved in the trial court.”
5. “Trial counsel could not raise ineffective assistance of counsel against himself on appeal.”
6. “Petitioner was denied the right to represent himself on his Motion for New Trial.”

[Doc. 14-3 at 4-5; Doc. 14-4 at 2-5; Doc. 26-2 at 2-4.] The state habeas court denied relief in a final order filed on April 3, 2015. [Doc. 14-4.] The Georgia Supreme Court denied Petitioner's application for a certificate of probable cause to appeal on September 8, 2015. [Doc. 14-5.]

         Petitioner timely executed his § 2254 petition on January 4, 2016. [Doc. 1 at 7; Doc. 18 at 3-5; Doc. 20 at 1-2.] Petitioner raises the same grounds for relief found in his state habeas petition. [Doc. 1 at 5-6, 8.] Petitioner also adds the following grounds, which the undersigned labels as grounds seven and eight:

7. The state habeas court violated Petitioner's Fourteenth Amendment rights.
8. The Georgia Supreme Court's rulings in Petitioner's habeas case violated his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

[Id. at 8-9.]

         The undersigned considers Petitioner's grounds in the following order: (1) grounds one, three, four, five and six, which were adjudicated on the merits in the state habeas proceeding; (2) ground two, which is procedurally defaulted; ...


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