United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING THE PETITION FOR A WRIT OF
HABEAS CORPUS, DENYING A CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY, AND
DENYING LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS ON APPEAL
GERSHWIN A. DRAIN United States District Judge.
a habeas case brought pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
Michigan prisoner Jamal Jay Lewis (“Petitioner”)
was convicted of possession of burglar's tools, Mich.
Comp. Laws § 750.116; two counts of breaking and
entering of a motor vehicle with damage to the vehicle, Mich.
Comp. Laws § 750.356a(3); breaking and entering of a
motor vehicle with intent to steal property worth less than
$200, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.356a(2)(a); three counts of
larceny from a motor vehicle, Mich. Comp. Laws §
750.356a(1); three counts of attempt to unlawfully drive away
a motor vehicle, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.413; Mich. Comp.
Laws § 750.92; and two counts of receiving and
concealing stolen property with a value greater than $200 and
less than $1, 000, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.535(4)(a),
following a jury trial in the Wayne County Circuit Court in
2012. He was sentenced, as a fourth habitual offender, Mich.
Comp. Laws § 769.12, to 4½ to 20 years
imprisonment for the possession of burglar's tools
conviction, two to five years imprisonment for each of the
breaking and entering a motor vehicle with damage to the
vehicle convictions, three months in jail for the breaking
and entering of a motor vehicle with intent to steal property
worth less than $200 conviction, two to five years
imprisonment for each of the larceny from a motor vehicle
convictions, two to five years imprisonment for each of the
attempt to unlawfully drive away a motor vehicle convictions,
and one year in jail for each of the receiving and concealing
stolen property with a value greater than $200 and less than
$1, 000 convictions.
pleadings, Petitioner raises claims concerning the search and
seizure of evidence, the addition of charges mid-trial, the
effectiveness of trial counsel, his trial clothing, and the
lack of an evidentiary hearing on direct appeal. For the
reasons set forth, the Court denies the petition for a writ
of habeas corpus. The Court also denies a certificate of
appealability and denies leave to proceed in forma pauperis
Facts and Procedural History
convictions arise from his possession of burglary tools and
stolen property, as well as his actions of breaking into cars
and stealing personal property, in Harper Woods, Michigan in
2011. The Michigan Court of Appeals described the relevant
facts, which are presumed correct on habeas review,
see 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1); Wagner
v. Smith, 581 F.3d 410, 413 (6th Cir. 2009), as
In the early morning hours of November 29, 2011, Harper Woods
police received a call concerning a man trespassing on
private property and a call of a suspicious person, as well
as a call regarding a vehicle break-in. The police came upon
defendant, on foot, in the immediate area of and shortly
after the trespassing and suspicious person calls. A search
of his person revealed three screwdrivers and two pairs of
vise grips. A further search of defendant's pockets and a
backpack he had on his person revealed two GPS units, a cell
phone, music compact discs, and vehicle registration forms,
insurance certificates, and auto declaration forms bearing
another individual's name. Defendant was transported to
the police station, where a connection was made between the
items he had in his possession and recent vehicle break-ins
that had occurred in the area where he had been picked up. As
a result, defendant was arrested for and ultimately convicted
of the above indicated charges.
People v. Lewis, No. 311813, 2014 WL 61310, *1
(Mich. Ct. App. Jan. 7, 2014) (unpublished).
his convictions and sentencing, Petitioner filed an appeal of
right with the Michigan Court of Appeals raising the same
claims contained in his current petition. The Michigan Court
of Appeals affirmed his convictions. People v.
Lewis, No. 311813, 2014 WL 61310 (Mich. Ct. App. Jan. 7,
2014) (unpublished). Petitioner then filed an application for
leave to appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court, which was
denied. People v. Lewis, 496 Mich. 865, 849 N.W.2d
359 (July 29, 2014).
thereafter filed his federal habeas petition. Respondent has
filed an answer to the petition contending that it should be
Standard of Review
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996
(“AEDPA”), codified at 28 U.S.C. § 2241
et seq., sets forth the standard of review that
federal courts must use when considering habeas petitions
brought by prisoners challenging their state court
convictions. The AEDPA provides in relevant part:
application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person
in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall
not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated
on the merits in State court proceedings unless the
adjudication of the claim--
(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved
an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal
law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States;
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable
determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented
in the State court proceeding.
28 U.S.C. §2254(d) (1996).
state court's decision is ‘contrary to' . . .
clearly established law if it ‘applies a rule that
contradicts the governing law set forth in [Supreme Court
cases]' or if it ‘confronts a set of facts that are
materially indistinguishable from a decision of [the Supreme]
Court and nevertheless arrives at a result different from
[that] precedent.'” Mitchell v. Esparza,
540 U.S. 12, 15-16 (2003) (per curiam) (quoting Williams
v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 405-06 (2000)); see also
Bell v. Cone, 535 U.S. 685, 694 (2002).
‘unreasonable application' prong of §
2254(d)(1) permits a federal habeas court to ‘grant the
writ if the state court identifies the correct governing
legal principle from [the Supreme] Court but unreasonably
applies that principle to the facts of petitioner's
case.” Wiggins v. Smith, 539 U.S. 510, 520
(2003) (quoting Williams, 529 U.S. at 413); see
also Bell, 535 U.S. at 694. However, “[i]n order
for a federal court to find a state court's application
of [Supreme Court] precedent ‘unreasonable, ' the
state court's decision must have been more than incorrect
or erroneous. The state court's application must have
been ‘objectively unreasonable.'”
Wiggins, 539 U.S. at 520-21 (citations omitted);
see also Williams, 529 U.S. at 409. “AEDPA
thus imposes a ‘highly deferential standard for
evaluating state-court rulings, ' and ‘demands that
state-court decisions be given the benefit of the
doubt.'” Renico v. Lett, 559 U.S. 766, 773
(2010) (quoting Lindh, 521 U.S. at 333, n. 7;
Woodford v. Viscotti, 537 U.S. 19, 24 (2002) (per
United States Supreme Court has held that “a state
court's determination that a claim lacks merit precludes
federal habeas relief so long as ‘fairminded jurists
could disagree' on the correctness of the state
court's decision.” Harrington v. Richter,
562 U.S. 86, 101 (2011) (citing Yarborough v.
Alvarado, 541 U.S. 652, 664 (2004)). The Supreme Court
has emphasized “that even a strong case for relief does
not mean the state court's contrary conclusion was
unreasonable.” Id. (citing Lockyer v.
Andrade, 538 U.S. 63, 75 (2003)). A habeas court
“must determine what arguments or theories supported or
. . . could have supported, the state court's decision;
and then it must ask whether it is possible fairminded
jurists could disagree that those arguments or theories are
inconsistent with the holding in a prior decision” of
the Supreme Court. Id. Thus, in order to obtain
federal habeas relief, a state prisoner must show that the
state court's rejection of a claim “was so lacking
in justification that there was an error well understood and
comprehended in existing law beyond any possibility for
fairminded disagreement.” Id.; see also White v.
Woodall, U.S., 134 S.Ct. 1697, 1702 (2014). Federal
judges “are required to afford state courts due respect
by overturning their decisions only when there could be no
reasonable dispute that they were wrong.” Woods v.
Donald, U.S., 135 S.Ct. 1372');">135 S.Ct. 1372, 1376 (2015). A habeas
petitioner cannot prevail as long as it is within the
“realm of possibility” that fairminded jurists
could find the state court decision to be reasonable.
Woods v. Etherton, U.S., 136 S.Ct. 1149, 1152
2254(d)(1) limits a federal court's review to a
determination of whether the state court's decision
comports with clearly established federal law as determined
by the Supreme Court at the time the state court renders its
decision. Williams, 529 U.S. at 412; see also
Knowles v. Mirzayance, 556 U.S. 111, 122 (2009) (noting
that the Supreme Court “has held on numerous occasions
that it is not ‘an unreasonable application of clearly
established Federal law' for a state court to decline to
apply a specific legal rule that has not been squarely
established by this Court”) (quoting Wright v. Van
Patten, 552 U.S. 120, 125-26 (2008) (per curiam));
Lockyer, 538 U.S. at 71-72. Section 2254(d)
“does not require a state court to give reasons before
its decision can be deemed to have been ‘adjudicated on
the merits.'” Harrington, 562 U.S. at 100.
Furthermore, it “does not require citation of [Supreme
Court] cases-indeed, it does not even require
awareness of [Supreme Court] cases, so long as
neither the reasoning nor the result of the state-court
decision contradicts them.” Early v. Packer,
537 U.S. 3, 8 (2002); see also Mitchell, 540 U.S. at
requirements of “clearly established law” are to
be determined solely by Supreme Court precedent. Thus,
federal circuit or district court cases do not constitute
clearly established Supreme Court law and cannot provide the
basis for federal habeas relief. See Parker v.
Matthews, 567 U.S.___, 132 S.Ct. 2148, 2155 (2012) (per
curiam); see also Lopez v. Smith, ___ U.S. ___135
S.Ct. 1, 2 (2014) (per curiam). The decisions of lower
federal courts, however, may be useful in assessing the
reasonableness of a state court's decision. Stewart
v. Erwin, 503 F.3d 488, 493 (6th Cir. 2007) (citing
Williams v. Bowersox, 340 F.3d 667, 671 (8th Cir.
2003)); Dickens v. Jones, 203 F.Supp.2d 354, 359
(E.D. Mich. 2002).
a state court's factual determinations are presumed
correct on federal habeas review. 28 U.S.C. §
2254(e)(1). A petitioner may rebut this presumption with
clear and convincing evidence. Warren v. Smith, 161
F.3d 358, 360-61 (6th Cir. 1998). Moreover, habeas review is
“limited to the record that was before the state
court.” Cullen v. Pinholster, 563 U.S. 170,
Illegal Arrest/Search and Seizure Claim
first asserts that he is entitled to habeas relief because
the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress based
upon an illegal arrest, search, and seizure of evidence from
his person. Respondent contends that this claim is not
cognizable upon habeas review and lacks merit.
courts will not address a Fourth Amendment claim upon habeas
review if the petitioner had a full and fair opportunity to
litigate the claim in state court and the presentation of the
claim was not thwarted by any failure of the state's
corrective processes. See Stone v. Powell, 428 U.S.
465, 494-95 (1976). A court must perform two distinct
inquiries when determining whether a petitioner may raise a
claim of illegal arrest in a habeas action. First, the
“court must determine whether the state procedural
mechanism, in the abstract, presents the opportunity to raise
a fourth amendment claim. Second, the court must determine
whether presentation of the claim was in fact frustrated
because of a failure of that mechanism.” Machacek
v. Hofbauer, 213 F.3d 947, 952 (6th Cir. 2000) (quoting
Riley v. Gray, 674 F.2d 522 (6th Cir. 1982)).
has a procedural mechanism which presents an adequate
opportunity for a criminal defendant to raise a Fourth
Amendment claim.” Robinson v. Jackson, 366
F.Supp.2d 524, 527 (E.D. Mich. 2005). This procedural
mechanism is a motion to suppress, ordinarily filed before
trial. See People v. Ferguson, 376 Mich. 90, 93-94,
135 N.W.2d 357, 358-59 (1965) (describing the availability of
a pre-trial motion to suppress); see also People v.
Harris, 95 Mich.App. 507, 509, 291 N.W.2d 97, 99 (1980)
(analyzing the legality of a warrantless search, seizure, and
arrest even though raised for the first time on appeal).
Consequently, Petitioner is ...