United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DENYING THE PETITION FOR A WRIT
OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DECLINING TO ISSUE A CERTIFICATE OF
COHN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a habeas case under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Robert
De'Angelo Dexter, (Petitioner), a state prisoner, filed a
pro se petition challenging his conviction for
prisoner in possession of a weapon, M.C.L. § 800.283(4).
Respondent, through the Attorney General's Office, filed
a response contending that Petitioner's claims are
meritless and/or procedurally defaulted. For the reasons that
follow, the petition will be denied.
material facts leading to Petitioner's conviction are
recited from the Michigan Court of Appeals' opinion
affirming his conviction and they are presumed correct on
habeas review. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1).
See Wagner v. Smith, 581 F.3d 410, 413 (6th Cir.
Defendant is a prisoner at the Cooper Street facility in
Jackson. During a search of his person, a prison guard
discovered that defendant had concealed a shank in his
People v. Dexter, 2014 WL 4215091, at *1.
was convicted of the above offense following a jury trial
during which he represented himself. The Michigan Court of
Appeals affirmed his conviction. People v. Dexter,
2014 WL 4215091 (Mich. Ct. App. Aug. 26, 2014). Petitioner
then filed an application for leave to appeal to the Michigan
Supreme Court, in which he appears to have raised the same
claims that he raised in his appeal of right before the
Michigan Court of Appeals. The Michigan Supreme Court denied
leave to appeal. People v. Dexter, 497 Mich. 1027,
(2015). Thereafter, Petitioner filed a habeas petition
presenting the following claims:
I. A valid waiver of defendant Dexter (sic) 6th Amendment
right to counsel was never effectuated by trial court.
II. Jurisdiction was never aquired (sic) by magistrate to
issue an arrest warrant.
III. The arrest warrant that was issued was based solely on a
conclusory complaint form violating defendants (sic) 4 and
IV. The arrest warrant was based upon a conclusory complaint
form that is devoid of probable cause pursuant to MCL
780.653; 4 & 14th Con Amendment.
Standard of Review
28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) imposes the following standard of
review for habeas cases:
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.
decision of a state court is “contrary to”
clearly established federal law if the state court arrives at
a conclusion opposite to that reached by the Supreme Court on
a question of law or if the state court decides a case
differently than the Supreme Court has on a set of materially
indistinguishable facts. Williams v. Taylor, 529
U.S. 362, 405-06 (2000). An “unreasonable
application” occurs when “a state court decision
unreasonably applies the law of [the Supreme Court] to the
facts of a prisoner's case.” Id. at 409. A
federal habeas court may not “issue the writ simply
because that court concludes in its independent judgment that
the relevant state-court decision applied clearly established
federal law erroneously or incorrectly.” Id.
at 410-11. “[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)). Therefore, in order to obtain habeas relief in
federal court, a state prisoner is required to show that the
state court's rejection of his claim “was so
lacking in justification that there was an error well
understood and ...