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Rouse v. MaCkie

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

June 11, 2019

CURTIS ROUSE, Petitioner,
v.
THOMAS MACKIE, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS AND DENYING CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY

          HONORABLE GERSHWIN A. DRAIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Petitioner Curtis Rouse filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Rouse is a state prisoner in the custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections pursuant to convictions for armed robbery, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.529, and possession of a firearm while committing a felony, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.227b. He argues that his conviction was obtained in violation of his constitutional rights because: trial counsel was ineffective, the trial court unlawfully assessed court costs and attorney fees, and he was not given the full benefit of his plea bargain. Respondent argues that the claims are meritless. The Court denies the petition.

         I. Background

         Rouse's convictions arise from the robbery of Joshua White in the City of Inkster on December 11, 2012. Rouse was charged in Wayne County Circuit Court as a fourth habitual offender with armed robbery, felony firearm ~ second offense, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. On July 15, 2013, he pleaded guilty to armed robbery and felony firearm. In exchange for the plea, the prosecutor's office dismissed the felon-in-possession charge, and the fourth habitual offender notice of enhancement. The plea was also subject to an agreement allowed by state law that Rouse would be sentenced to seven to twenty years imprisonment for the armed robbery conviction, and five years for the felony firearm conviction. See People v. Cobbs, 443 Mich. 276, 505 N.W.2d 208 (1993) (permitting a defendant to enter a guilty plea in reliance on the trial court's initial evaluation as to the appropriate sentence, subject to the defendant's right to withdraw his plea if the sentence actually imposed exceeds the preliminary evaluation). On July 29, 2013, Rouse was sentenced in accordance with the Cobbs agreement.

         Rouse moved to withdraw his guilty plea on the grounds that his attorney was ineffective, the trial court improperly assessed court costs and attorney fees, and he was not granted the full benefit of his plea bargain. The trial court denied the motion. See 8/22/2014 Op. & Ord., ECF No. 8-5, Pg. ID 200-11.

         Rouse filed an application for leave to appeal in the Michigan Court of Appeals. The court of appeals denied leave to appeal "for lack of merit in the grounds presented." People v. Rouse, No. 323567 (Mich. Ct. App. Feb. 10, 2015). The Michigan Supreme Court also denied leave to appeal. People v. Rouse, 500 Mich. 852 (Mich. Sept. 6, 2016).

         Rouse then filed the pending habeas corpus petition, raising these claims:

I. Mr. Rouse was deprived of his Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment constitutional rights to due process and his Sixth Amendment constitutional right to effective assistance of counsel when counsel failed to investigate his case.
II. Mr. Rouse was deprived of his Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment constitutional rights of due process when he was unlawfully assessed court costs and attorney fees.
III. Mr. Rouse was deprived of his Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment constitutional rights of due process when he was not granted his full bargain.

         II. Standard

         Review of this case is governed by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 ("AEDPA"). Under the AEDPA, a state prisoner is entitled to a writ of habeas corpus only if he can show that the state court's adjudication of his claims -

(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; or
(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented ...

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