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Rogers v. Eppinger

United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division

August 8, 2019

Willie J. Rogers, Petitioner,
LaShann Eppinger, Warden, et al., Respondents.



         I. Introduction

         Willie J. Rogers, an inmate in the custody of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, seeks a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 22 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. No. 1). Magistrate Judge David A. Ruiz reviewed the petition as well as related briefing pursuant to Local Rule 72.2(b)(2) and recommends I dismiss the petition in part and deny it in part. (Doc. No. 38). Rogers has submitted objections to Judge Ruiz's Report and Recommendation. (Doc. No. 41). Judge Ruiz recommends I dismiss part of Rogers' petition as a second or successive attempt to challenge a warrant issued by the State of Ohio to revoke his parole, and deny the remainder of his petition as procedurally defaulted. For the reasons stated below, I overrule Rogers' objections and dismiss his petition in part and deny it in part.

         II. Background

         In 1983, Rogers was convicted of two counts of kidnapping and three counts of gross sexual imposition. He later was convicted of the offense of child stealing in a separate case. His convictions were upheld on appeal, though the state appellate court remanded the case to the trial court to amend his sentence. Following remand, Rogers was sentenced to a term of 15 to 65 years in prison.

         In 1992, Rogers applied for parole. His application was approved, as was his request that his parole supervision be transferred to the State of California upon his release from custody. At the same time, he also was transferred to the custody of the Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff's Department to serve a sentence in Arizona. Rogers subsequently was released from prison in Arizona in February 1997, but he did not report to his parole officer.

         In June 2003, Rogers was convicted of several offenses, including assault with a deadly weapon, in a California state court and was sentenced to prison. The State of Ohio later learned Rogers was in custody in California and, on July 12, 2013, issued a warrant and detainer request to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

         On June 13, 2014, Rogers filed a habeas petition under § 2254 challenging the detainer. Judge Gregory Frost, a district judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, denied Rogers' petition, and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Rogers' request for a certificate of appealability.

         Rogers was returned to the custody of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (“ODRC”) on July 30, 2015, after completing his sentence in California. Rogers' parole was revoked following an August 19, 2015 hearing before a hearing officer with the Ohio Adult Parole Authority; the hearing officer also recommended Rogers serve at least 24 months of his sentence before being considered again for parole. The ODRC subsequently recalculated the date on which Rogers would have served his maximum sentence, to account for a total of 4, 380 days of “lost time.” (Doc. No. 16-2 at 5).

         Rogers filed a habeas petition in the Lorain County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas. That court granted Respondent's motion for summary judgment on January 19, 2016, after Rogers failed to respond to that motion. Rogers appealed the trial court's decision, but his appeal was dismissed because he failed to comply with the requirement of Ohio Revised Code § 2969.25(C), which required Rogers to submit a motion to waive the full filing fee and an affidavit of indigency, including a statement of the balance of his inmate account. (Doc. No. 16-2 at 157). The Supreme Court of Ohio denied jurisdiction of Rogers' appeal on July 27, 2016.

         Rogers filed his habeas petition in this Court on August 10, 2016, asserting ten grounds for relief:

GROUND ONE: Unconstitutional [extradition] in violation of both state and federal [extradition] laws
Supporting Facts: Governor John R. Kasich unconstitutionally, unlawfully and illegally [extradited] (kidnapped by deception of perjurious-lies and fraud) Petitioner, a California parolee from California in the absence of any legitimate “probable cause” under the ruse of charging Petitioner in violation of some ancient unverified, uncertified decades past release supervision terms; not found as extradictable (sic) crimes under either state or federal [extradition] laws.
GROUND TWO: Due process “waiver” of jurisdiction by operation of law, due to the grant of parole under “special [conditions]” to the sovereign state of Arizona only!
Supporting Facts: Respondents waive, [relinquished] and ‘[forfeited]' their statutory jurisdiction “custody” (O.R.C. 2967.02(C)(D)[)] over Petitioner after paroling him 23 years ago under “special conditions” to his detainer (the sovereign state of Arizona only![)]; with no caveat of intentions/due process advisement of retention of custody; over Petitioner upon the completion of his Arizona sentence/parole obligation. [W]hereupon Arizona [DOC] cancelled its agreement with [O]hio on 12-11-92: and granted Petitioner a certificate of completion on or about 5-22-98.; [O]ther than petitioner[‘s] dozen or so call to OAPA Interstate Compact Officer who very politely advised him “they” had nothing on him, that Arizona was responsible for him and that he need not call anymore. Petitioner heard absolutely nothing from [R]espondents until 2013.
GROUND THREE: Federal and state due process estoppel due to the prejudicial passage of time (15 years); witnesses unavailable or dead.
Supporting Facts: Respondents irreparably prejudiced Petitioner's defense and are in due process “estoppel by the prejudicial passage of time (15 years) of their criminal misconduct from pursuing/prosecuting a so-called ancient release [supervision] violation; because in RICO conspiracy, Respondents maliciously, vindictively, deliberately and inexcusably “waited” 15 and 10 years after their alleged 5-22-98 and 8-1-03 dated release supervision terms violation; even before filing their first state tolling (PAL) warrant detainer on 7-12-13 and also in criminal mischief back dated the violations to ...

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