Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Nicholson v. Gray

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

December 3, 2019

DAMARCUS NICHOLSON, Petitioner
v.
DAVID GRAY, Respondent.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          DAN AARON POLSTER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is the Report and Recommendation (“R & R”) of Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Parker in the above-entitled action, Doc #: 16. The Magistrate Judge recommends the Court dismiss Petitioner Damarcus Nicholson's 28 U.S.C. § 2254 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus by a person in State Custody, Doc #: 1, because Ground One lacks merit and Ground Two is procedurally defaulted. Nicholson timely filed objections to Magistrate Judge Parker's R & R. Doc #: 18.

         I. Ground One

         Nicholson asserts that the Magistrate Judge errored with regards to Ground One of his Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in finding: (A) that Nicholson's petition is subject to AEDPA deferential review and (B) that Nicholson's appellate counsel was not ineffective. Doc #: 18.

         A. Standard of Review

         Nicholson's argument that his claim deserved de novo or modified review was fully addressed by the Magistrate Judge. The Federal Magistrates Act requires a district court to conduct a de novo review of those portions of the R & R to which an objection has been made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). However, an Objection to an R & R is not meant to be simply a vehicle to rehash arguments set forth in the petition, and the Court is under no obligation to review de novo objections that are merely an attempt to have the district court reexamine the same arguments set forth in the petition and briefs. Roberts v. Warden, Toledo Correctional Inst., No. 1:08-CV-00113, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70683, at *22, 2010 WL 2794246, at *7 (S.D. Ohio Jul. 14, 2010) (citation omitted); see Sackall v. Heckler, 104 F.R.D. 401, 402 (D.R.I. 1984) (“These rules serve a clear and sensible purpose: if the magistrate system is to be effective, and if profligate wasting of judicial resources is to be avoided, the district court should be spared the chore of traversing ground already plowed by the magistrate . . . .”); O'Brien v. Colvin, No. CIV.A. 12-6690, 2014 WL 4632222, at *3, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129179, at *7-8 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 16, 2014); Howard v. Sec'y of Health & Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991) (“A general objection to the entirety of the magistrate's report has the same effects as would a failure to object. The district court's attention is not focused on any specific issues for review, thereby making the initial reference to the magistrate useless. The functions of the district court are effectively duplicated as both the magistrate and the district court perform identical tasks. This duplication of time and effort wastes judicial resources rather than saving them, and runs contrary to the purposes of the Magistrates Act.”). The Court need not afford de novo review to objections which merely rehash arguments presented to and considered by the magistrate judge. Thus, the Court overrules Nicholson's objections regarding the standard of review.

         B. Ineffective Appellate Counsel

         Nicholson argues that even under AEDPA deferential review, the Magistrate Judge errored in finding that his appellate counsel was not ineffective. Doc #: 18 at 2-6 Counsel is ineffective when the “counsel's performance was deficient and [] the deficient performance prejudiced the defense so as to render the trial unfair and the result unreliable.” Mates v. Tate, 338 F.3d 187, 191 (6th Cir. 2004) (citing Strickland v. Washington, 446 U.S., 668, 687 (1984)).

         Despite the Magistrate Judge finding otherwise, Nicholson argues that that the text messages were testimonial and hearsay; thus, the argument that their admission violated the Confrontation Clause was viable and should have been raised on appeal. Doc #: 18 at 2-4. He further asserts that the Magistrate Judge determined that the appellate counsel was not ineffective through a misapplication of the test in Mapes v. Tate, 388 F.3d 187 (6th Cir. 2004). Doc #: 18 at 5-6.

         1. Confrontation Clause

         Nicholson argues that his Confrontation Clause claim was viable on appeal because the text messages were: (a) testimonial and (b) hearsay.

         a. Testimonial

         In support of the argument that the text messages were testimonial statements, he cites three cases not mentioned in his traverse and not considered by the Magistrate Judge --Bullcoming v. New Mexico, 564 U.S. 647 (2011); Davis v. Washington, 547 U.S. 813 (2006); and United States v. Allen, 716 Fed.Appx. 447 (6th Cir. 2017). Doc #: 18 at 2-4.

         These cases do not contradict the Magistrate Judge's well-reasoned conclusion that the text messages were not testimonial statements. Doc #: 16 at 13. Bullcoming decided that the introduction of a forensic laboratory report containing testimonial statements violates the Confrontation Clause when the analyst who created the report does not testify. Bullcoming, 564 U.S. at 652. Davis clarified what a testimonial statement is, finding that statements made to the police that were not a cry for help or the provision of information enabling officers to immediately end a threatening situation are testimonial. Davis, 547 U.S. at 831. Neither of these cases change the fact that casual remarks to acquaintances are not testimonial statements. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.