The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jerome B. Simandle, District Judge
Jeffery Todd Pindale, a prisoner confined at South Woods State Prison,
filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254(a). When the Respondents filed their answer to this
petition, they also filed 28 supporting exhibits, addressed in their
answer, only one of which Petitioner claims to possess. Respondents have
refused to make copies of these documents for service upon Petitioner.
The main issue to be decided is whether the Respondents in a Section 2254
case, who are under the duty to attach relevant portions of the record to
the answer and to serve the answer on the Petitioner, are also required
to furnish a copy of the relevant record documents to the Petitioner.
This Court, in an Order filed June 11, 2002, had directed the Respondents
to serve Petitioner with a copy of the relevant record. In the present
motion, the Respondents seek reconsideration of that Order.*fn1 For the
following reasons, the Court reconsiders that Order and again finds that
Respondents must serve Petitioner with copies of the record documents
that were attached to the Answer and filed with the Clerk.
I. BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The Petitioner challenges a judgment of conviction filed March 30,
1992, and revised March 16, 1996, in the Superior Court of New Jersey,
Cumberland County, for three counts of aggravated manslaughter and two
counts of fourth degree assault by auto, and imposing an aggregate
sentence of 60 years, with a 30-year period of parole ineligibility.
(Pet. ¶¶ 1-10; J. Conv. filed Feb. 28, 1992, attachm. Da-4 & Da-5
to Pet.; Resentencing Tr. of March 16, 1996, attachm. R20 to Answer; New
Jersey v. Pindale, 279 N.J. Super. 123, 125 (App.Div. 1995).)*fn2
At his first trial, Pindale was convicted in Cumberland County of three
counts of first degree aggravated manslaughter and two counts of fourth
degree assault by auto that occurred on March 5, 1988, and sentenced to
three consecutive 20-year terms, with a 10-year period of parole
ineligibility on each aggravated manslaughter conviction, and two
18-month concurrent terms on the two assault by auto convictions. See New
Jersey v. Pindale, 249 N.J. Super. 266, 272 (App.Div. 1991). Pindale
appealed the convictions and sentence. (Pet. ¶ 9.) On February 28,
1991, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey affirmed
the convictions for fourth degree assault by auto but vacated the
sentences therefor, and reversed the convictions for aggravated
manslaughter. Pindale, 249 N.J. Super. at 286-90. The New Jersey Supreme
Court denied Pindale's Petition for Certification.
The prosecutor retried Pindale on three counts of aggravated
manslaughter and three counts of death by auto, and on January 13, 1992,
the jury found Pindale guilty on three counts of aggravated
manslaughter. (Tr. of Jan. 13, 1992, attachm. R17 to Answer.) See New
Jersey v. Pindale, 279 N.J. Super. 123, 124-26 (App.Div. 1995). The trial
judge sentenced Pindale to three consecutive 25-year terms, with a
10-year period of parole ineligibility on each. (Sentencing Tr. of Feb.
28, 1992, attachm. R18 to Answer) Pindale, 279 N.J. Super. at 124-26. On
Pindale's appeal, the Appellate Division affirmed the convictions,
vacated the sentences under the Due Process Clause because they exceeded
the sentences imposed after the first trial, and remanded for
resentencing. Id. at 128-30. The New Jersey Supreme Court denied
Pindale's Petition for Certification on June 7, 1995. (Order filed June
7, 1995, attachm. R6 to Answer.)
On March 16, 1995, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Cumberland
County, resentenced Pindale to three consecutive 20-year terms, with a
10-year period of parole ineligibility on each aggravated manslaughter
conviction. (Resentencing Tr. of March 16, 1995, attachm. R20 to Answer)
Pindale filed an application for post conviction relief which the trial
court denied on July 11, 1997, without an evidentiary hearing. (Pet.
¶ 11; attachm. R21 & attachm. R7 at Da-36 to Answer.) The trial
court denied Pindale's motion for reconsideration by Order filed
September 15, 1997. (Order filed Sept. 15, 1997, attachm. R7 at Da-12 to
Answer.) By Opinion filed January 21, 2000, the Appellate Division
affirmed denial of the motion for reconsideration. (New Jersey v.
Pindale, A-4537-97T4, slip op. (Superior Ct. of New Jersey, App. Div.
Jan. 21, 2000), attachm. R9 to Answer) On April 3, 2001, the New Jersey
Supreme Court denied Pindale's Petition for Certification. New Jersey v.
Pindale, 168 N.J. 290 (2001) (table) (attachm. R12 to Answer.)
On March 15, 2002, the Clerk of this Court accepted for filing the
instant Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254.
By Order entered April 1, 2002, the Court advised Pindale of the
consequences of filing a § 2254 Petition under the Antiterrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act, and gave him an opportunity to file one
all-inclusive § 2254 petition. (Order entered April 1, 2002.) By
response dated April 2, 2002, Pindale asked the Court to rule on his
Petition "as is." (Response entered April 4, 2002.) By Order filed April
8, 2002, the Court ordered Respondents to file an answer accompanied by
certified copies of the State court record. (Order entered April 10,
By letter dated May 30, 2002, Pindale informed Deputy Attorney General
K. Danielson that, although he received Respondents' Answer on May
28, 2002, he did not receive the exhibits referred to throughout the
answer. In the letter, Pindale asked Ms. Danielson to provide a copy of
the 28 exhibits referred to in the Answer. On June 4, 2002, DAG Danielson
informed Pindale by letter that she was not in a position to comply with
his request because there was nothing in the Order filed April 8, 2002,
requiring the State to provide a copy of the record to Petitioner. Having
received copies of these letters, the Court ordered Respondents to serve
the documents filed with the Answer on or before June 26, 2002. (Order
entered June 11, 2002.)
On June 20, 2002, Respondents filed a Motion for reconsideration and to
stay and vacate the Order entered June 11, 2002. On June 24, 2002, the
Court stayed that Order pending disposition of the Respondents' Motion.
On July 19, 2002, Petitioner filed a response opposing Respondents'
The State seeks an order vacating the Order entered June 11, 2002,
directing it to serve on Petitioner the documents it attached to and
filed with the Answer. First, the State contends that service of the
documents filed with its Answer is not necessary and should not be
required because Pindale already has them. This assertion is evidently
inaccurate and therefore could not provide support for Respondents'
failure to serve the documents. Pindale states in his response to the
State's motion that he does not have 27 of the 28 documents filed with
the Answer. (Petitioner's Response filed July 19, 2002.)
The Court's Order requiring service of the documents filed with the
Answer accords with Rule 5 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases
("Habeas Rule 5") which sets forth the requirements for an answer in a
§ 2254 case. Habeas Rule 5 expressly requires a respondent to file an
answer and to attach to and file with the answer certain documents from