The opinion of the court was delivered by: DICKINSON DEBEVOISE, Senior District Judge
Karl McCalla, a prisoner who is confined at Green Haven
Correctional Facility in New York State, filed a Petition for a
Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a) challenging
a New Jersey sentence.*fn1 Respondents filed an Answer,
arguing that Petitioner is not entitled to habeas relief. Petitioner
filed a Traverse. For the reasons expressed below, the Court
dismisses the Petition on the merits and declines to issue a
certificate of appealability. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 2253(c), 2254.
Petitioner challenges a judgment of conviction entered in the
Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County, on
October 24, 1997, after a jury found him guilty of possession of
cocaine with intent to distribute in the first degree and
possession of cocaine. The Court sentenced Petitioner to a term
of 50 years, consecutive to his New York sentence. Petitioner
appealed and on February 18, 2000, the Appellate Division
affirmed the conviction and sentence. On June 7, 2000, the
Supreme Court of New Jersey denied certification.
On August 14, 2001, Petitioner executed the § 2254 Petition
which is now before this Court. The Clerk received the Petition
on August 21, 2001. The Court notified Petitioner of the
consequences of filing such a Petition under the Antiterrorism
and Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA") and gave him an
opportunity to withdraw the Petition and file one all-inclusive
Petition, pursuant to Mason v. Meyers, 208 F.3d 414 (3d Cir.
2000). The Petition presents the following grounds: POINT 1: DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS THE EVIDENCE
SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED, BECAUSE HIS BEING ORDERED
FROM THE CAR CONSTITUTED AN ILLEGAL SEIZURE VIOLATING
THE UNITED STATES AND THE NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONS.
POINT II: DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR A JUDGMENT OF
ACQUITTAL SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED.
POINT III: DEFENDANT'S SENTENCE MUST BE MODIFIED
[BECAUSE] THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY IMPOSING AN
(Pet. Legal Argument.)
The State filed an Answer opposing the Petition, with copies of
relevant portions of the state court record. Respondents concede
that the Petition is timely and the claims are fully exhausted.
Respondents argue that Petitioner's claims are not cognizable
and, to the extent that they are cognizable, they do not warrant
Petitioner filed a Traverse in which he contends that he is
entitled to a writ because the adjudication of his claims in the
New Jersey courts resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or
involved an unreasonable interpretation of, clearly established
federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the
A habeas corpus petition must meet "heightened pleading
requirements." McFarland v. Scott, 512 U.S. 849, 856 (1994)
(citing 28 U.S.C. § 2254 Rule 2(c)). The petition must specify
all the grounds for relief available to the petitioner, state the facts supporting each ground, and state the relief requested.
28 U.S.C. § 2254 Rule 2(c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3).
Section 2254(a) of Title 28 of the United States Code gives the
court jurisdiction to entertain a habeas petition challenging a
state conviction or sentence only where the inmate's custody
violates federal law:
[A] district court shall entertain an application for
a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of a person in
custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court
only on the ground that he is in custody in violation
of the Constitution or laws or treaties of the
28 U.S.C. § 2254(a).
A district court must give deference to determinations of state
courts. Duncan v. Morton, 256 F.3d 189, 196 (3d Cir.), cert.
denied, 534 U.S. 919 (2001); Dickerson v. Vaughn, 90 F.3d 87,
90 (3d Cir. 1996). Federal courts "must presume that the factual
findings of both state trial and appellate courts are correct, a
presumption that can only be overcome on the basis of clear and
convincing evidence to the contrary." Stevens v. Delaware
Correctional Center, 295 F.3d 361, 368 (3d Cir. 2002).
Where a federal claim was "adjudicated on the merits" in state
court proceedings, § 2254 does not permit habeas relief unless
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