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.

DUVAIS v. MOORE

December 15, 2005.

YVES DUVAIS, Petitioner,
v.
TERRANCE MOORE, Respondent.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: JOSEPH GREENAWAY JR., District Judge

OPINION

Yves Duvais filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus pursuant, to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a), challenging a conviction in the Superior Court of New Jersey. Respondents filed an Answer, with relevant portions of the state court record, arguing that the Petition should be dismissed on the merits. For the reasons expressed below, this Court dismisses the Petition with prejudice and declines to issue a certificate of appealability. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 2253(c), 2254(a), (b), (c).

  I. BACKGROUND

  Petitioner challenges a judgment of conviction entered on September 25, 2000, in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Essex County, after a jury convicted him of first degree aggravated manslaughter, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. The Law Division merged the weapons offenses and sentenced Petitioner to a 13-year term of imprisonment, with an 85% parole ineligibility period on the manslaughter charge, and a concurrent four-year term on the weapons charges. Petitioner appealed, and in an opinion filed January 2, 2003, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey affirmed. State v. Duvais, No. A-3324-00T4 slip op. (App.Div. Jan. 2, 2003). On February 28, 2003, the Supreme Court of New Jersey denied certification. State v. Duvais, 175 N.J. 550 (2003) (table).

  On February 9, 2004, Petitioner executed his § 2254 Petition and handed it to prison officials for mailing to the Clerk of the Court. The Clerk received it on February 13, 2004. 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 two grounds:
Ground One: THE TESTIMONY OF INVESTIGATOR RICHARD GREGORY WHICH INTRODUCED THE ADMISSION OF A NON-TESTIFYING CODEFENDANT ALBERT'S STATEMENT INTO THE TRIAL AND HIS TESTIMONY ABOUT PETITIONER HAD A CRIMINAL RECORD, VIOLATED PETITIONER'S RIGHT TO CONFRONT WITNESS AGAINST HIM AS WELL AS HIS RIGHT TO HAVE A FAIR AND IMPARTIAL TRIAL, IN VIOLATION OF THE SIXTH AMENDMENT OF CONFRONTATION AND THE FOURTEEN [sic] AMENDMENT UNDER THE FEDERAL AND STATE CONSTITUTIONS. U.S. CONST. AMEND. VI, XIV.
Ground Two: THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN ADMITTING THE OUT-OF-COURT PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION BY EDSON ELYSEE DESPITE THE ABSENCE OF ANY EVIDENCE OF ITS RELIABILITY OR THE FAIRNESS OF THE IDENTIFICATION PROCEDURE. THE COURT FURTHER FAILED TO PROVIDE THE JURY WITH AN IDENTIFICATION CHARGE WITH RESPECT [TO] THE OUT-OF-COURT IDENTIFICATION BY ELYSEE AND JEAN VOLTAIRE, THEREBY DEPRIVING PETITIONER OF HIS RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL UNDER THE UNITED STATES AND THE NEW JERSEY CONSTITUTIONS. U.S. CONST., AMEND. XIV.
(Pet. ¶¶ 12.A., 12.B.)

  The State filed an Answer seeking dismissal of the Petition, arguing that, to the extent the grounds assert federal claims, they do not satisfy the standard for habeas relief.

  II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

  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. See 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 United States.

 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a).

  "In conducting habeas review, a federal court is limited to deciding whether a conviction violated the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States." Estelle v. McGuire, 502 U.S. 62, 67-68 (1991); 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a); accord Barry v. Bergen County Probation Dept., 128 F.3d 152, 159 (3d Cir. 1997). "Federal courts hold no supervisory authority over state judicial proceedings and may intervene only to correct wrongs of constitutional dimension." Smith v. Phillips, 455 U.S. 209, 221 (1982). "If a state prisoner alleges no deprivation of a federal right, § 2254 is simply inapplicable. It is unnecessary in such a situation to inquire whether the prisoner preserved his claim before the state courts." Engle v. Isaac, 456 U.S. 107, 120 n. 19 (1982).

  In reviewing a § 2254 petition, a federal court is not permitted to address a federal constitutional claim pertinent to the facts of the case unless the petitioner asserts the claim as a ground for relief.*fn1 Nor may the Court recharacterize a ground asserted under state law into a federal constitutional claim.*fn2 "[E]rrors of state law cannot be repackaged as federal errors simply by citing the Due Process Clause." Johnson v. Rosemeyer, 117 F.3d 104, 110 (3d Cir. 1997). Moreover, "it is well established that a state court's misapplication of its own law does not generally raise a constitutional claim." Smith v. Horn, 120 F.3d 400, 414 (3d Cir. 1997) (citations and internal quotation marks omitted); see also Smith v. Zimmerman, 768 F.2d 69, 71, 73 (3d Cir. 1985).

  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 ...


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.