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Steven Michael Cejda v. State of Florida

December 15, 2011

STEVEN MICHAEL CEJDA, PETITIONER,
v.
STATE OF FLORIDA, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



ORDER

Petitioner initiated this action for habeas corpus relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 2254 (Doc. No. 1). Upon consideration of the petition, the Court ordered Respondents to show cause why the relief sought in the petition should not be granted. Thereafter, Respondents filed a response to the petition for writ of habeas corpus in compliance with this Court's instructions and with the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States District Courts (Doc. No. 13). Petitioner filed a reply to the response (Doc. No. 15).

Petitioner alleges two claims for relief in his habeas petition: 1) he received ineffective assistance of counsel; and 2) his guilty plea was unlawfully induced and involuntary.

I. Procedural History

Petitioner was charged by information with two counts of aggravated battery with a firearm with great bodily harm (counts one and two), one count of shooting into an occupied building or vehicle (count three), and one count of possession of a firearm by a delinquent (count four). Petitioner subsequently entered into a plea agreement in which, among other matters, he agreed to enter pleas of guilty to two counts of aggravated battery with a firearm (counts one and two), one count of shooting a deadly missle (count three), and one count of possession of a firearm by a delinquent (count four). The trial court adjudicated Petitioner guilty of the crimes and sentenced him to imprisonment for a total term of ten years as to counts one and two. The trial court withheld the imposition of a sentence as to counts three and four and place Petitioner on probation for a term of ten years. It does not appear that Petitioner filed a direct appeal.

Petitioner then filed a pro se motion to withdraw his plea with the state trial court, which was stricken because Petitioner was represented by counsel.

Petitioner next filed a motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850 with the state trial court, which was dismissed without prejudice.

Petitioner filed a section Rule 3.850 motion with the state trial court, which was denied. Petitioner appealed the denial, and the state appellate court affirmed the denial per curiam.

Petitioner then filed a third Rule 3.850 motion with the state trial court, which was denied as successive. Petitioner did not appeal the denial.

II. Legal Standards

A. Standard of Review Under the Antiterrorism Effective Death Penalty Act ("AEDPA")

Pursuant to the AEDPA, federal habeas relief may not be granted with respect to a claim adjudicated on the merits in state court unless the 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; or

(2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding.

28 U.S.C. ยง 2254(d). The phrase "clearly established Federal law," encompasses only the holdings of the United States Supreme Court "as of the time of the relevant state-court ...


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