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Chouinard v. Secretary, Department of Corrections

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division

April 4, 2017

ROBERT CHOUINARD, Petitioner,
v.
SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Respondents.

          ORDER

          ROY B. DALTON JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This cause is before the Court on a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (“Petition”) filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (Doc. 1). Thereafter, Respondents filed a Response to the Petition (Doc. 18) in accordance with this Court's instructions. Petitioner filed a Reply to the Response (Doc. 20).

         Petitioner alleges one claim for relief in the Petition. For the following reasons, the Petition is denied.

         I. Procedural History

         Petitioner was charged in state court case number 2001-CF-20404 with robbery and in state court case number 2001-CF-32732 with solicitation to commit first degree murder (Doc. 18-1 at 5-6, 18). On August 13, 2002, Petitioner pled guilty to the offenses as charged. The trial court sentenced Petitioner to a ten-year term of imprisonment for the robbery conviction, followed by a ten-year term of probation, and a concurrent five-year term of probation for the solicitation conviction. Id. at 8-14, 20-25. Petitioner did not appeal.

         Petitioner was released from prison on October 27, 2010. On May 28, 2013, an affidavit for violation of probation (“VOP”) was filed. Id. at 36-41. The trial court held a VOP hearing on November 21, 2013, and found that Petitioner had willfully violated his probation. Id. at 94-95. The trial court sentenced Petitioner to a fifteen-year term of imprisonment on the robbery conviction and a consecutive five-year term of imprisonment on the solicitation conviction followed by two years of community control and five years of probation. Id. at 96, 106-21. Petitioner appealed, and the Fifth District Court of Appeal (“Fifth DCA”) affirmed per curiam. Id. at 141.

         Petitioner filed a motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to Rule 3.850 of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure. Id. at 145-61. The trial court summarily denied the motion. Id. at 163-66. The Fifth DCA affirmed per curiam. Id. at 189.

         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. § 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 decision.” Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 412 (2000).

         “[S]ection 2254(d)(1) provides two separate bases for reviewing state court decisions; the ‘contrary to' and ‘unreasonable application' clauses articulate independent considerations a federal court must consider.” Maharaj v. Sec'y for Dep't of Corr., 432 F.3d 1292, 1308 (11th Cir. 2005). The meaning of the clauses was ...


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