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Hale v. Florida Attorney General

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

December 4, 2017

Nathon Alan Hale, Petitioner,
v.
Florida Attorney General, Milton, Hicks, Warden, and Secretary, Department of Corrections, Respondents.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Paul A. Magnuson, United States District Court Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Pet. (Docket No. 1).) For the reasons that follow, the Petition is denied.

         BACKGROUND

         On April 11, 2011, Petitioner Nathon Alan Hale entered into a nolo contendere plea to charges of attempted burglary of a dwelling, first degree petit theft, and criminal mischief. (App'x Ex. 5 at 3.) The trial court sentenced him as a prison release reoffender to 60 months on the first charge, a consecutive 60 months on the second charge, and 42 days on the third charge with 42 days' credit for time already served. (Id. at 8.)

         On September 9, 2011, Hale filed a motion for postconviction relief alleging that trial counsel was ineffective for failing to counsel him on the consequences of his nolo contendere plea and failing to contest the State's evidence against him. Hale also moved to withdraw his plea. (App'x Ex. 1 at 3, 5, 7; App'x Ex. 3.) Hale then “voluntarily withdr[e]w his entire . . . motion” at a postconviction evidentiary hearing for an unknown reason. (Id.) Based on Hale's withdrawal, the trial court dismissed the matter on November 19, 2012.

         On March 26, 2014, Hale filed a motion to correct an illegal sentence, arguing that his consecutive sentences as a prison release reoffender violated Florida law and that these sentences should run concurrently. (App'x Ex. 4 at 1-2.) The trial court denied the motion on April 4, 2014, concluding that Hale's prison release reoffender sentence was not enhanced and that a consecutive sentence was proper. (App'x Ex. 5 at 1-2.)

         Hale filed the instant Petition on October 15, 2014. Hale again asserts that he received an illegal enhanced sentence. (Pet. at 14.)

         DISCUSSION

         Under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (“AEDPA”), 28 U.S.C. § 2241 et seq., a federal court's “review is greatly circumscribed and is highly deferential to the state courts.” Crawford v. Head, 311 F.3d 1288, 1295 (11th Cir. 2002). Indeed, AEDPA “modified a federal habeas court's role in reviewing state prisoner applications in order to prevent federal habeas ‘retrials' and to ensure that state-court convictions are given effect to the extent possible under law.” Bell v. Cone, 535 U.S. 685, 693 (2002) (citation omitted). The AEDPA restricts the Court's review to state-court judgments that:

(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). Further, § 2254 states that “a determination of a factual issue made by a State court shall be presumed to be correct.” Id. § 2254(e)(1). The burden is on the petitioner to “rebut[] the presumption of correctness by clear and convincing evidence.” Id.

         The AEDPA requires that a habeas petition be timely filed and that the petitioner have exhausted his remedies with respect to the relief he seeks.

         A. ...


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