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.

Gancedo v. Secretary, Florida Department of Corrections

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

October 10, 2019

JOHN MICHAEL GANCEDO, Petitioner,
v.
SECRETARY, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Respondents.

          ORDER

          Marcia Morales Howard United States District Judge

         I. Status

         Petitioner John Gancedo, an inmate of the Florida penal system, initiated this action on February 23, 2016, [1] by filing a pro se Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (Petition; Doc. 1). In the Petition, Gancedo challenges a 2015 state court (Citrus County, Florida) judgment of conviction for manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of listed chemicals. Gancedo raises one ground for relief. See Petition at 6-11.[2] Respondents have submitted a memorandum in opposition to the Petition. See Response to Petition (Response; Doc. 12) with exhibits (Resp. Ex.). On August 28, 2017, Gancedo filed a brief in reply. See Reply to State's Response (Reply; Doc. 14.). Gancedo also filed a motion for summary judgment (Motion; Doc. 19) on June 19, 2019. This case is ripe for review.

         II. Procedural History

         On September 6, 2013, the State of Florida (State) charged Gancedo by way of Information with manufacturing methamphetamine (count one), possession of paraphernalia (count two), and possession of listed chemicals (count three). Resp. Ex. A at 1-2. On September 25, 2013, Gancedo entered a no contest plea to all three counts. Id. at 9. On the same day, the circuit court sentenced Gancedo to time served as to count two and imposed a sixty-month term of drug offender probation as to counts one and three. Id. 9, 11-17. Gancedo did not appeal.

         On April 15, 2014, the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) sent a notification to the circuit court regarding a technical violation of probation from a positive urinalysis test. Id. at 18. The circuit court took no further action on the violation. Id. On July 1, 2014, the DOC issued an affidavit of violation of probation, alleging Gancedo tested positive for methamphetamine. Id. at 19-20. On August 12, 2014, Gancedo admitted violating his probation. Id. at 24. That same day, the circuit court revoked Gancedo's probation and imposed a term of incarceration of seven years in prison, suspended upon successful completion of twenty-four months of community control and drug offender probation. Id. at 24-40. Gancedo did not appeal.

         On October 27, 2014, Gancedo violated his community control by failing to remain confined to his approved residence. Id. at 41-44. On January 16, 2015, the circuit court dismissed the violation of probation charge. Id. at 45. The DOC again notified the circuit court of a technical violation of Gancedo's drug offender probation on June 8, 2015, when the DOC alleged Gancedo tested positive for benzodiazepines and methamphetamine. Id. 46. The circuit court determined no further action was required and ordered supervision be continued. Id.

         On July 2, 2015, the DOC issued another affidavit of violation of probation, alleging Gancedo failed to participate in a specialized drug court treatment program and failed to remain confined to his approved residence. Id. at 47-56. The DOC later issued an amended affidavit adding an additional allegation that Gancedo failed to notify his probation officer that he changed addresses. Id. at 57-58. On October 9, 2015, Gancedo admitted violating his probation. Id. at 59. On the same day, the circuit revoked his community control and probation and sentenced Gancedo to a term of incarceration of seven years in prison as to counts one and three, with each count running concurrently. Id. at 59-72. Gancedo did not appeal.

         On April 13, 2016, Gancedo filed a motion for postconviction relief pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850 (Rule 3.850 Motion). Resp. Ex. B at 44-58. In the Rule 3.850 Motion, Gancedo raised the following four claims of ineffective assistance: (1) advising him to enter an open plea of guilty to his violation of probation charges; (2) failing to investigate witnesses; (3) failing to advise him of how he violated his probation; and (4) failing to file a direct appeal. Id. The circuit court denied the Rule 3.850 Motion. Id. at 3-7. On December 13, 2016, Florida's Fifth District Court of Appeal (Fifth DCA) per curiam affirmed the circuit court's denial of the Rule 3.850 Motion without issuing a written opinion. Resp. Ex. C at 32. Gancedo moved for rehearing, id. at 33-34, which the Fifth DCA denied on December 21, 2016. Id. at 36. The Fifth DCA issued its Mandate on January 30, 2017. Id. at 37. Gancedo petitioned the Florida Supreme Court to review the Fifth DCA's decision, id. at 38, but the Florida Supreme Court dismissed the petition for lack of jurisdiction. Id. at 39.

         On January 27, 2017, Gancedo filed a motion entitled stay of execution, in which he argued his plea was illegal because the court costs, fees, and fines the circuit court ordered him to pay violated the United States Constitution. Resp. Ex. A at 73-75. The circuit court construed this motion as a motion to correct an illegal sentence pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.800(a) and struck the motion. Id. at 76-77. On February 27, 2017, Gancedo filed a motion to reduce his sentence pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.800(c). Id. at 78-82. On March 7, 2017, the circuit court dismissed the motion as untimely. Id. at 83-84.

         III. One-Year Limitations Period

         This action is timely filed within the one-year limitations period. See 28 U.S.C. § 2244(d).

         IV. Evidentiary Hearing

         In a habeas corpus proceeding, the burden is on the petitioner to establish the need for a federal evidentiary hearing. See Chavez v. Sec'y, Fla. Dep't of Corr., 647 F.3d 1057, 1060 (11th Cir. 2011). “In deciding whether to grant an evidentiary hearing, a federal court must consider whether such a hearing could enable an applicant to prove the petition's factual allegations, which, if true, would entitle the applicant to federal habeas relief.” Schriro v. Landrigan, 550 U.S. 465, 474 (2007); Jones v. Sec'y, Fla. Dep't of Corr., 834 F.3d 1299, 1318-19 (11th Cir. 2016), cert. denied, 137 S.Ct. 2245 (2017). “It follows that if the record refutes the applicant's factual allegations or otherwise precludes habeas relief, a district court is not required to hold an evidentiary hearing.” Schriro, 550 U.S. at 474. The pertinent facts of this case are fully developed in the record before the Court. Because the Court can “adequately assess [Gancedo's] claim[s] without further factual development, ” Turner v. Crosby, 339 F.3d 1247, 1275 (11th Cir. 2003), an evidentiary hearing will not be conducted.

         V. Governing Legal Principles

         A. Standard of Review

         The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) governs a state prisoner's federal petition for habeas corpus. See Ledford v. Warden, Ga. Diagnostic & Classification Prison, 818 F.3d 600, 642 (11th Cir. 2016), cert. denied, 137 S.Ct. 1432 (2017). “‘The purpose of AEDPA is to ensure that federal habeas relief functions as a guard against extreme malfunctions in the state criminal justice systems, and not as a means of error correction.'” Id. (quoting Greene v. Fisher, 565 U.S. 34, 38 (2011) (quotation marks omitted)). As such, federal habeas review of final state court decisions is “‘greatly circumscribed' and ‘highly deferential.'” Id. (quoting Hill v. Humphrey, 662 F.3d 1335, 1343 (11th Cir. 2011) (quotation marks omitted)).

         The first task of the federal habeas court is to identify the last state court decision, if any, that adjudicated the claim on the merits. See Marshall v. Sec'y, Fla. Dep't of Corr., 828 F.3d 1277, 1285 (11th Cir. 2016). The state court need not issue a written opinion explaining its rationale in order for the state court's decision to qualify as an adjudication on the merits. See Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 100 (2011). Where the state court's adjudication on the merits is unaccompanied by an explanation, the United States Supreme Court has instructed:

[T]he federal court should “look through” the unexplained decision to the last related state-court decision that does provide a relevant rationale. It should then presume that the unexplained decision adopted the same reasoning.

Wilson v. Sellers, 138 S.Ct. 1188, 1192 (2018). The presumption may be rebutted by showing that the higher state court's adjudication most likely relied on different grounds than the lower state court's reasoned decision, such as persuasive alternative grounds that were briefed or argued to the higher court or obvious in the record it reviewed. Id. at 1192, 1196.

         If the claim was “adjudicated on the merits” in state court, § 2254(d) bars relitigation of the claim unless the state court's decision (1) “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) “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); Richter, 562 U.S. at 97-98. The Eleventh Circuit describes the limited scope of federal review pursuant to § 2254 as follows:

First, § 2254(d)(1) provides for federal review for claims of state courts' erroneous legal conclusions. As explained by the Supreme Court in Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 120 S.Ct. 1495, 146 L.Ed.2d 389 (2000), § 2254(d)(1) consists of two distinct clauses: a “contrary to” clause and an “unreasonable application” clause. The “contrary to” clause allows for relief only “if the state court arrives at a conclusion opposite to that reached by [the Supreme] Court on a question of law or if the state court decides a case differently than [the Supreme] Court has on a set of materially indistinguishable facts.” Id. at 413, 120 S.Ct. at 1523 (plurality opinion). The “unreasonable application” clause allows for relief only ...

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.