United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division
FRANK D. WHITNEY, Chief District Judge.
THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Respondent's Motion for Summary Judgment, (Doc. No. 12).
Petitioner is a prisoner of the State of North Carolina, who, on January 27, 2012, in Mecklenburg County Superior Court, was convicted after trial by jury of possession of stolen goods, larceny after breaking or entering, and breaking or entering, and pled guilty to habitual felon status and was sentenced to two concurrent terms of 146-185 months imprisonment, in cases 10 CRS 253443-44, and 11 CRS 3165. The trial court arrested judgment on Petitioner's conviction for possession of stolen goods. On April 2, 2013, the North Carolina Court of Appeals filed an unpublished opinion finding no error. State v. Taylor , 741 S.E.2d 512 ( N.C. App. 2013). Petitioner was represented at trial by Jennifer Coulter and on appeal by John Keating Wiles. Petitioner stated on pages 3-5 of his pro se federal habeas application form that he has filed no other petitions, applications, or motions with respect to these judgments of conviction in any state court. However, in response to the summary judgment motion, Petitioner attached two orders from the Mecklenburg County Superior Court, dated October 7, 2013, and November 20, 2013, in which the state court treated various filings by Petitioner as motions for appropriate relief and summarily denied them as without merit and alternatively as procedurally barred under N.C. GEN. STAT. § 15A-1419. (Doc. No. 15 at 4, 5).
Petitioner placed the petition in the prison system for mailing on January 13, 2014, and it was stamp-filed in this Court on February 19, 2014. In his petition, Petitioner contends that (1) he was never legally appointed counsel; (2) the prosecution's motion for joinder of offenses and evidence was not presented until the day of trial; (3) the trial court used fabricated evidence and falsified statements; and (4) he was convicted through malicious and vindictive prosecution. Respondent filed the pending motion for summary judgment on July 8, 2014. (Doc. No. 12). On July 15, 2014, this Court entered an Order pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison , 528 F.2d 309 (4th Cir. 1975), granting Petitioner fourteen days to respond to the summary judgment motion. (Doc. No. 14). Petitioner filed a response on August 11, 2014, and Respondent filed a Reply the same day. (Doc. Nos. 15; 16).
The North Carolina Court of Appeals summarized the facts from Petitioner's trial as follows:
Defendant was tried on a total of four offenses. The first three offenses were for possession of stolen goods, larceny after breaking or entering, and breaking or entering. These three offenses were all alleged to have occurred on 5 November 2010, and stemmed from the theft of property from a dentist's office located at 110 University Executive Park in Charlotte, North Carolina. The fourth offense was for a separate breaking or entering into offices occupied by the Governor Morehead School for the Blind. The fourth offense was also alleged to have occurred on 5 November 2010, and the offices were located at 110 University Executive Park, just two doors down from the dentist's office. The trial court allowed the State's motion to join the offenses for trial over defendant's objections. The jury ultimately found defendant guilty of the offenses involving the dentist's office, but not guilty of breaking or entering into the offices of the Governor Morehead School for the Blind.
State v. Taylor , 741 S.E.2d 512 ( N.C. App. 2013).
II. STANDARD OF REVIEW
A. Summary Judgment Standard
Summary judgment is appropriate in those cases where there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact, and it appears that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. FED. CIV. P. 56(c)(2); United States v. Lee , 943 F.2d 366, 368 (4th Cir. 1991). Any permissible inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp. , 475 U.S. 574, 587-88 (1986). Where, however, the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving party, disposition by summary judgment is appropriate. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc. , 477 U.S. 242, 248-49 (1986).
B. Section 2254 Standard
In addition to the motion for summary judgment standard set forth above, this Court must also consider the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus under the requirements set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Section 2254(d) provides that:
An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State ...