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Buie v. Mulligan

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

January 22, 2018

ROBERT BUIE, Petitioner,
v.
WARDEN MULLIGAN, Respondent.

          RULING ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

          Alvin W. Thompson United States District Judge

         The petitioner, Robert Buie, who is incarcerated and proceeding pro se, has filed petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254. He challenges his November 2008 burglary and sexual assault convictions. For the reasons that follow, the petition will be dismissed.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         On November 5, 2008, a jury in Connecticut Superior Court for the Judicial District of Waterbury convicted the petitioner of one count of attempted aggravated sexual assault in the first degree, one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated sexual assault in the first degree, one count of burglary in the first degree and two counts of accessory to aggravated sexual assault in the first degree. See State v. Buie, 129 Conn.App. 777, 779-80, 785-86 (2011). On January 9, 2009, a judge sentenced the petitioner to a total effective sentence of forty years of imprisonment and fifteen years of special parole. See Id. at 785-86.

         On appeal, the petitioner challenged his conviction on one ground. See Id. at 780. On July 5, 2011, the Connecticut Appellate Court concluded that the apparent authority doctrine exception to the warrant requirement did not violate the right of a citizen to be free from unreasonable searches under the Connecticut Constitution and the police reasonably believed that the petitioner's female friend had common authority over his apartment. See Id. at 789, 806-07. The Connecticut Supreme Court granted certification on the following issue: “Did the Appellate Court properly conclude that, in the context of a search of a private home, the apparent authority doctrine does not violate article first, § 7, of the constitution of Connecticut?” State v. Buie, 303 Conn. 903 (2011).

         On July 22, 2014, the Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed the Connecticut Appellate Court's determination that the application of the apparent authority doctrine to a search of a private home does not violate article first, § 7 of the Connecticut Constitution and also affirmed the Connecticut Appellate Court's judgment upholding the trial court's judgment of conviction of the petitioner. See State v. Buie, 312 Conn. 574, 577 (2014)(per curiam).

         While his direct appeal was pending, the petitioner filed three state habeas petitions. See Buie v. Warden, No. CV14-4005884S, 2017 WL 2452160, at *8 (Conn. Super. Ct. May 11, 2017). A judge consolidated all three cases under the last case number. See id.

         On September 28, 2012, after a hearing on the claims raised in the amended petition filed in the consolidated cases, a judge denied all the claims. See Buie v. Warden, No. TSR-CV12-4004375S, 2012 WL 7831271, at *2 (Conn. Sup. Ct. Sept. 28, 2012). On June 17, 2014, the Connecticut Appellate Court dismissed the appeal per curiam. See Buie v. Commissioner of Correction, 151 Conn.App. 901 (2014). On September 25, 2014, the Connecticut Supreme Court denied his petition for certification to appeal. See Buie v. Commissioner of Correction, 314 Conn. 910 (2014).

         On December 5, 2013, the petitioner filed a fourth state habeas petition. See Buie v. Warden, No. TSR-CV14-4005884S (Conn. Super. Ct. Dec. 5, 2013). On April 11, 2016, the petitioner filed a fifth state habeas petition. See Buie v. Warden, No. TSR-CV16-4007998S (Conn. Super. Ct. Apr. 11, 2016).[1] On August 8, 2016, a judge consolidated the fifth petition, Buie v. Warden, No. TSR-CV16-4007998S, with the fourth petition, Buie v. Warden, No. TSR-CV14-4005884S. See Id. (Docket Entry 106.00). The judge handling the fifth petition designated the fourth petition, Buie v. Warden, No. TSR-CV14-4005884S, as the lead case. See id.

         On November 8 and 9, 2016, a judge held a trial on the fifteen claims of ineffective assistance of habeas counsel asserted in the consolidated habeas petitions. See Buie, No. CV14-4005884S, 2017 WL 2452160, at *9-10. On May 11, 2017, the judge denied the consolidated petitions. See Id. at *17. The petitioner has appealed the denial of the consolidated petitions and the appeal remains pending. See Pet. Writ Habeas Corpus, ECF No. 1 at 7, 10, 12, 14, 16.

         II. Legal Standard

         A prerequisite to habeas relief under section 2254 is the exhaustion of all available state remedies. See O'Sullivan v. Boerckel, 526 U.S. 838, 842 (1999); 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1)(A). The exhaustion requirement seeks to promote considerations of comity and respect between the federal and state judicial systems. See Martinez v. Ryan, 566 U.S. 1, 9 (2012) (“Federal habeas courts reviewing the constitutionality of a state prisoner's conviction and sentence are guided by rules designed to ensure that state-court judgments are accorded the finality and respect necessary to preserve the integrity of legal proceedings within our system of federalism.”); Coleman v. Thompson; 501 U.S. 722, 731 (1991) (noting the exhaustion requirement, codified at 28 U.S.C. § 2254(b)(1), is “grounded in principles of comity; in a federal system, the States should have the first opportunity to address and correct alleged violations of [a] state prisoner's federal rights.”).

         To satisfy the exhaustion requirement, a petitioner must present the essential factual and legal bases of his federal claim to each appropriate state court, including the highest state court capable of reviewing it, in order to give state courts a full and fair “opportunity to pass upon and correct alleged violations of its prisoners' federal rights.” Duncan v. Henry, 513 U.S. 364, 365 (1995) (per curiam) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). A federal claim has been “fairly present[ed] in each appropriate state court, including a state supreme court with powers of discretionary review, ” if it “alert[s] that court to the federal nature of the claim.” Baldwin v. Reese, 541 U.S. 27, 29 (2004) (internal parentheses and quotation marks omitted). A petitioner “does not fairly present a claim to a state court if that court must read beyond a petition or a brief . . . that does not alert it to the presence of a federal claim in order to find material . . . that does so.” Id. at 32.

         III. ...


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