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Chauhan v. Jones

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division

December 8, 2017

VILRAM S. CHAUHAN, a.k.a. VIKRAM S. CHAUHAN, Petitioner,
v.
DALLAS JONES, Warden, FCC-Beaumont-Medium, and KEN PAXTON, Attorney General, the State of Texas, Respondents.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          John McBryde United States District Judge

         This is a petition for a writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 filed by petitioner, Vilram S. Chauhan, a.k.a. Vikram S, Chauhan, a former federal prisoner now incarcerated in the Correctional Institutions Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), against Dallas Jones, warden of FCC-Beaumont-Medium, and Ken Paxton, Attorney General of the State of Texas, respondents.[1] After having considered the pleadings, state court records, and relief sought by petitioner, the court has concluded that the petition should be denied.

         I. Procedural History

         Petitioner is serving two concurrent 20-year sentences for his convictions in Tarrant County, Texas, Case Nos. 1248464D and 1248466D, for aggravated robbery. The state appellate court set forth the relevant background facts of the case as follows:

On September 8, 2011, [petitioner] was indicted on two counts of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon committed on July 7, 2011. On November 14, 2011, while out on bond, [petitioner] robbed a bank. He was convicted of the bank robbery in federal district court and sentenced to sixty-six months' confinement in federal prison.
On February 7, 2013, [petitioner] received notice that Tarrant County had lodged a detainer on him for the two aggravated robbery charges. Between July 1, 2013, and December 27, 2013, [petitioner] filed five pro se motions seeking dismissal of the charges. The State claimed that all five motions were defective and inadequate to invoke the IADA. On March 20, 2014, [petitioner] was transferred from federal prison to the Tarrant County jail.
A jury trial was held on [petitioner]'s aggravated robbery cases in June 2014. The jury found [petitioner] guilty of both counts and assessed punishment at twenty years' confinement on each count. The trial court sentenced [petitioner] accordingly and ordered the sentences to run concurrently. [Petitioner] filed a motion for new trial arguing that he was tried in violation of the IADA. The trial court denied the motion ....

(Mem. Op. 2, doc. 4.)

         Petitioner appealed the denial of his motion for new trial, but the Second District Court of Appeals of Texas affirmed his convictions and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused his petitions for discretionary review, (Id. at 7; Electronic Record, doc. 15-34.) Petitioner did not file a postconviction application for habeas relief in the state courts.

         II. Issues

         In two grounds, petitioner claims-

(1) the state trial court erred by not trying him within the 180-day speedy-trial provision of the Interstate Agreement of Detainers Act (IADA); and
(2) his trial counsel was ineffective by failing to urge his motions for dismissal of the state charges ...

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