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Williams v. Davis

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division

February 15, 2018

Harry Glen Williams, Petitioner,
v.
Lorie Davis, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Gray H. Miller United States District Judge

         Petitioner, a state inmate proceeding pro se, filed this section 2254 habeas petition challenging the forfeiture of his accrued street-time credit following his parole revocation. Respondent filed a motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry No. 12), to which petitioner filed a response (Docket Entry No. 19).

         Having reviewed the motion, the response, the record, and the applicable law, the Court GRANTS the motion for summary judgment and DISMISSES this case for the reasons that follow.

         Background and Claims

         Petitioner was convicted of burglary of a building in 1989 and sentenced to 30 years' incarceration. Prior to that offense, he was convicted of robbery in 1985. Petitioner complains here that his 1985 conviction was unlawfully used to forfeit his street-time credit following the revocation of his parole in the 1989 conviction.

         The state court records show that petitioner was released to parole on September 7, 2006, and that the parole was revoked on April 22, 2015. Petitioner's administrative time dispute resolution form and time-calculation state habeas proceedings were timely filed and ultimately denied. He complains in the instant federal habeas proceeding that:

1. Prison officials denied him due process by improperly denying him street-time credits when his parole was revoked, ultimately modifying his discharge date; and
2. Prison officials denied him due process by not giving him notice of his forfeiture penalty or allowing him to appear at a re-sentencing hearing before imposition of the penalty.

         Respondent contends that petitioner's first claim should be dismissed for lack of merit, and that the second claim should be dismissed as unexhausted, procedurally defaulted, and barred from consideration.

         The Applicable Legal Standards

         Habeas Review

         This petition is governed by the applicable provisions of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA). 28 U .S.C. § 2254. Under the AEDPA, federal habeas relief cannot be granted on legal issues adjudicated on the merits in state court unless the state adjudication was contrary to clearly established federal law as determined by the Supreme Court, or involved an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law as determined by the Supreme Court. Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 98-99 (2011); Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 404-05 (2000); 28 U.S.C. §§ 2254(d)(1), (2). A state court decision is contrary to federal precedent if it applies a rule that contradicts the governing law set forth by the Supreme Court, or if it confronts a set of facts that are materially indistinguishable from such a decision and arrives at a result different from the Supreme Court's precedent. Early v. Packer, 537 U.S. 3, 7-8 (2002).

         A state court unreasonably applies Supreme Court precedent if it unreasonably applies the correct legal rule to the facts of a particular case, or unreasonably extends a legal principle from Supreme Court precedent to a new context where it should not apply, or unreasonably refuses to extend that principle to a new context where it should apply. Williams, 529 U.S. at 409. In deciding whether a state court's application was unreasonable, this Court considers whether the application was objectively unreasonable. Id. at 411. “It bears repeating that even a strong case for relief does not mean the state court's contrary conclusion was unreasonable.” Richter, 562 U.S. at 102. As stated by the Supreme Court in Richter,

If this standard is difficult to meet, that is because it was meant to be. As amended by AEDPA, § 2254(d) stops short of imposing a complete bar on federal court relitigation of claims already rejected in state proceedings. It preserves authority to issue the writ in cases where there is no possibility fairminded jurists could disagree that the state court's decision conflicts with this Court's precedents. It goes no farther. Section 2254(d) reflects the view that habeas corpus is a “guard against ...

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