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.

Woods v. Director, TDCJ-CID

United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Tyler Division

May 4, 2018

DEMARIA WOODS
v.
DIRECTOR, TDCJ-CID

          MEMORANDUM ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE AND ENTERING FINAL JUDGMENT

          RON CLARK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The Petitioner DeMaria Woods, proceeding pro se, filed this application for the writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. §2254 complaining of the legality of his conviction. This Court ordered that the matter be referred to the United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1) and (3) and the Amended Order for the Adoption of Local Rules for the Assignment of Duties to United States Magistrate Judges.

         I. Background

         Woods challenges two convictions for credit card abuse from Panola County which were rendered on December 27, 2013. No appeal was taken and so Woods' conviction became final on January 26, 2014.

         On January 7, 2015, Woods filed a federal habeas corpus petition challenging a prison disciplinary proceeding. Woods v. Director, TDCJ-CID, civil action no. 6:15cv52 (E.D.Tex., dismissed March 4, 2015, no appeal taken). The Court determined that Woods failed to show the infringement of a constitutionally protected liberty interest and dismissed the petition with prejudice on March 4, 2015. Woods signed the present habeas petition, challenging his credit card abuse convictions, on July 25, 2017.

         II. The Report of the Magistrate Judge

         After review of the pleadings, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report recommending that the petition be dismissed as successive, citing Propes v. Quarterman, 573 F.3d 225, 227 (5th Cir. 2009). In that case, the petitioner Johnnie Propes received an 18-year sentence for murder in June of 2003. In February of 2005, Propes filed a federal habeas corpus petition challenging a prison disciplinary case. This petition was dismissed with prejudice in March of 2006 upon a finding that Propes failed to assert the deprivation of any right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

         In November of 2005, while the previous habeas petition was pending, Propes filed a state habeas application challenging his conviction. This state application was denied in February of 2007, and Propes filed a federal habeas petition challenging his conviction in March of 2007.

         The district court dismissed this petition as successive and Propes appealed. On appeal, the Fifth Circuit stated that a petition is “successive” when it “either presents a challenge to the petitioner's conviction or sentence that could have been presented in an earlier petition or can be said to be an abuse of the writ.” The appellate court went on to explain as follows:

The alleged errors in Propes' conviction, which are the targets of the challenge he now presents in a second habeas filing, occurred before Propes made his first habeas filing. That fact makes the second habeas petition successive under the AEDPA. United States v. Orozco-Ramirez, 211 F.3d 862, 869 (5th Cir.2000). It is true that Propes had not yet exhausted his claims to the conviction in state court at the time he filed his initial petition for habeas relief. Under Crone [v. Cockrell, 324 F.3d 833, 836 (5th Cir. 2003)], he still was required to join his claims.
Propes also argues that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's disciplinary action against him was a separate ruling by a separate court. We have already held that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is not a “state court” and that its disciplinary decisions are not judgments. See Story v. Collins, 920 F.2d 1247, 1251 (5th Cir.1991). Instead, a challenge to a disciplinary proceeding is considered a challenge to the administration of the sentence for the underlying conviction. Id.
Next, Propes finds support from our earlier decision that a petitioner may, but is not required to, challenge separate convictions from the same court in a single habeas application. Hardemon [v. Quarterman, 516 F.3d 272, 275-76 (5th Cir. 2008)]. That rule is inapplicable because as we stated in the just-discussed Collins decision, disciplinary proceedings do not result in separate judgments. There is one judgment that has placed Propes in prison. Included within the results of that judgment are disciplinary proceedings that occur while he is subject to the conviction. There is, of course, still a requirement that the claims could actually have been brought together. Disciplinary actions that occur after a petition for habeas relief on the conviction has been presented and resolved could not have been brought in the earlier petition and would not be subject to this bar. The AEDPA concerns for abuse of the writ lead to stringent requirements for the bringing of claims, but not impossible ones.
We therefore conclude that when Propes challenged his state court conviction, he filed a successive petition that would be barred under the AEDPA absent some ...

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.