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Stotler v. Davis

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

May 15, 2019

Cody Allen Stotler, #2145177, Petitioner,
v.
Lorie Davis, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Div., Respondent.

          FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          RENEE HARRIS TOLIVER UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and Special Order 3, this case was referred to the United States magistrate judge for case management, including a recommended disposition of the petition for writ of habeas corpus brought under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Upon review, the habeas corpus petition should be DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On June 24, 2015, Petitioner Cody Allen Stotler pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, 1-4 grams, and was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment, probated for five years. Doc. 19-2 at 21, 28. Stotler did not file a direct appeal. Doc. 2 at 3. On June 6, 2017, the trial court entered a judgment revoking Stotler's probation and sentencing him to ten years' imprisonment. Doc. 19-2 at 28. Stotler did not appeal his probation revocation. Doc. 2 at 3. On February 2, 2018, Stotler filed an application for state writ of habeas corpus. Doc. 19-2 at 32-48. On April 4, 2018, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (TCCA) denied state habeas relief without written order. Ex Parte Stotler, No. WR-88, 141-01, Doc. 19-1.

         Stotler filed the Section 2254 petition in this case on April 13, 2018, alleging that (1) his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance, (2) his sentence constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, (3) his due process rights were violated at the revocation hearing and when he was transferred between various prison institutions, and (4) the state court judge hindered his appeal rights. Doc. 2. Stotler additionally alleged various civil rights violations. Id.

         On May 29, 2018, the Court issued an Order severing Petitioner's civil rights claims from this habeas action. Doc. 8. The Court then ordered the Government to respond to Stotler's remaining claims. Doc. 9. The Government filed a response, arguing that the claims in Stotler's petition “are either untimely, unexhausted and procedurally barred, not cognizable on federal habeas review, or without merit.” Doc. 20. Stotler did not file a reply.

         The Court understands Stotler to assert:

1. Trial counsel was ineffective for:
a. Failing to inform Stotler that she believed that the charges against him were the result of an illegal search and seizure,
b. Coercing Stotler into pleading guilty by advising him to accept the state's plea offer;
2. His sentence of ten years imprisonment constitutes cruel and unusual punishment;
3. His due process rights were violated when the State failed to include cause number DCF201600052 in its notice of intent to introduce extraneous evidence at Stotler's revocation hearing;
4. The state court hindered his appellate rights by:
(a) not asking Stotler if he wished to appeal, and
(b) Stotler not knowingly and voluntarily waiving his right to an appellate attorney;
5. He was illegally transferred to various detention facilities on or around:
a. September 19, 2016,
b. April 27, 2017,
c. June 26, 2017; ...

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