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Bedell v. Menard

United States District Court, D. Vermont

March 26, 2019

CLFNTON BEDELL, Petitioner,
v.
LISA MENARD, Respondent.

          ENTRY ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND DENYING MOTIONS FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AND SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DOCS. 5, 40, 48, 57, 60)

          Geoffrey W. Crawford, U.S. District Court Chief Judge

         In March 2018, petitioner Clinton Bedell filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus under 18 U.S.C. § 2254. (Doc. 5.) The case was automatically referred to United States Magistrate Judge John Conroy pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Local Rule 73(f). The Petitioner is self-represented.

         In addition to the § 2254 habeas petition, Petitioner filed a letter seeking a transport order and requesting the court order his transport to a Vermont prison. (Doc. 40.) On October 2, 2018, the magistrate judge issued his Report and Recommendation concerning the habeas petition and motion for transport order. The magistrate judge recommended denial of both motions. (Doc. 48.) Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72, Petitioner's objection was signed on October 28, 2018. (Doc. 50.) On February 13, 2019, Petitioner filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. 57) to which Respondent Lisa Menard did not respond, and, on February 27, 2019, he filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 60). Menard's response to the summary judgment motion is due April 1, 2019.

         A district judge must make a de novo determination of those portions of a magistrate judge's report and recommendation to which an objection is made. Fed R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Cullen v. United States, 194 F.3d 401, 405 (2d Cir. 1999). The district judge may "accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge." 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); accord Cullen, 194 F.3d at 405.

         The magistrate judge determined that Petitioner's habeas petition is barred by the statute of limitations (Doc. 48 at 11-16) and, alternatively, it fails to establish that Petitioner's conviction violated federal law, id. at 16-27. The magistrate judge therefore recommends the court deny the petition. He further recommends Petitioner's motion for injunctive relief brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 be denied for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted. Id. at 27-30.

         Petitioner filed a handwritten "motion in opposition" consisting of argument, an attached list of case citations, and annotations on the first six pages of the Report and Recommendation. He makes several arguments: The case law he provides "proves both an ineffectual non-voluntary plea, and that the version of title 13 V.S.A. § 3252(b) in the year 1996 the time of alleged crime is a statute that is unconstitutional as written and as applied ... making the State's claimed plea on that repealed statute an invalid conviction." (Doc. 50 at 1.) The plea was involuntary because he said "I do not understand" when asked in court. Id. The sentence length is unconstitutional. And tolling applies because he sent a DNA test to this court establishing "actual innocence." Id.; see also Id. at 4 (noting that he "did not impregnate [his] daughter but even if [he] had 'procreation' is a ... fundamental right").

         Petitioner also includes "affidavits" throughout the filing. He avers:

• "the transcript of Feb 5 1999 ... is a complete lie, twisting words and . .. leaving parts out" (Doc. 50 at 1);
• "I did not plea to [13 V.S.A. §] 3252(b)(2) and said in the transcript I do not understand," id, at 2;
• "I. . . swallowed a full bottle of pills and was not body free of drugs," id. at 4;
• "In open court I. . . rejected the written plea forever," id. at 5;
• "I did not reverse my decision to reject the plea forever I was only in court because I was promised all charges .. . were to be dismissed," id.;
• "I swear I had no change of heart," id.;
• "Less than 18 hours prior I had attempted suicide swallowing a full bottle of Percocet and the State had no formal competency hearing to evaluate [my] ...

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