United States District Court, D. Maine
STEVEN R. GOOZEY, Petitioner,
SCOTT LANDRY, Respondent
RECOMMENDED DECISION ON 28 U.S.C. § 2254
C. Nivison U.S. Magistrate Judge.
action, Petitioner Steven R. Goozey seeks relief pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 2254. (Petition, ECF No. 1.) Following a
guilty plea, Petitioner was convicted in state court of ten
counts of unlawful sexual contact. The Maine Supreme Court,
sitting as the Law Court, denied leave to appeal from the
sentence. Following an evidentiary hearing, the Superior
Court denied Petitioner's petition for post-conviction
review, and the Law Court denied discretionary review.
section 2254 petition, Petitioner in essence alleges that the
state court's decision to deny post-conviction relief
involved either an unreasonable application of federal law,
pursuant to section 2254(d)(1), or an unreasonable
determination of the facts, pursuant to section 2254(d)(2).
He claims ineffective assistance of counsel based on
counsel's failure to move to suppress Petitioner's
statements to law enforcement, and based on counsel's
alleged failure to provide adequate advice regarding the
charges and the sentence.
review of the section 2254 petition, the State's request
for dismissal, and the record, I recommend the Court grant
the State's request, and dismiss the petition.
Factual Background and Procedural History
2011, Petitioner was indicted on ten counts of unlawful
sexual contact, 17-A M.R.S. § 255-A(1)(F-1) (Class A).
(State v. Goozey, No. FARSC-CR-2001-00053, Docket
Record at 1; Indictment.) The State represents that at the plea
hearing, it moved to amend nine of the charges to Class
(Response, ECF No. 6 at 2 n.1.) The court granted the motion
to amend, and Petitioner pled guilty to ten counts of
unlawful sexual contact, 17-A M.R.S. § 255-A(1)(E-1)
(Class B). (Docket Record at 1-2, 5; Judgment and Commitment
at 1, 3.)
Court sentenced Petitioner to ten years of imprisonment on
Counts 1 through 9, with the terms to be served concurrently
with Count 1. (Judgment and Commitment at 1.) The Court
sentenced Petitioner to ten years, all suspended, on Count
10, to be served consecutively to Count 1, to be followed by
a term of six years of probation. (Id.)
did not appeal from the conviction. The Sentence Review Panel
of the Law Court denied his application for leave to appeal
from the sentence. State v. Goozey, No. SRP-11-600,
Order Denying Leave to Appeal from Sentence.) Petitioner did
not file a petition for a writ of certiorari in the United
States Supreme Court.
2012, Petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction review.
(Goozey v. State, Nos. FARSC-CR-2012-00148,
FARSC-CR-2012-00150, Docket Records at 1, State Court
Petition.) Counsel was appointed in December 2012,
and an amended petition was filed June 2013. (Docket Records
at 1-2; Amended State Court Petition.) The Superior Court
held a two-day evidentiary hearing in March and June of 2015,
and, following the parties' written submissions in
February and March of 2016, the court denied the petition in
May 2016. (Order on Petition for Post-conviction Review
(“Post-conviction Order”) at 1, 11;
Post-conviction Tr. I (March 23, 2015); Post-conviction Tr.
II (June 22, 2015).)
Superior Court decided the issues Petitioner raises in his
section 2254 petition. The court found (1) that Petitioner
was not in custody when he arrived at the sheriff's
office, and therefore “[a]ny statements about wanting
to consult with an attorney prior to [the detective's]
recitation of Miranda were premature” (Post-conviction
Order at 6); and (2) that after Petitioner was placed under
arrest and given the Miranda warning, he waived his right to
counsel and provided the statements voluntarily (id.
at 7). The court, therefore, concluded
counsel's failure to move to suppress the statements did
not constitute substandard performance. (Id. at 8.)
court also concluded the plea was voluntary, and
counsel's performance was not substandard. Specifically,
the court determined (1) that counsel did not provide
ineffective assistance for the alleged failure to explain
charges that were not prosecuted against Petitioner
(id. at 9-10); and (2) Petitioner failed to
demonstrate that he did not understand he could be sentenced
to a term of up to ten years (id. at 10-11).
sought discretionary review of the court's conclusion
that he was not in custody upon arrival at the police
station, and its conclusion that Petitioner understood the
elements of the crime. (Goozey v. State, No.
Fra-16-294, Memorandum in Support of Petition for Certificate
of Probable Cause at 4-6.) In September 2016, the Law Court
denied Petitioner's request for discretionary review.
(Order Denying Certificate of Probable Cause.)
to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(a), a person in custody pursuant to
the judgment of a state court may apply to a federal district
court for a writ of habeas corpus “only on the ground
that he is in custody in violation of the Constitution or
laws or treaties of the United States.” Petitioner
exhausted his state court remedies. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(b)(1)(A). As to federal habeas claims that were
adjudicated on the merits in state court, the federal court
may not grant relief unless (1) the state court decision was
“contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application
of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the
Supreme Court of the United States, ” pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1); or (2) the decision “was
based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light
of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding,
” pursuant to section 2254(d)(2). See Brumfield
v. Cain, --- U.S. ---, ---, 135 S.Ct. 2269, 2276-77
& n.3 (2015) (noting that a state court's conclusion
that the record included “no evidence” on an
issue was reviewed under section 2254(d)(2)).
review under section 2254(d)(1), “[i]t is settled that
a federal habeas court may overturn a state court's
application of federal law only if it is so erroneous that
‘there is no possibility fairminded jurists could
disagree that the state court's decision conflicts with
this Court's precedents.'” Nevada v.
Jackson, ___U.S. ___, ___, 133 S.Ct. 1990, 1992 (2013)
(quoting Harrington v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 102
First Circuit has identified the following as some of the
guidelines that may be used to determine whether a state
court decision was ...