United States District Court, D. Delaware
TIMOTHY J. ASHLEY, Petitioner,
DAVID PIERCE, Warden, and ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Respondents.
Timothy J. Ashley. Pro se Petitioner.
Gregory E. Smith, Deputy Attorney General, Delaware
Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for
before the Court is an Application For A Writ Of Habeas
Corpus Pursuant To 28 U.S.C. § 2254
("Petition") filed by Petitioner Timothy J. Ashley
("Petitioner"). (D.I. 3) The State has filed an
Answer in opposition. (D.L 12) For the reasons discussed, the
Court will dismiss the Petition and deny the relief
2010, Petitioner was indicted on ten charges: trafficking in
cocaine; possession of a firearm during the commission of a
felony ("PFDCF"); possession with intent to deliver
cocaine ("PWITD"); possession of a firearm by a
person prohibited ("PFBPP"); possession of
ammunition by a person prohibited; maintaining a dwelling for
keeping controlled substances; possession of cocaine within
1, 000 feet of a school; second degree conspiracy; possession
of cocaine; and possession of drug paraphernalia. (D.L 12 at
2) On September 15, 2010, Petitioner pled guilty to PFDCF and
attempted PWITD cocaine, in exchange for which the State
dismissed the balance of the indictment. The Superior Court
sentenced Petitioner to a total of eighteen years at Level V
incarceration, to be suspended after serving four years, at
decreasing levels of supervision. See Ashley v.
State, 77 A.3d 271 (Table), 2013 WL 5310615, at *1 (Del.
Sept. 19, 2013). Petitioner did not appeal that decision.
October 13, 2010, Petitioner filed a.pro se motion
to withdraw his guilty plea, which the Superior Court denied
on April 21, 2011. (D.L 12 at 2) Petitioner did not appeal
6, 2011, Petitioner filed a motion for post-conviction relief
pursuant to Delaware Superior Court Criminal Rule 61
("Rule 61 motion). (D.L 12 at 2) The Superior Court
denied the Rule 61 motion, and the Delaware Supreme Court
affirmed that decision. See Ashley, 2013 WL 5310616,
state's highest court has adjudicated a federal habeas
claim on the merits, the federal court must review the claim
under the deferential standard contained in 28 U.S.C. §
2254(d). A claim has been "adjudicated on the
merits" for the purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d) if
the state court decision finally resolves the claim on the
basis of its substance, rather than on a procedural or some
other ground. See Thomas v. Horn, 570 F.3d 105, 115
(3d Cir. 2009). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d), federal
habeas relief may only be granted if the state court's
decision was "contrary to, or involved an unreasonable
application of, clearly established Federal law, as
determined by the Supreme Court of the United States, "
or the state court's decision was an unreasonable
determination of the facts based on the evidence adduced in
the trial. See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(d)(1) &
(2); see also Williams v. Taylor, 529 U.S. 362, 412
(2000); Appe/v. Horn, 250 F.3d 203, 210 (3d Cir.
2001). This deferential standard of § 2254(d) applies
even "when a state court's order is unaccompanied by
an opinion explaining the reasons relief has been
denied"; as explained by the Supreme Court, "it may
be presumed that the state court adjudicated the claim on the
merits in the absence of any indication or state-law
procedural principles to the contrary." Harrington
v. Richter, 562 U.S. 86, 98-100(2011).
a federal court must presume that the state court's
determinations of factual issues are correct. See 28
U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1); see also Appel, 250 F.3d
at 210. This presumption of correctness applies to both
explicit and implicit findings of fact, and is only rebutted
by clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.
See 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(1); see also
Campbell v. Vaughn, 209 F.3d 280, 286 (3d Cir. 2000);
Miller-El v. Cockrell, 537 U.S. 322, 341 (2003)
(stating that clear and convincing standard in §
2254(e)(1) applies to factual issues, whereas unreasonable
application standard of § 2254(d)(2) applies to factual
appears to assert two grounds for relief: (1) the Delaware
state courts' failure to appoint counsel to represent
Petitioner during his Rule 61 proceeding deprived him of his
constitutional right to counsel under Martinez v.
Ryan, 566 U.S. 1 (2012); and (2) defense counsel
provided ineffective assistance during the plea process. The
State contends that Claim One fails to present an issue
cognizable on federal habeas review, and Claim Two fails to
warrant relief under § 2254(d)(1).
Claim One: Failure to Appoint Counsel in State ...