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Eason v. Frakes

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

April 6, 2017

SHANTELLE L. EASON, Petitioner,
v.
SCOTT FRAKES, Director, NE Department of Correctional Services, Respondent.

          ORDER

          RICHARD G. KOPF SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         The court has conducted an initial review of the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus (filing no. 1) to determine whether the claims made by Petitioner are, when liberally construed, potentially cognizable in federal court. Petitioner has made five claims.

         Claims two through five, when properly understood, assert Petitioner's “actual innocence” despite her pleas of guilty or no-contention. Such claims are not standalone federal claims, but rather a means of avoiding procedural default. Thus, except as to the issue of procedural default and closely related matters, these claims are dismissed with prejudice.

         Additionally, Petitioner asserts that her belated filing of the pending petition was occasioned by the alleged fact that she was in the prison infirmary due to a medical or mental problem. She may also assert that her state post-conviction motion was also adversely impacted by such treatment.

         Respondent will need to address both of the foregoing matters even though they are not substantive claims. The foregoing noted, one claim requires a response. Condensed and summarized for clarity, that claim is:

Claim One: Trial counsel provided ineffective assistance of counsel because: (a) he failed to obtain an order for a dual diagnosis evaluation of Petitioner's mental, emotional or medical condition, and (b) he failed to file a direct appeal despite Petitioner's request to lodge such an appeal.

         Liberally construed, the court preliminarily decides that Petitioner's claim as stated is potentially cognizable in federal court. However, the court cautions that no determination has been made regarding the merits of this claim or any defenses thereto or whether there are procedural bars that will prevent Petitioner from obtaining the relief sought.

         IT IS ORDERED that:

         1. Upon initial review of the Petition (Filing No. 1), the court preliminarily determines that Petitioner's claim one is potentially cognizable in federal court.

         2. Claims two through five are dismissed with prejudice.

         3. By May 22, 2017, Respondent must file a motion for summary judgment or state court records in support of an answer. The clerk of the court is directed to set a pro se case management deadline in this case using the following text: May 22, 2017: deadline for Respondent to file state court records in support of answer or motion for summary judgment.

         4. If Respondent elects to file a motion for summary judgment, the following procedures must be followed by Respondent and Petitioner:

         A. The motion for summary judgment must be accompanied by a separate brief, submitted at the time the motion is filed.

         B. The motion for summary judgment must be supported by any state court records that are necessary to support the motion. Those records must be contained in a separate filing entitled: “Designation of State Court Records in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment.” C. Copies of the motion for summary judgment, the designation, including state court records, and Respondent's brief must be served on Petitioner except that Respondent is only required to provide Petitioner with a copy of the specific pages of the record that are cited in Respondent's brief. In the event that the designation of state court records is deemed insufficient by Petitioner, Petitioner ...


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