Amaral #097231 v. Ryan et al

Filing 52

ORDER: IT IS ORDERED that Respondents shall file a supplement to their motion for reconsideration 48 by November 15, 2017 [see attached Order for details]. Signed by Senior Judge James A Teilborg on 11/8/17. (MAW)

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1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 Travis Wade Amaral, Petitioner, 10 11 ORDER v. 12 No. CV-16-00594-PHX-JAT (BSB) Charles L Ryan, et al., 13 Respondents. 14 15 Respondents have filed a motion for reconsideration of this Court’s order of 16 October 2, 2017, which accepted in part the Report and Recommendation filed August 17 25, 2017 (R&R; Doc. 43). (Doc. 47). In this Court’s prior order, the Court held that 18 Montgomery cast the holding of Miller in such a fundamentally different light, Petitioner 19 was required to exhaust a Montgomery claim in addition to his Miller claim. (Id.) All 20 parties (and the R&R) agreed that a Miller claim was exhausted in the state courts. (Doc. 21 47 at 6). 22 In Respondents’ objection to the R&R, they dedicated 3 pages to their argument 23 that Petitioner’s Montgomery claim was unexhausted, and argued that the R&R erred in 24 finding the Miller claim (including Montgomery) was exhausted. (Doc. 33 at 3-5). They 25 now seek reconsideration arguing that it was error for this Court to find Petitioner’s 26 Montgomery claim was unexhausted (although that was Respondents’ argument) because 27 the Court reached the “merits” of Petitioner’s claim without the benefit of Respondent’s 28 “full answer.” (Doc. 48 at 4). 1 First, the Court disagrees that deciding the issue of exhaustion was the Court 2 reaching the merits of the case, as is evidenced by the fact that no judgment entered, and 3 the matter was re-referred to the Magistrate Judge for a further R&R. Second, to the 4 extent the Court was forced to considered whether Montgomery cast the law of Miller in 5 a fundamentally different light to determine whether Petitioner’s undisputed exhaustion 6 of his Miller claim was also effectively exhaustion of his Montgomery claim, 7 Respondents certainly did not object to the R&R by arguing it would be inappropriate for 8 this Court to decide this issue at this stage. In other words, to the extent whether 9 Montgomery is a fundamentally different claim for purposes of exhaustion necessarily 10 implicates the merits of Petitioner’s Petition, Respondents placed that issue squarely 11 before the Court without reservation. Thus, while the Magistrate Judge, upon re-referral, 12 will likely require a further “answer” from Respondents, the Court will not reconsider its 13 prior holding as somehow not being an issue before the Court. 14 In reality, it appears that Respondents’ issue is with this Court’s interpretation of 15 the holding of Montgomery. In the motion for reconsideration, Respondents’ now appear 16 to argue that the holding of Miller was very limited, and that Montgomery does not 17 expand that holding. (Doc. 48 at 3). This would be a perfectly fine argument to make 18 had Respondents agreed with the R&R’s conclusion that Petitioner exhausted a Miller 19 claim, and Montgomery did not create “a separate, new claim that must be exhausted.” 20 (Doc. 43 at 6). However, Respondents objected to the R&R and argued that Montgomery 21 so materially changed Miller that a Miller claim after Montgomery would have to be 22 separately exhausted in state court. 23 In Petitioner’s motion for interlocutory appeal (Doc. 49), Petitioner raises the issue 24 of the R&R’s conclusion that when Petitioner filed a notice of supplemental authority 25 (citing Montgomery) with the Arizona Supreme Court after denial of review of his Miller 26 claim, but before his entire case had been adjudicated, Petitioner thereby “exhausted” 27 Montgomery before the state courts. (Doc. 43 at 6). Petitioner argues this Court’s 28 October 2, 2017 order is in error because it did not accept the R&R’s conclusion that, -2- 1 even if Montgomery required separate exhaustion, Petitioner had in fact exhausted a 2 Montgomery claim. (Doc. 49 at 6-7 ¶5). 1 Respondents’ renew their request that this 3 Court find any Montgomery claim unexhausted in their motion for reconsideration. (Doc. 4 48 at 4). 5 appeal in this Order, because these issue are intertwined, the Court will address 6 Petitioner’s claim that the Court should find any Montgomery claim exhausted. Although the Court is not addressing Petitioner’s request for interlocutory 7 In the objections to the R&R, Respondents argued that this Court should find that 8 because review of Petitioner’s Miller claim had already been denied by the Arizona 9 Supreme Court (although his entire case had not yet been resolved), filing a supplemental 10 authority with the Arizona Supreme Court on a non-pending claim is not adequate to 11 exhaust the claim. (Doc. 44 at 3-4). The Court finds that, because the Arizona Supreme 12 Court had already denied discretionary review of Petitioner’s Miller claim at the point 13 Petitioner filed the supplemental authority, the filing of the supplemental authority with 14 the Arizona Supreme Court did not exhaust a Montgomery based Miller claim in the state 15 courts. In other words, the Court concludes that filing a notice of supplemental authority 16 on a claim on which review was already denied does not equal fair presentment to the 17 Arizona courts for purposes of exhaustion. See generally Ales v. Ryan, 2017 WL 707498, 18 *4, *6 (D. Ariz. January 9, 2017). 19 conclusion, to the contrary are rejected. 20 Montgomery did not render Petitioner’s Montgomery claim exhausted. Thus, Petitioner’s argument, and the R&R’s Petitioner’s supplemental authority citing 21 Next, alternatively, Respondents seek to have this Court hold that Petitioner did 22 not exhaust a Montgomery claim without actually deciding whether Montgomery cast the 23 law in a fundamentally different light. Respondents’ cite nothing that would support this 24 type of procedural ruling. As noted above, it is undisputed that Petitioner exhausted a 25 Miller claim. If, as Petitioner asserts, Montgomery did nothing more that make Miller 26 retroactive (and because the Arizona courts assumed Miller would be retroactive), then 27 28 1 To be clear, the Court acknowledges that Petitioner disputes that any Montgomery claim exists that would require exhaustion. -3- 1 Petitioner’s claim is fully exhausted. If Montgomery did cast the law in a fundamentally 2 different light, then Petitioner’s Miller claim (as modified by Montgomery) is not 3 exhausted. The Court finds no law that would allow the Court to hold what Respondents 4 seem to want, specifically: the law may have changed, therefore Petitioner’s claim is 5 unexhausted. The law must have changed; otherwise it is undisputed that Petitioner’s 6 claim is exhausted. As a result, for the Court to find the claim unexhausted, the Court 7 must hold the law changed. Thus, this alternative request for reconsideration is denied as 8 having no basis in law and for being inconsistent with the procedural posture of this case. 9 Finally, Respondents’ seek to have this Court “clarify” that because Tatum v. 10 Arizona, 137 S.Ct. 11 (2016) is only a GVR decision, the Court is not bound by it. So 11 noted. However, the Court is certainly at liberty to follow it, and as the prior Order 12 suggests, the Court has decided to do so. 13 At this point, the Court is confused as to Respondents argument. From the 14 objections to the R&R, it seemed clear that Respondents were arguing that Montgomery 15 cast Miller in such a fundamentally different light that Petitioner would have to exhaust a 16 Montgomery based Miller claim even though Petitioner undisputedly exhausted a Miller 17 claim. Now, on reconsideration, Respondents seem to be arguing that Miller was a very 18 narrow holding and that Montgomery did not expand or change that substantive holding. 19 These arguments appear to be inconsistent.2 Thus, the Court will delay a decision on 20 Respondents’ motion for reconsideration until Respondents file a supplemental brief. In 21 such brief, Respondents shall clarify whether they are arguing Montgomery did or did not 22 2 23 24 25 26 27 28 Although the Court is not ruling on Petitioner’s request to take an interlocutory appeal at this time, the Court notes that within that motion, Petitioner’s arguments appear to suffer from the same inconsistencies. Specifically, Petitioner strongly argues that Montgomery created no new claim, nor any change in the governing law, that would necessitate exhaustion of a Montgomery based Miller claim. (Doc. 49 at 3-7). However, when Petitioner discusses the law that would govern his Eighth Amendment claim, he cites to exclusively Montgomery as the test this Court must apply. (Doc. 49 at 7). In other words, while Petitioner argues that Montgomery only made Miller retroactive, and thus only a Miller claim must be exhausted, Petitioner only cites the law as articulated in Montgomery as governing his claim. As this Court’s prior Order concludes, for the Court to rely on the law as articulated in Montgomery (rather than only Miller), the Court would hold Montgomery casts the law in such a fundamentally different light, it would be a claim that requires exhaustion. -4- 1 change the law significantly. 2 Based on the foregoing, 3 IT IS ORDERED that Respondents shall file a supplement to their motion for 4 5 reconsideration by November 15, 2017. Dated this 8th day of November, 2017. 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -5-

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