Hall v. Hurley
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Petitioner's Motion to Expand Record (Doc. 20) is denied without prejudice. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Petitioner's Motion for Evidentiary Hearing (Doc. 21) is denied without prejudice. Signed by Magistrate Judge Abbie Crites-Leoni on 4/26/2016. (JMC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Case No. 4:15CV239 ACL
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Petitioner Mark Hall’s Motion to Expand Record (Doc.
20) and Motion for Evidentiary Hearing (Doc. 21).
On February 5, 2015, Hall filed the instant
application for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ' 2254, in which he raises two
grounds for relief.
Motion to Expand Record
Hall requests that the Court expand the record to include Petitioner’s Exhibit A—a letter
from Hall’s post-conviction counsel Roxanna Mason.
Hall contends that the letter supports his
claim asserted in Ground Two that the motion court judge was biased against him.
Hall’s Motion to Expand Record is governed by Rule 7 of the Rules Governing Habeas
Corpus Cases under Section 2254, which provides that “[i]f the petition is not dismissed, the judge
may direct the parties to expand the record by submitting additional materials relating to the
petition.” When a petitioner seeks to introduce evidence pursuant to this rule, the conditions
prescribed by § 2254(e)(2) must be met. See Mark v. Ault, 498 F.3d 775, 788 (8th Cir. 2007).
“Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(2), ‘[a] habeas petitioner must develop the factual basis of his claim in
the state court proceedings rather than in a federal evidentiary hearing unless he shows that his
claim relies upon a new, retroactive law, or due diligence could not have previously discovered the
facts.’” Id. (quoting Cox v. Burger, 398 F.3d 1025, 1030 (8th Cir. 2005)). “Additionally, under
§ 2254(e)(2) ‘a petitioner must show that the facts underlying the claim would be sufficient to
establish by clear and convincing evidence that but for constitutional error, no reasonable
factfinder would have found the applicant guilty of the underlying offense.’” Id. (quoting Perry
v. Kemna, 356 F.3d 880, 889 (8th Cir. 2004)).
Here, Hall has failed to demonstrate that due diligence could not have previously
discovered this evidence. The letter from Hall’s counsel was available during the state
post-conviction proceedings and Hall does not indicate why he did not present this evidence to the
state courts. Further, the evidence offered by Hall does not exonerate him. Rather, the evidence
relates to alleged bias of the motion court. The Eighth Circuit has stated that “infirmities in the
state’s post-conviction remedy procedure cannot serve as a basis for setting aside a valid original
conviction.” Williams v. Missouri, 640 F.2d 140, 143 (8th Cir. 1981). Thus, Hall’s Motion to
Expand the Record will be denied.
Motion for Evidentiary Hearing
Under 28 U.S.C. § 2254(e)(2), a federal district court may not grant an evidentiary
hearing unless “the applicant has failed to develop the factual basis of a claim in State court
proceedings . . . [and] the claim relies on a factual predicate that could not have been previously
discovered through the exercise of due diligence; and  the facts underlying the claim would be
sufficient to establish by clear and convincing evidence that but for constitutional error, no
reasonable factfinder would have found the applicant guilty of the underlying offense.” An
evidentiary hearing is not necessary when the merits of a petitioner’s claims may be resolved
based on the state court record. McCann v. Armontrout, 973 F.2d 655, 658-59 (8th Cir. 1992).
Hall requests a hearing on his judicial bias claim.
As previously discussed, Hall’s claim
would not exonerate him but, rather, relates to the post-conviction proceedings.
At this stage of
the litigation, it appears that the state court record contains sufficient facts to make an informed
decision on the merits of Hall’s claims.
Thus, Hall’s Motion for an Evidentiary Hearing will be
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Petitioner’s Motion to Expand Record (Doc. 20) is
denied without prejudice.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Petitioner’s Motion for Evidentiary Hearing
(Doc. 21) is denied without prejudice.
Dated this 26th day of April, 2016.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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