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Monroe v. Director of Virginia Department of Corrections

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

June 30, 2017

ANTONIO C. MONROE, Petitioner,
v.
DIRECTOR OF THE VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          John A. Gibney, Jr. United States District Judge.

         Antonio C. Monroe, a Virginia state prisoner proceeding pro se, brings this petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 ("§ 2254 Petition, " ECF No. 1). Respondent moves to dismiss. Monroe has responded, and has also filed a Motion to Strike Respondent's Rule 5 Answer ("Motion to Strike, " ECF No. 12). For the reasons stated below, the Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 7) will be GRANTED IN PART and DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE IN PART, and Monroe's Motion to Strike (ECF No. 12) will be DENIED AS MOOT.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On June 3, 2014, in the Circuit Court for the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia ("Circuit Court"), Monroe pled guilty to possession with the intent to distribute cocaine; possession of a firearm by a non-violent felon; conspiracy to manufacture, sell, give, or distribute cocaine; and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, second or subsequent offense. (ECF No. 2-1, at 2.) On October 2, 2014, the Circuit Court entered judgment against Monroe and sentenced him to a total of 42 years of imprisonment, with all but seven years and six months suspended. Commonwealth v. Monroe, No. CR13-3506, at 2 (Va. Cir. Ct. Oct. 2, 2014). Monroe did not appeal.

         On January 15, 2014, Monroe filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Circuit Court. Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus at 1, Monroe v. Dir. of the Dep 7 of Corr., No. CL15-132 (Va. Cir. Ct. filed Jan. 15, 2014). On April 23, 2015, Monroe filed a Motion for Nonsuit. Petitioner's Motion for Nonsuit at 1, Monroe v. Dir. of the Dep't of Corr., No. CL15-132 (Va. Cir. Ct. filed Apr. 23, 2015). On April 28, 2015, the Circuit Court granted Monroe's motion and nonsuited his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Monroe v. Dir. of the Dep't of Corr., No. CL15-132, at 1 (Va. Cir. Ct. Apr. 28, 2015).

         On September 28, 2015, Monroe filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Supreme Court of Virginia. Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus at 1, Monroe v. Clarke, No. 151451 (Va. filed Sept. 28, 2015). In his petition, Monroe raised the following claim for relief:

Claim One: "The defense attorney did not adequately communicate with him or investigate his case. The fact that the officers had no search warrant or affidavit at the time of entry was not argued by his attorney, therefore overlooked by the courts." (Id. at 8.)

         On May 16, 2016, the Supreme Court of Virginia dismissed Monroe's habeas petition. (ECF No. 9-1, at 2.)

         Thereafter, Monroe filed his § 2254 Petition, in which he raises the following claims for relief:[1]

Claim One: "The petitioner has offered a valid reason why he should not be bound by his representation at trial that his counsel's performance was adequate." (Id. at 5.)
Claim Two: "The search upon which the prosecutor relied exclusively for physical, damning evidence violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution [and] their Virginia counterparts based upon the facial invalidity of the search warrant." (Id. at 6.)
Claim Three: "The chain of custody of the items of evidence eventually alleged to have been seized at the residence was clearly, unambiguously, and unequivocally broken when other individuals were in the residence for long periods immediately prior to the search when the defendant was not present." (Id. at 8.)
Claim Four: "Monroe was deprived of his right to the effective assistance of counsel guaranteed by the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments when counsel failed and refused to raise the issues set forth herein above and argue them before the state court." (Id. at 10.)

         II. ...


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