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Taylor v. Hobbs

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Pine Bluff Division

June 17, 2014

MELVIN LEE TAYLOR, JR., Petitioner
v.
RAY HOBBS, Director of the, Arkansas Department of Correction Respondent

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION

H. DAVID YOUNG, Magistrate Judge.

INSTRUCTIONS

The following findings and recommendation have been sent to United States District Judge James M. Moody, Jr. Any party may serve and file written objections to these findings and recommendation. Objections should be specific and should include the factual or legal basis for the objection. If the objection is to a factual finding, specifically identify that finding and the evidence that supports your objection. An original and one copy of your objections must be received in the Office of the United States District Court Clerk no later than fourteen (14) days from the date of the findings and recommendation. The copy will be furnished to the opposing party. Failure to file timely objections may result in a waiver of the right to appeal questions of fact.

If you are objecting to the recommendation and also desire to submit new, different, or additional evidence, and to have a hearing for this purpose before the District Judge, you must, at the same time that you file your written objections, include the following:

1. Why the record made before the Magistrate Judge is inadequate.
2. Why the evidence proffered at the hearing before the District Judge (if such a hearing is granted) was not offered at the hearing before the Magistrate Judge.
3. The details of any testimony desired to be introduced at the hearing before the District Judge in the form of an offer of proof, and a copy, or the original, of any documentary or other non-testimonial evidence desired to be introduced at the hearing before the District Judge.

From this submission, the District Judge will determine the necessity for an additional evidentiary hearing, either before the Magistrate Judge or before the District Judge.

Mail your objections and "Statement of Necessity" to:

RECOMMENDATION

In May of 2009, petitioner Melvin Lee Taylor, Jr., ("Taylor") pleaded guilty in three state court cases to six criminal offenses and was sentenced as an habitual offender to a term of imprisonment in the custody of respondent Ray Hobbs ("Hobbs"). Because Taylor pleaded guilty, he was precluded from appealing.

In September of 2013, Taylor filed a state trial court motion he characterized as a "motion for collateral attack." In the motion, he challenged the circumstances surrounding his guilty plea. Hobbs represents, and the undersigned accepts as true, that the motion remains pending before the state trial court.

In April of 2014, Taylor commenced the case at bar by filing a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 2254. In the petition, he advanced four claims. First, he maintained that his trial attorney provided ineffective assistance by failing to communicate favorable plea offers to Taylor. When asked to explain if he had exhausted his state remedies on the claim, he answered that he was not aware of the legal basis for the claim until another inmate told him of a "new law." See Document 1 at 5.

Second, Taylor maintained that his constitutional rights were violated when police officers took an inculpatory statement from him, this despite knowing he was under the influence of drugs at the time he made the statement. When asked to explain if he had exhausted his state remedies on the claim, he answered that he was not ...


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