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Davis v. Hobbs

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

January 12, 2015

NICHOLAS DAVIS, ADC #128996, Petitioner,
v.
RAY HOBBS, Director Arkansas Department of Correction, Respondent.

PROPOSED FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDED DISPOSITION INSTRUCTIONS

J. THOMAS RAY, Magistrate Judge.

The following recommended disposition has been sent to United States District Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. Any party may serve and file written objections to this 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 Clerk no later than fourteen (14) days from the date of the findings and recommendations. The copy will be furnished to the opposing party. Failure to file timely objections may result in 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 United States District Judge, you must, at the same time that you file your written objections, include a "Statement of Necessity" that sets forth the following:

1. Why the record made before the Magistrate Judge is inadequate.
2. Why the evidence to be proffered at the requested hearing before the United States District Judge was not offered at the hearing before the Magistrate Judge.
3. An offer of proof setting forth the details of any testimony or other evidence (including copies of any documents) desired to be introduced at the requested hearing before the United States District Judge.

From this submission, the United States 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:

I. Background

Pending before the Court is a 28 U.S.C. § 2254 Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed by Nicholas Davis ("Davis"), an inmate in the Arkansas Department of Correction. Doc. 2. Respondent has filed a Response, Doc. 8, and Davis has filed a Reply, Doc. 10. Thus, the issues are joined and ready for disposition.

Before addressing Davis's habeas claim, the Court will review the procedural history of the case.

On August 1, 2003, Davis appeared in Pulaski County Circuit Court and entered negotiated guilty pleas to first degree murder, aggravated robbery and theft of property. He was sentenced to an aggregate sentence of 720 months of imprisonment. Doc. 2, at 8-11. Because his pleas were unconditional, Davis waived his right to a direct appeal. See Ark. R. App. P.-Crim 1(a); Ark. R. Crim. P. 24.3(b) (2003).

On January 26, 2012, Davis filed a state petition for writ of error coram nobis in the trial court. On August 17, 2012, the Court entered an order denying the coram nobis petition. Doc. 2, at 12-14. Davis did not file a timely notice of appeal.[1] He later filed a motion for belated appeal of the trial court's order denying coram nobis relief. On February 27, 2014, the Arkansas Supreme Court entered a "Formal Order, " summarily denying Davis's motion. Id . at 15.

On August 11, 2014, Davis initiated this pro se § 2254 habeas action. In his habeas papers, he argues that his attorney coerced him into pleading guilty. Specifically, he alleges that, after he was physically assaulted in the courtroom by a member of the victim's family, his attorney "badgered" him into pleading guilty to first degree murder. He argues that he "was not mentally capable of resisting his attorney's persuasive tactics, " and that his attorney "coax[ed] him to plea bargain his life with the state under extreme duress" and "failed to inform petitioner of his right to ...


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