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Wilson v. Fletcher

United States District Court, D. Montana, Missoula Division

February 20, 2018




         This case comes before the Court on Petitioner Brent Arthur Wilson's application for writ of habeas corpus under 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Wilson is a state prisoner proceeding pro se.

         I. 28 U.S.C. §2254 Petition

         For the reasons discussed herein, it is recommended that Wilson's petition be dismissed with prejudice as untimely.

         i. Procedural History

         Wilson challenges convictions for Felony Attempt (Theft), Deceptive Practices, and Tampering with Public Records/Information handed down in the Montana Twentieth Judicial District, Lake County following a jury trial in 2010 at which Wilson elected to represent himself. (Doc. 1 at 2-3, 7). Wilson was ultimately sentenced to a twenty-year prison sentence, with ten of the years suspended.

         Following his conviction, Wilson filed a timely direct appeal with the assistance of counsel. Wilson alleged: (1) the trial court erred by determining he knowingly and intelligently waived his right to counsel and by allowing him to represent himself at trial; (2) the State's use of journals allegedly authored by Wilson during trial warranted plain error review; and (3) the trial court imposed an illegal sentence. State v. Wilson, 2011 MT 277, ¶¶ 4-6, 362 Mont. 416, 264 P.3d 1146.

         The Montana Supreme Court determined the trial court undertook exhaustive discussions with Wilson about the dangers of representing himself, repeatedly attempted to appoint counsel, and considered a mental health evaluation that indicated Wilson was fit to act in his own defense. Consequently, the Court found sufficient credible evidence to support the trial court's conclusion that Wilson knowingly, intelligently, and competently waived his right to counsel. Wilson, at ¶¶ 22-24. The Court declined to conduct plain error review of the admission of the journals into evidence, id. at ff 27-29, and determined the trial court imposed a legal sentence. Id. at ¶¶ 32-36. The Court's published opinion issued on November 8, 2011. State v. Wilson, 2011 MT 277, 362 Mont. 416, 264 P.3d 1146.

         In July of 2017, Wilson filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Montana Supreme Court. Wilson v. Fletcher, OP 17-0431, Pet. (filed July 21, 2017). The Montana Supreme Court summarized Wilson's claims:

Wilson's main complaint is that his liberty is unlawfully restrained. He states that he has "zero criminal history, " questions who are the victims, and the correct amount of restitution. Citing to federal law, he contends that his underlying proceeding "draws a Federal Question with security fraud..." He lists fifty-one questions in an attachment in an effort "to determine the nature and cause of the restraint of [his] liberty..." He attaches copies of his Judgment and Commitment, Inmate Classification Action, the Board's Disposition, and his parole plan, which he labels, except for his parole plan, as "adhesion contracts." Wilson claims that his parole should have been granted, but he does not elaborate why the Board's decision is in error.

Wilson v. Fletcher, OP 17-0431, Or. at 2 (Mont. Aug. 8, 2017).

         The Court determined relief for most of Wilson's arguments and requests did not lie in habeas because they were unrelated to the legality of his incarceration. Id. Further, the Court noted the claims relative to Wilson's underlying proceedings were procedurally barred because he had been adjudged guilty of an offense and appealed, thus, exhausting his remedy of appeal. Id., citing Mont. Code Ann. §46-22-101 (2). Additionally, the Court determined the Parole Board acted within its discretion to deny Wilson parole and that Wilson failed to establish a due process violation. Id. at 2-3. The Court denied Wilson's petition.

         ii. Wilson's Claims

         Wilson's federal petition consists of various supplements and exhibits alleging an array of claims. (Docs. 1, 1-1, 1-2, 6, 8, and 10). Generally, Wilson appears to dispute his citizenship and seems to believe, despite his convictions in the state court, that there is no jurisdiction under which to restrain his liberty. Wilson advances seventeen separate grounds for relief. (Doc. 1-1 at 1-10). Wilsons requests this Court order his immediate release from the Montana State Prison, award him $1, 200, and order payment of his train fare to Seattle, Washington. (Doc. 1 at 7, ¶ 6).

         II. Federal Statute of ...

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